Just like Ben Roethlisberger a year ago, the time Devin Bush missed in 2020 has one sliver of upside. Missing the back half of the season after tearing his ACL in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns, Bush said the one benefit to that was getting to watch the game from a sideline perspective for the first time in his career. Bush spoke with fans during a Q&A session with Steelers’ Nation Unite and was asked how he handled not being out on the field.
“Watching the game from the sideline and watching the game from home or wherever I was at the time, it definitely allowed me to watch the game as a fan,” Bush said during the session with fans. “And definitely allowed me to see the whole picture rather than being on the defensive side of the ball.”
Roethlisberger offered a similar perspective rehabbing from his elbow surgery during the 2019 season. Here’s what he had to say.
“Last year, I was actually able to watch more, because I could watch kind of the big picture, if you will”, he told the media last August. “And then I was able to speak to more guys on the sideline and talk to them and communicate what I saw, [ask them] what did they see? So I think it was beneficial”.
And that seemed to manifest itself on the field. During the Steelers’ 11-0 run in 2020, Roethlisberger played some of his smartest football, at times running the entire offense to jumpstart the team and get them back into games. While a veteran, there’s no doubt Roethlisberger benefitted from that sideline view in 2019 and carried that over last season.
The same can happen for Bush, the quarterback of the defense. Before his injury, he was the Steelers’ signal caller and three-down player. Communicating, football IQ, and understanding what offenses are doing are all vital skills for him to have. Watching football from the sidelines will only improve his knowledge. It’s also the first time he’s had that view. He’s never had a long-term injury that sidelined him before and was an immediate contributor at Michigan, not even redshirted his freshman season.
Obviously, no one wanted to see Bush get hurt and his absence clearly hindered the Steelers’ defense. He’s now on the long road of rehab and recovery though odds are decent he’ll be ready for the 2021 Week One opener. All Bush can do is make the best out of a bad situation. And having that new-found perspective will help him going forward.