One of the key ingredients in being a great professional football player is to have great athletic ability. Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Devin Bush has that in spades. But in order to be a complete player, you also have to have intelligence, as well as the determination and drive to continually get better.
He has that as well. It’s in his genes, and it comes from his first-round-drafted, Super Bowl-champion father who bears his same name, Devin Bush, Sr. He’s the third first-round pick in a row for the Steelers who has that in his blood, and the second who is a second-generation player.
This isn’t about how he got it, though, but rather the fact that he has it. And it’s not just because his father was a good player. His father was also a good instructor and motivator, and he kept his son going at all levels of play leading up to his emergence into the NFL.
He has dominated everywhere he’s gone, and is even showing early signs of being that sort of player at the highest level of the game. At 52 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and four fumble recoveries, coming off a Defensive Player of the Week performance, Bush is already in the conversation to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
But this display is nothing new. During the Steelers’ bye week, he was back at Flanagan high school, where he played really just a few years ago, because the school wanted to retire his number 11 jersey. Nobody is going to wear his number there ever again.
He has a long way to go before he can get the same treatment in Pittsburgh, of course. While there are a number of jerseys that are unofficially out of circulation, the Steelers have only formally retired two numbers in their history, which dates back to 1933. But he’s not thinking about that right now. He’s just thinking about what he has to do next to take another step forward.
“I’m still learning”, he told the Miami Herald while he was down in Florida for the event. “I still have a lot to learn. I have a long season ahead of me. I’m determined to keep learning and staying on top of my craft”.
While he has played well and made a number of impactful plays, you can see that he indeed still has a lot to learn, a fact that in and of itself is impressive, relative to what he has already shown that he can accomplish. Meanwhile, he is preparing to face the Miami Dolphins.
“It’s going to be crazy just to be out there and playing against the Dolphins and seeing those colors and that emblem on those helmets”, he said, as Pittsburgh will face them on Monday night coming off of their bye week. “It’s going to be a fun one”.