Third-year inside linebacker Devin Bush has been one of the most widely-discussed players for the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason; rarely has it been for a reason that you would want. He ended up trending on social media back in June for some of the things he was posting on social media, highlighted by a retweet of a troubling video of a cat jumping off of a structure to avoid his would-be rescuers.
While that was the most obvious issue of concern, many began to follow his page to see what else he would say, and one could fairly say that he displayed a fair amount of immaturity—not out of character for your typical 23-year-old, but still not what you want to see.
While Bush has said that the issue was never addressed on a teamwide basis, he did have some teammates check up on him, such as defensive captain Cameron Heyward, whose fathers were teammates on the Atlanta Falcons for two seasons.
“Our dads played together, but the only thing special about my relationship is, I never lost to Michigan, and he always lost to Ohio State”, Heyward, a Buckeye alum, said of the Wolverine. “But then he stepped on Michigan State’s field when my brother was at Michigan State, so…”
More seriously, he was asked on Thursday about the dynamic of their relationship, not just as a team captain, but also as something of an older mentor. “I just want to be there to provide information for him. He can be a knucklehead at times”, he admitted. “On the field, off the field. He’s just young. It’s gonna come with time, and it’s my job to make him mature, and make sure he becomes a leader of this defense one day”.
While Bush is not the first young player to ever come into the league and display some behavior that others, including teammates, would classify as immature, it is generally in the interest of any public figure to project a positive image of yourself, which he arguably has been something less than great at doing.
On the field, of course, he is still working his way back from having suffered a torn ACL roughly 10 months ago. He played in his first preseason game last week, and was clearly knocking some rust off, playing tentatively.
The Steelers are no doubt hoping to see a big improvement from him this time around as they figure out their plan at inside linebacker. Their next game also marks the debut of Joe Schobert, a veteran with signal-calling experience, and they are trying to solve who will wear the green dot during the regular season, expecting that both should be able to do it.