During last week’s OTA practices, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt described rookie inside linebacker Devin Bush as being ‘quicker than snot” and while that was quite an analogy to use for the team’s first-round draft pick this year, it painted a pretty clear picture just the same. On Tuesday, Bush sat down for an interview with Missi Matthews of steelers.com and he was asked his thoughts on Watt’s colorful description of him last week.
“I never heard that,” Bush said. “I’ve never seen how quick snot is, but I guess it’s a compliment. But I mean, if you want to describe it as that then I’ll take it.
Bush was immediately asked if he feels like he’s playing a lot faster now at the start of the team’s annual mandatory minicamp.
“Yeah, definitely,” Bush said. “From the first day I stepped on the field in rookie mini camp to this point now, I progressed a lot.”
That’s great to hear as are all the various media reports the last several weeks stating that Bush has seen his fair share of snaps with the first-team defense throughout the offseason. He’s making some defensive calls in the process as he continues his potential fast-track to a large amount of playing time in Week 1.
“Just being comfortable with my calls,” Bush said Tuesday of his role in the huddle, according to Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s something that’s going to come with doing it over and over and over again. That’s what they asked me to do, so I have to be able to do that.”
The last Steelers rookie inside linebacker to be fast-tracked into a Week 1 starting role was Ryan Shazier, who has played a large part in mentoring and coaching younger defensive players since suffering his spinal injury late during the 2017 regular season. On Tuesday, Bush once again recognized all the help he’s received from Shazier since he was drafted and how it’s helped him adjust to the NFL.
“Just being able to have him, have his knowledge, have his presence — Ryan could easily be somewhere else doing something completely different,” Bush said, according to Batko. “But he’s invested in the team, because you’ve got to love football, and he wants his team to excel as well as his teammates.”
While the progress reports on Bush from his teammates and coaches have been very encouraging with just two days of practices left before the long summer break before the start of training camp, the quicker-than-snot Michigan product knows he’s still got a lot to learn before his rookie season officially gets underway 89 days from today against the New England Patriots.
“Every day is a lesson learned for me,” Bush said Tuesday, according to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I come in, I learn something new every day. I keep my mind open to new ideas and new ways of going about this job and everything that comes with it. Week in and week out, I’ve grown.”
On Wednesday, Steelers inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky will likely address the media and if he does, it will be interesting to hear him give a progress report on Bush. In the meantime, take comfort in the fact that Bush seems to be on the same track that Shazier was several years ago when he was a rookie and assuming he stays healthy, one can’t help but think that he’ll ultimately play a large percentage of snaps in Week 1 against the Patriots.