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: Has Devin Bush ‘checked out’ as far as his connections with the Steelers go, or are we reading too much into his comments?
Entering what everyone knows to be a make-or-break season for Devin Bush, the fourth-year veteran inside linebacker has largely stayed quiet. But when he spoke to reporters the other day and was asked if he felt as though this was indeed a make-or-break season in terms of his future in Pittsburgh, he gave an answer that was met with near-universal disapproval of varying degrees of earnestness.
Essentially, he said that whether his future ends up being in Pittsburgh or elsewhere, he is still confident that he will be somewhere in the NFL next season. Yet with head coach Mike Tomlin’s repeated chorus of wanting volunteers and not hostages, many have interpreted Bush’s comments as expressing indifference to being in Pittsburgh or elsewhere.
Surely, not everybody has the time of their lives during their tenure here, for one reason or another. Bush has been the frequent target of criticism, much of it fair, yet much of it also extending into the realm of vitriol and hyperbole. Numerous Steelers alumni have gone out of their way to admonish him.
But the bottom line is this: has he ‘checked out’, as some have suggested, with regards to his passion for being here, for playing in this defense?
Linebackers coach Brian Flores doesn’t seem to think so, yet the game tape from the preseason opener seems to indicate he is still having some of the same issues he had last season that had the likes of Ryan Clark, Chris Hoke, and Merrill Hoge basically saying he wasn’t playing Steelers football.
Truth be told, only Bush can know the answer to this question. The best we can do is divine the answer out of what he shows on the field. I just hope for his sake he doesn’t get put in front of the microphone too often this year. He doesn’t tend to do his reputation many favors when he does.