Tomlin Expects ‘Significant Step’ From Bush In 2020 As Defensive Communicator

Devin Bush Steelers

On the heels of Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Devin Bush having a particularly good 2019 rookie season, he’ll be expected to have an even better sophomore season in the NFL in 2020. While Bush didn’t have to worry about calling the defense or wearing the green dot on his helmet as a rookie, he’ll likely be asked to handle both of those duties in 2020. On Thursday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Bush and what he’d like to see out the Michigan product in his second season and if communication is going to be a big part of that.

“You know, communication is a big part of his general growth and development because of the position that he plays,” Tomlin said of Bush. “He’s a defensive quarterback, if you will, being an all situational linebacker, one that plays in all down and distances and circumstances. And so, he’s the type of guy that has to be a hub of communication. We were thoughtful about the things that we asked him to do in that regard a year ago. He was challenged enough just to play and to be as productive a member of the unit as he was for us.

“It’s reasonable for us to expect him to take a significant step in those unofficial endeavors that kind of encompasses his position. And so, we’re working on usual things and he’s displayed, you know, the usual maturational process things.

So, while Tomlin didn’t come right out and say that Bush will be calling the defense or wearing the green dot on his helmet in 2020, it was seemingly inferred that he will.

Several days ago, Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler also talked about the second year jump that Bush is expected to make in 2020 in addition to stressing how important it is for him to be a good communicator on the field

“Of course, you want him to make a good jump for us,” Butler said of Bush. “I think he will because things won’t be new to him. He’s done it before, and when he comes to training camp, we are going to expect more out of him. We are going to want him to help make calls and get the communication down. We think he’s capable of doing that. We think he’s really going to come alive for us a little bit this year.

“He played well for us last year as a rookie, but once you’ve been there – he’s seen the game a little bit – he knows the speed of the game. He knows what we are going to call for the most part. He’s got an idea of what we are going to expect of him. We’re hopeful that he’s going to be able to have a good year for us this year.”

Bush has yet to talk to media since training camp got underway and that might be by design. Even so, his turn with the media will happen soon and quite possibly as early as next week. When he finally does address the media, you can probably expect him to be asked to comment on how he thinks he’s coming along as a defensive communicator and if he’ll indeed be wearing the helmet with the green dot on it come the start of the regular season.

Until we get to hear from Bush, however, we can only go off what Tomlin and Butler have said about Bush since training camp got underway and so far, it’s all been positive concerning his 2020 season outlook.

“He showed up in great condition and that indicates an understanding of the nature of this thing, that maybe he didn’t have a year ago,” Tomlin said of Bush on Thursday. “And we’ll proceed from there. But there are also unofficial things that he has to embrace and that’s the things that come with being defensive quarterback, if you will.”

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