The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics 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: Can Brian Flores help ‘fix’ Devin Bush?
I think it was generally assumed when Brian Flores was given the sub-title of linebackers coach that it would mean was working with the outside linebackers, primarily, given that the Steelers have an inside linebackers coach in Jerry Olsavsky, and no formal outside linebackers coach.
Yet Flores told reporters recently that he is primarily working with the inside linebackers, and he even talked somewhat extensively about fourth-year Devin Bush. Given the extra attention that he could be getting with essentially two position coaches, the question then becomes, will it produce results?
Any regular here understands the type of season Bush is coming off of. Not everybody has wholly written him off, however. The fact that he should be both physically and mentally healthier than last year is one factor, but what about the coaching?
Can Flores’ influence help to get Bush back to where he was on the field before his injury in 2020? I think it would be fair to say that he never fully recovered performance-wise from his torn ACL, at least yet. He has the opportunity to prove that last year was an aberration and that he wasn’t quite ready yet.
Losing Stephon Tuitt to retirement was a big blow for the overall potential of this defensive unit, but if they can get back a Devin Bush who is closer to how he played during his first season and a half or so, only with more maturity, that would certainly be a welcome, and perhaps needed, development. Even as he enters the final year of his contract.