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 Devin Bush retain his elite speed following his knee injury?
One of the biggest questions, or concerns, facing the Steelers this upcoming season is simply this: Will Devin Bush be Devin Bush? They made a bold trade up in the first round, into the top 10, just two years ago in order to get him, with his elite speed being his defining, though not sole trait. Will he still have it?
We don’t have much to go on right now. We’ve seen him in just one preseason game, with terrible preseason camerawork that rarely gives you a glimpse of a player doing much running. There has been much made of an early play in the game in which he allowed a chunk-play catch-and-run to a tight end, but overall, the game didn’t reveal much about his speed.
Chances are high that you’re not going to look your best during your first in-game action after a major knee injury. He seemed to play tentatively to me, favoring the path of least resistance when he was in traffic, for example.
A lot of that will change over time. But there are always concerns when a player suffers a significant injury. Medical science has made incredible advancements that help athletes make exceptional recoveries, but there remains a risk that they won’t quite be the same, at least immediately afterward, even after what is these days a relatively ‘routine’ torn ACL.