It’s one thing to have football in your blood. It’s another thing to have that bloodline and to have a pair of Hall of Famers, who did it at your position, in your corner. Those are the sorts of resources with which new Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Devin Bush is breaking into the league.
That’s not why they traded their second-round pick and a third-round pick in 2020 in order to move up from 20th overall to 10th overall to get him—but it doesn’t hurt either. The Steelers have some good recent history in investing in players with that football background, which can help them get off to a faster start, as we saw with T.J. Watt and Terrell Edmunds the past two years.
Bush is the son of his namesake, Devin Bush, Sr., who was a first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1993. He would appear in their Super Bowl loss the late 90s, but shortly thereafter claimed a world title with the St. Louis Rams as a starting safety against the Tennessee Titans.
Devin the father was a standout at Florida State, where he became best friends with Derrick Brooks, the Hall of Fame linebacker who would win a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin was on their staff. Bush, Sr. also came to know Lewis, another Florida native, and they have since had an imprint on his son’s life as well.
“It’s very, very fortunate to have those two guys in my corner”, he told Missi Matthews about the opportunity to have Brooks and Lewis in his life in addition to his father. “Being able to reach out to them knowing they’re gonna pick up the phone and give me the best advice, and not lead me the wrong way. I know they’re gonna put me down the right path. I just can’t be more thankful for them being in my corner”.
One wonders if the relationship that Tomlin also shares with Brooks in some way facilitated the stars aligning to make him a Steeler. After the draft, Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert talked about how the scouting of Bush was essentially a multi-year process.
Of course, Bush is entering the AFC North, where Lewis spent his entire professional career with the Ravens, leading them to a pair of Super Bowl titles as the second draft pick ever made by the franchise, and their second Hall of Famer after Jonathan Ogden.
“I definitely got to pick his brain” about AFC North football, he told Matthews, as Lewis was one of the faces of arguably the greatest rivalry in the NFL in decades between the Steelers and Ravens of the 2000s. Let’s hope he’s willing to provide some insights into the Ravens in spite of his loyalties.