If things stay on course, the Pittsburgh Steelers should have inside linebacker Devin Bush back for Week 1 of the 2021 regular season. Bush, who suffered a serious knee injury in Week 6 last season, ha has already been working a little bit in OTA practices this offseason and that is expected to continue this week as the team conducts their annual mandatory minicamp. On Tuesday, Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt met the media before the team’s first mandatory minicamp practice and during his session he was asked what it means to the defense and him to get Bush back on the field in 2021.
“Speed,” Watt said of Bush. “I mean, I don’t think you can talk about Devin Bush without talking about speed, quickness and just his intensity. You look back at any of the highlights of our defense and he’s the first guy jumping around congratulating guys, just being so happy, whether it’s him or somebody else making a play. And part of that’s just because he’s the quickest guy out there so he’s the first to the ball more than anybody else.”
Bush is now going into his third season and Watt believes the experience the former first-round draft pick out of Michigan has garnered to date will help the Steelers defense on the field as well.
“But just getting a guy like that, especially now in his third year, he’s going to know the defense like the back of his hand,” Watt said of Bush. “He’s going to be making calls and I’m just very excited to have him out there again and see him flying around.”
Last season, Bush registered 26 total tackles, a sack and three passes defensed in the five games he played in prior to suffering his season-ending knee injury. The Steelers defense not only could have used Bush against the run as the season wore on, but as a pass defender as well. He commented last week on what he’s being allowed to do so far this offseason as part of his rehab.
“I’m doing a lot of individual [work],” Bush said. “Just getting me out there, getting on the grass and doing reactive things. They’re holding me out of competition just because it’s not needed right now. But I’m out there going through my progressions, my motions, going through my movements and my calls. Just getting back to football again.”
While Bush will likely be limited more during mandatory minicamp practices this week, he fully expects to be ready for the start of the regular season which is now 89 days away.
“I’m about 80, 90%,” Bush told the media last week. “I’ll be ready once camp comes around.”