Something inspired a change among the Steelers' coaches in regards to rookie linebacker Jordan Zumwalt.
Drafted in the sixth round in 2014, Zumwalt was seen as a hybrid inside and outside linebacker. Initially in minicamp, he was running on the outside, looking to fight for a spot bolstering depth at a position that appears open in regards to the last few players on the depth chart.
First, it seems the Steelers want to run Zumwalt inside on the third team defense, giving him a feeling much like he had in college; playing both, looking for chances to hit people.
Zumwalt, an aggressive, physical player with underrated athleticism, will likely have to show his value as an every snap special teams player if he wants to make this team. Odds of that certainly are decent enough, but with the depth the team has been looking to build the last two years at both linebacker positions, it'll really come down to his camp performances.
The team already cut inside linebacker Kion Wilson in favor of an undrafted rookie cornerback, suggesting the linebacker positions will be among the most competitive in training camp.
The Steelers will be hitting on Monday - and that's where Zumwalt will make his mark. His highlight reel from UCLA is riddled with high-impact (and highly suspect) hits, and that makes him a front-runner to become an Isaac Redman Award candidate (low-end first, second or third year player who makes the biggest impact during training camp and preseason, as awarded by BTSC).
To get to that point, he'll show what he can do on the inside first. Perhaps he switches back outside at a later point, but the more exposure he gets, the better.