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Mike Tomlin Saw ‘Good Signs’ In Devin Bush Debut, ‘Liked His Demeanor’

The Pittsburgh Steelers, and their fans, spent the past several months waiting to get an in-game look at their first-round draft pick, Devin Bush. They traded up 10 spots from 20 to select the inside linebacker out of Michigan, and he did not disappoint in his first taste of action.

He finished officially with 10 tackles during his first game, including seven as the primary tackler, the highlight being a tackle that he shared with Olasunkanmi Adeniyi that resulted in a stop on fourth down to force a turnover on downs. He also would have had a pass defensed were the play not negated by a roughing the passer penalty on third down.

The rookie’s impact started early, from the first play of the game, making the run stop on Payton Barber on a three-yard gain. He would go on to record four tackles on the opening drive all told, two of them going as stops and the other two just barely qualifying for successful plays.

Bush finished with five stops among his 10 tackles in all, including a six-yard run on third and 13 , a tackle following an eight-yard reception on third and nine, and the subsequent fourth-and-one attempt at a conversion mentioned earlier.

He could have played more, but Head Coach Mike Tomlin elected to pull him at halftime, evidently finding that they saw enough out of him for his first taste of action. With Vince Williams not playing, he and Mark Barron were able to get an extended look without dealing with a rotation.

“I was less concerned about his productivity and more concerned about his demeanor”, Tomlin said of his first-round draft pick following the game. “I liked his demeanor. He was present. It wasn’t too big for him. He handled the communication responsibilities associated with his job. He was alert, and those are good signs”.

Essentially, we saw from Bush what we were hoping to see from him for his first taste of action in an NFL game—even though he was part of a first-team defense that allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drive down the field for a touchdown on the opening drive (with three starters in the secondary alone not in action).

It was a good start, but he has to keep building from there. It wasn’t a flawless game, but it was very encouraging, an indication that he is the player the Steelers believed him to be that coaxed them into such rare aggressiveness on draft day back in April.

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