Q&A: Jordan Zumwalt

After spending all but a handful of practices on IR as a rookie last year, Steelers LB is rarin' to go.

Jordan Zumwalt, ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: I saw a picture of you on the Internet at the country and western show.

JZ: Yes, Kenny Chesney.

Q: Won't that ruin your LA Kid rep?

JZ: (Laughs) No way. No way. No, I've actually never been to a country concert. It was pretty cool.

Q: I never have either. And I really don't want to.

JZ: I thought, well, it's Kenny Chesney. He had just come into the facility. We had free tickets. We had a good group with us. So if you're going to do it you might as well do it right. It was a blast.

Q: What do you usually listen to?

JZ: Shoot, I listen to just about anything. I'm not an avid country listener but that kind of turned the tide a little bit. It was a cool experience.

Q: Well, how's the health?

JZ: The health is getting there. I'm still out there working and grinding. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling a lot better than I was. The health is good.

Q: What was the injury? Groin?

JZ: Yeah.

Q: That knocked you out for a year and it's still giving you trouble?

JZ: Not much. I had surgery on it, so it's doing much better.

Q: I'm sure it was very frustrating last year.

JZ: You're telling me. It was very frustrating. Very frustrating. Very exciting to be able to come back and play.

Q: You couldn't go to the rookie minicamp this year, either.

JZ: Yeah, I found out IR counts as a credited season so I wasn't allowed to, which sucked. I needed the reps and I would've really appreciated it. But it's all right because I'm making up time here (at OTAs/minicamp).

Q: Because of those silly NCAA rules, you couldn't work last spring, either. How much training camp did you get last year?

JZ: I had a total of six practices.

Q: You've gone full-time through this spring, and they'll go over everything again at camp, so you're good mentally, aren't you?

JZ: Absolutely.

Q: Did you bulk up at all?

JZ: Yes I did. I got a lot stronger. I lost some weight after my surgery but I'm back up to 235 solid.

Q: You probably play the deepest position on the team, wouldn't you say?

JZ: Yeah, we've got some ballers, no doubt. I think it's awesome. I think it's really cool to be a part of something like that. These guys are all excellent players and I'm really excited to learn under L.T. (Lawrence Timmons). As for the rest of the guys, the competition is awesome. That's what football's all about. So I'm not going to come in here hanging my head and saying 'Aw, I'm already beat out.' Who does that? I'm not here to do that, so I think it's really cool. If they're going to have us compete like that, then we'll compete. That's what we do.

Q: They'll find a way if you're that good, regardless of the numbers.

JZ: Yes, absolutely. I'm going to come out and do my best and let them know what I'm all about. At the end of the day film speaks for itself, so we'll see what I put on tape.

Q: Both you and Terence Garvin can do a little OLB stuff, but I haven't seen any of it yet.

JZ: Yeah, we haven't done that. I haven't done outside backer since last year at camp before I got injured. I could do that, but we have so many outside backers right now that I don't even think that's a consideration. We did just draft another first-round outside backer. We're stacked. So I'm not concerned at all.

Q: You might add versatility worrying about that, but it also might diminish what you do well.

JZ: Exactly. I need to focus on getting my feet back under me and get my mental game going on again.

Q: Our boy Diggy ( Owamagbe Odighizuwa) dropped into the third round. Must've been all about the hips.

JZ: I don't know what it was. I think he got shafted a little bit. You know how the draft works. There's so much involved and everybody has an opinion on it. My opinion stands. He's definitely better than a third-round pick, but it is what it is. I think I was better than a sixth, too, but it is what it is.


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