Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Devin Bush joked with NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala that none of his teammates have toilet papered his room or hassled him since training camp has begun. One reason for that may be because Bush is no ordinary rookie.
The Steelers have not added a rookie with bigger expectations than Bush since the team traded up for Troy Polamalu a decade and a half ago. Like Polamalu, the team is hoping Bush can bring game changing effects to a defense that was starved of game changing plays last season. The former Michigan linebacker believes he can be that guy as well and he has already shown flashes of it thus far.
“Definitely, I feel the same exact way. This is what training camp is for, we get the repetition down and to be that guy that they’re looking for,” Bush told Kinkhabwala when asked if he believed he could be a game breaker for the defense.
It did not take long for Bush to show he could be the missing piece for the Steelers defense, as on the very first day of camp he impressively broke up a pass between Ben Roethlisberger and James Conner.
While Bush has impressed in shorts, tomorrow will be his first real test. Sunday’s practice is scheduled to be the first in pads for the Steelers and will be the linebacker’s first opportunity to really show those in attendance why he has become the team’s most anticipated prospect in quite some time. The Steelers have gone all in on their investment and while a move like that may make some nervous, Bush’s teammates have no doubt that he is up to the task at hand.
“There’s a certain type of first-rounders that come in. You have guys who are just freaky athletically and you have guys that we call ‘young vets.’ They’re just technically savvy at a very early age, and that’s how Devin is. He’s very sharp. He’s very polished coming out,” Vince Williams tells TribLive’s Kevin Gorman.
Bush’s athleticism has been well known and easy to witness for those in attendance but it is his brains and ability to quickly pick up the playbook that has really caught people by surprise.
“Just complicated things don’t really confuse him. He doesn’t really seem overwhelmed by the playbook at all. That was the most impressive thing I’ve noticed. He’s just smart,” Williams continued to tell Gorman.
Bush himself alluded to Kinkhabwala that he has gotten a lot more comfortable with the playbook since being drafted.
“A lot more (comfortable) just because I’m comfortable with the guys I’m playing with, the playbook and just the flow of practice,” Bush says.
The Steelers and the city of Pittsburgh are not the only ones excited to see what Bush can do with pads on as the rookie linebacker is also eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get things started on the field.
“Honestly, I’m just so excited to be out here with the team and my teammates and my coaches and just get everything started,” Bush told Kinkhabwala.
The plan to improve the Steelers defense was put in motion months ago when the team traded up to select the talented linebacker out of Michigan and now that plan will officially get started with tomorrow’s practice.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) July 27, 2019