Devin Bush isn’t the most popular player on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster right now as he engages in some social media behavior that has certain fans, and potentially even teammates and coaches, concerned. But at the end of the day, he was drafted for what he can do on the field.
And for new Steelers linebacker Buddy Johnson, that’s been a key role in this very early portion of his career. During a recent interview with Missi Matthews on the team’s website, the rookie talked about how Bush has been a big brother to him.
Devin Bush is a great guy. One of my best friends from A&M, Tyrel Dodson, he’s best friends with Devin Bush, and when I first got drafted to the Steelers, Tyrell, he hooked me up with Devin Bush, and he welcomed me in. But at the end of the day, he made sure I understood it’s time to go to work. As soon as I got here, he’s been nothing but a great older brother for me. He’d correct me on some things that I do out on the field. He’s a guy that if I have any questions, I can ask, so he definitely has that big brother leadership that I would need.
I’m not sure what the connection might be between Bush and Dodson beyond the fact that they both came out of college in 2019, but he evidently served as a bridge between the two Steelers who are now teammates, and perhaps one day will be starting together.
Johnson was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M, where he and Dodson played. Bush was a first-round pick out of Michigan in 2019 and is heading into his third season, though is currently rehabbing from a torn ACL.
That didn’t stop him from participating to some degree in individual drills during OTAs and minicamp, nor did it prevent him from serving as a player coach during that time to players like Johnson, to help them get a leg up.
Outside of Bush, the inside linebacker position is somewhat murky at the moment in terms of how things will be settled. Robert Spillane is the likely candidate to play most of the snaps at the buck position, but Vince Williams will probably be involved in some form or fashion as well.
Then there’s Ulysees Gilbert III and Marcus Allen, and free agent signing Miles Killebrew. Throw Johnson on top of that, and you’re talking about seven players at a position where you’re bound to keep no more than five, unless you bend the numerical rules by viewing Allen and Killebrew as hybrids.
This is a big season for Bush, for not the least reason being that the team has to decide after the year whether or not to pick up his fifth-year option. While he may be rankling some people with his social media posts, he’s showing himself to be a leader on the field, where it matters.