2022 Training Camp Questions: Can Spillane Make Legitimate Run At Bush’s Starting Job?

Guess what, folks. It’s training camp time. And that means it’s time for training camp questions. For the first time since 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe after having been forced to remain in Pittsburgh, where they held their past two training camps inside of the Field Formerly Known as Heinz.

Even though the Steelers are back on very familiar ground, more specifically on that of Chuck Noll Field, this is a training camp that is unusually full of certainty. After all, they haven’t had a genuine quarterback battle in a couple of decades, but they have one now with Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph.

We’ve got yet another new offensive line, with some incoming veterans in James Daniels and Mason Cole. Myles Jack is in at inside linebacker, replacing Joe Schobert, and we’ll have to see if Devin Bush can return to form after last year’s dismal display.

There’s still so much going on, and training camp will only create more questions as we go along, even as it starts to provide some answers. We’ll be covering them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.

Question: Can Robert Spillane make a legitimate run at a starting job this year?

It may or may not have raised a few eyebrows when the Steelers’ first depth chart of training camp was released and it showed Robert Spillane listed as a co-starter with Devin Bush at one linebacker position. it may or may not have, I say, because I honestly didn’t check the comments. But I found it interesting, anyway.

Suffice it to say that the Steelers were not satisfied with the quality of play that they got out of the inside linebacker position last season, and accordingly they swapped Joe Schobert out in favor of his former Jaguars teammates, Myles Jack. And now they are, potentially, challenging Devin Bush’s starting position.

Bush is, of course, the team’s former 10th-overall draft pick, who was off to a successful start to his career until he tore his ACL five games into his second season. He played very poorly coming back from that injury last year, such that several former Steelers defenders tore him to pieces—and even some offensive players.

The hope, naturally, is that he will feel much more comfortable, both physically and mentally, another year removed from that injury, and the truth is, based on reports, he has looked much more comfortable. The real test will be in stadiums.

Spillane may not be able to match Bush athletically, but he can certainly match him from above the neck, as he is a true student of the game and spends his days looking for any edge he can give himself. Can that translate into winning a starting job over the course of the next month? Is that a legitimate proposition for him?

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