When you’re on a team that trades first-, second, and third-round draft picks over a two year span for a player, as the Pittsburgh Steelers did for Michigan inside linebacker Devin Bush, it stands to reason that there are going to be a lot of opinions flying around about him.
Given the massive investment the Steelers have placed on him, it is imperative that he actually pans out and becomes the player that they drafted him to be. The good news on that front, insofar that anything that happens in shorts matters, is that the only complaint he has gotten so far is that he needs to be a little louder when he’s calling the defense.
Nevermind the fact that he is already getting the opportunity, at least on occasion, to call the defense for a relatively veteran-laden defensive unit. And the players across from him, such as tight end Vance McDonald, have noticed as well.
“He showed really quickly he’s going to be able to fit in well with the defense with that group of guys”, the seventh-year tight end said. “When you look at him, you don’t expect him to be as quick or as agile as he is”.
As Cameron Heyward and Keith Butler have noted, though, McDonald also mentioned his need to more expressive when calling the plays, which he believes will come. “There’s a couple of things he needs to work on: being more vocal, because of the role Coach Tomlin wants him to fit into quickly, and the expectation of him doing that. But that’s still such a young thing. You never want to overstep, especially when the pressure is on. I think that will come, especially in Latrobe as he gets the pads on”.
Jeremy Fowler noted, as we already knew, that Bush has been working, along with Mark Barron, in the first-team defense, as has Vince Williams. The ESPN reporter writes that Bush has lined up against tight ends and running backs and has fared well, looking the part, in executing those assignments.
Another offensive player, second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph, also shared his observations of the rookie, saying that “he’s been flying around, especially seeing him in the Seven Shots period. He’s high intensity, doing a good job covering people”. Truth be told, coverage at the second level has been a bigger trouble spot than in the secondary. “You can see his athleticism, and he’s learning quick”.
The Steelers will hold their mandatory minicamp this week before breaking ahead of training camp. That is where the real battle for starting jobs between Bush, Barron, and Bince will begin in earnest. As General Manager Kevin Colbert said of the rookie, we’ll see how he looks when the pads come on.