The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Was Mike Tomlin alluding to (among others) Devin Bush when he said the team will not be bashful about turning personnel stones over?
Devin Bush actually had two pass deflections during Thursday’s game. One of them ended up being intercepted by Ahkello Witherspoon.
That’s about all you can say positively about his play for the past month or more, which has been the target of public criticism from a variety of directions, including multiple former Steelers players specifically calling him out for both his play and his effort, among them Arthur Moats and Ryan Clark.
Bush finished last night’s game with a team-high eight tackles, but as you know, that doesn’t tell the full story, such as the plays that he missed for tackle a bad angle. And I’m sure you noticed Marcus Allen and Buddy Johnson out there on the field.
In addressing some personnel rotations during the game, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Johnson and Allen getting playing time, and he was decisive in his response, saying that they were looking for people who would make plays, and that they would not be bashful turning over stones to try to find them.
While Allen and Johnson played yesterday, there’s a chance that Robert Spillane works his way back before the Steelers’ next game. If he is healthy and on the field, how much does he end up playing in comparison to Bush? To be sure, the defense has far more problems than just Bush. But he is certainly one of their most recognizable.