Devin Bush is not the most popular player in Pittsburgh right now, especially after a couple of weeks in a row with a lowlight reel of play, in between which there was a cameo from his father defending his son’s play and yelling at a radio host, saying that he doesn’t know what his son’s assignment was.
Unfortunately, Bush’s play didn’t improve this past week, nor did the criticism cease. In fact, his defensive coordinator, Keith Butler, had some pretty honest words about him yesterday. Earlier in the week, former Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats was much more direct, speaking with The PM Team on 93.7 FM The Fan.
“Every time we bring up Devin, every time we bring up a player that might be struggling we always want to point to these other things, we want to justify and it’s like no”, he said. “Your tape is going to tell me everything I need to know, so don’t tell me you want to make plays when I cut the tape on you, you’re not showing that effort”.
That’s a damning comment, and he doubled down on it. “Don’t tell me that you want to make this tackle, well when I cut the tape on, you’re doing everything that is counterproductive to making a tackle”, he added, and he’s surely referring to his embarrassing effort against Chargers running back Austin Ekeler’s second touchdown run.
“When I think of knee-related stuff, I think of knee-related stuff, I think of your acceleration, your deceleration, I think of your shuffle, I think of how you breakdown in certain instances”, Moats went on, in explaining why he doesn’t believe Bush’s recovery from a torn ACL is to blame with the issues he sees on tape.
“I can pull up multiple instances in every single game every single game where he displays those things perfectly, where his burst is amazing, where you’re like that’s why you were the tenth overall selection”, he continued, though I would contend there are other moments where it does show.
“Vince [Williams] wasn’t the fastest guy, but Vince said when I arrive there, I’m arriving with bad intentions. If a lineman or a tight end comes to block me, I’m trying to put my facemask through your face”, Moats relayed of his former teammate, who retired just before training camp this year.
“When I watch Bush, I don’t think he plays with that same type of mentality”.
To be honest, it’s hard to argue against that. That’s not to say that Bush isn’t capable of playing with physicality, or that he hasn’t done that in the past, but it’s certainly not a consistent presence in his game. It doesn’t have to be, but right now, he’s not making up for it in other ways, either, which is why even Moats subtly referenced the possibility of Bush losing some playing time to Robert Spillane.