The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Devin Bush end up going to the Pro Bowl as an alternate?
As you may have seen, we have begun to see players being announced as not participating in the Pro Bowl, including the Steelers’ two representatives along the offensive line, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro. It will be the first year in a while in which no Steelers lineman has played.
Presumably, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Minkah Fitzpatrick will all attend. Heyward is making his third trip, but he is somebody who respected the honor, especially as someone who waited years for his first taste. Watt is making just his second appearance, and first voted in outright, while Fitzpatrick is in his first.
The question is whether or not they might get some company. A few weeks back, Bush’s mother posted on Instagram that his son was a Pro Bowl alternate. He did finish in first place in the fan voting even though he didn’t make it, so that shouldn’t be too surprising.
View this post on Instagram
WoW, what a season!!! Not only are you 1 out of 3 rookies who received votes for DROY you are also a 2019 Pro Bowl alternate who happened to be the lead AFC vote getter at your position as a rookie. That’s simply AMAZING!!! The things that you have accomplished so far on and off the field is a true testament of your hard work and dedication to your craft. Keep doing what you love and enjoy the journey as you do it!!! As your #1 fan, I can’t wait to witness the years to come. Keep making me proud, love Kesh 🤣😜
The two AFC linebackers are Darius Leonard, who was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, and Dont’a Hightower. While Hightower won’t be playing in the Super Bowl this year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him back out of the event. He was voted to one Pro Bowl previously in 2016, but he did not participate because he was in the Super Bowl. As far as I’m aware, he ended the season healthy, however.
It’s also not known if Bush was the first alternate. If Hightower (or Leonard) opt not to play, it would obviously be the first alternate chosen to replace him, if he accepts. Others have passed on such opportunities before. I believe Brett Keisel and Ramon Foster both did, perhaps Ryan Clark too.