There is some question as to whether or not new Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Chris Wormley was a participant in practice on Friday, but we do know that he was interviewed on the Michigan Sports Network on Thursday, which interviewed the following day, and he talked about his early experiences with the team with Anthony Bellino on the X’s and Bro’s Morning Show—which isn’t the greatest name I’ve ever heard.
Among the topics that he discussed was the fact that he has had the opportunity to reunite with some of his Wolverine alumni, most notably Devin Bush, the Steelers’ first-round pick in 2019, whom he will be playing with on defense. A second-year starter, Bush will be on the field for just about every snap this season.
“Devin was a freshman when I was a fifth-year senior. He was a pain in my butt then, and when I talked to him the first time again, he’s still a pain in my butt”, Wormley joked…I think. “But he’s grown. Obviously he’s heading into his second year, but he’s gonna be a phenomenal player for many years to come, and I’m excited for him to be back there and making plays and getting us in the right position, him being the Mike backer and making most of the communication checks”.
During his rookie season, Bush led the team in tackles with 108, finishing tied for second with six turnovers, with two interceptions and four fumble recoveries. He returned one of each of them for a touchdown. He finished first in the fan voting for the Pro Bowl, but ultimately did not qualify. Will this be the last time he doesn’t make the Pro Bowl while healthy?
But of course Bush isn’t the only other Wolverine on the roster, and there are two on offense as well. One is Zach Gentry, who was also a rookie draft pick last year, a tight end taken in the fifth round. He spent most of the year as a healthy scratch, but did play in four games. Amara Darboh is a former third-round pick whom the team signed to the practice squad late in the year, and who finished the season on the 53-man roster.
“It’s good to be back with those guys, even if for a season”, he said of being around these guys whom he once took the field with at Michigan. As for himself, Wormley is heading into his fourth season since being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Steelers acquired him via trade earlier this offseason after losing Javon Hargrave in free agency, with their plans to move Tyson Alualu to nose tackle. This could be an indication that they intend to make Wormley the primary defensive end backup, which means he should play a healthy amount—before hitting free agency in 2021.