The Pittsburgh Steelers held their first 2019 rookie minicamp practice on Friday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex and it sounds like the team’s first-round draft pick this year, linebacker Devin Bush, made a good first impression and had fun doing so.
“It was fun just being out there getting back in football mode and just learning the plays and being around different guys,” Bush said after practice when asked how his first day of rookie minicamp went. “It’s football again, so I’m happy to back.”
While Bush reportedly called the defense during the Steelers first rookie minicamp practice of 2019 after just getting the playbook earlier in the day, he admitted Friday afternoon the things he knows he still needs to work on and learn moving forward into the weekend and his rookie season.
“I have quite a bit to learn. I’ve got to learn how to speak the language of the defense and just get comfortable with all my plays,” Bush said.
When immediately asked how long he thinks it will take to learn those things, Bush quickly shot back an answer.
“Depends on how much work I put in off the field and in the meeting room and at home,” Bush said
Bush did admit on Friday, however, that he feels he already knows quite a bit when it comes to the Steelers defense and mainly because he already has a good grasp of the concepts used in it, which obviously is likely a result of him coming from a football family and being a longtime student of the game.
“Definitely, I know concepts, I understand the defense we try to run, I just have to learn the language,” Bush said.
Bush later admitted that the Steelers defensive playbook doesn’t look all that foreign to him.
“Not really, like I said, just different things they call, the different language that they speak,” Bush said.
Bush want afraid to talk about the things he felt he did well during the team’s first rookie minicamp practice.
“Just getting out there and being vocal as much as I could,” Bush said. “Whether I was right or wrong, just being vocal and just trust what I see.”
The Steelers are obviously hoping that Bush can help the defense overcome the loss once again of injured inside linebacker Ryan Shazier, who will miss a second-consecutive season in 2019 due to the spinal injury he suffered later during the 2017 regular season. Shazier was reportedly at the Steelers rookie minicamp practice on Friday watching Bush and the young linebacker was asked if he had noticed that.
“I think I did,” Bush said. “Yeah, I seen him. I’m just playing football, I’m not trying to be somebody I’m not. I’m not trying to go over and beyond. I’m trying to learn my playbook and do what I’ve got to do.”
Steelers rookie cornerback Justin Layne, the team’s second of two third-round draft picks this year, had nothing but praise for Bush and his ability to take charge of the defense on Day 1 when he talked to the media following Friday’s session.
“He’s a great leader, very vocal, Layne said, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s going to be good. I can tell. He was calling the right defenses and everything. He knows what’s going on.”
Bush will continuing to try to show his new coaches and teammates he knows what’s going on during the Steelers two remaining rookie minicamp practices that will take place on Saturday and Sunday.