2021 Offseason Questions: Will The Steelers Protect Devin Bush From Himself By Rotating Him Out?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books. It ended in spectacular fashion — though the wrong kind of spectacular — in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense. Multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions. Right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quo with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?

These are the sorts of questions we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football is a year-round pastime and there are always questions to ask, though there is rarely a concrete answer. This is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all of their uncertainty.

Question: Will the Steelers rotate Devin Bush out at all at the start of the season as he works his way back from injury?

Devin Bush spoke to reporters earlier this week, and when asked about his thoughts on the new 17-game schedule, he still said that his goal was to play 100 percent of the snaps. While it only made it a little more than a quarter through the 2020 season, he did play every snap up to his injury, tearing his ACL just before halftime of the Steelers’ fifth game.

While he may well possess the skill and ability to be an every-down player, the Steelers also feel comfortable with both Vince Williams and Robert Spillane at linebacker, and with Bush coming off of a significant knee injury, one might wonder if they will take a cautious approach to his usage this year, at least at the start of the season.

Now, they drafted him as a blue-chip player, the kind of inside linebacker who can make an impact on every play, but the ultimate goal is to have him available for the long term. Will they conclude that it is in their best interests not to push him too hard, too quickly, and give him some time to work his way back into full-speed game mode? It could also have the indirect benefit of keeping Willliams and Spillane engaged and happy.

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