Steelers News

Mike Tomlin Excited About ‘Big Brother-Little Brother’ Relationship Between Myles Jack, Devin Bush

The Pittsburgh Steelers watched their inside linebackers line up time and again last season and found their performance, if not their effort, wanting, so they made a change this offseason. They brought in veteran Myles Jack and are pairing him with Devin Bush, their 2019 first-round pick, in the hopes that his play last season is not indicative of where he is now, which is also another year removed from a major knee injury.

While still quite young—he just turned 27 days ago—Jack is entering his seventh season in the NFL and has over 500 tackles under his belt. He has a lot he can teach Bush, and that’s something head coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t recognized as he’s watched their relationship evolve.

“It’s been really good”, he said of how the two have come to work together over the course of the offseason, via the transcript of his remarks yesterday provided by the team’s media department. “I thought those two guys have done a really good job of establishing a rapport”.

Both Bush and Jack have also spoken very favorably about their growing relationship, and Jack has even said that the younger linebacker has shown him some things, particularly as it pertains to the nuances of the Steelers’ defense. But most of the instructing, and not just about football, is going decidedly in one direction.

“Obviously, Myles Jack is a more veteran player, and it’s been cool to watch the nature of that big brother-little brother relationship”, Tomlin said. “I’ve been excited about that, but they’ll get an opportunity to write the true essence of that story with how they play collectively as a tandem, and I’m excited about them”.

Cut by the Jaguars in March, the Steelers were quick to sign Jack up on a two-year, $16 million contract. He replaced Joe Schobert, whom they acquired via trade the previous August, and who struggled to find his footing without much of an offseason, getting released in order to compensate the cap hit.

Bush entered this, his fourth season, somewhat embattled. He was listed as a co-starter with Robert Spillane from the time training camp opened until the first official depth chart of the regular season put out earlier this week.

To his credit, he did make a few plays during the preseason, and generally looked more comfortable, both on the field generally and in his movements, but we also continued to see some of the same issues that had fans clamoring for him to be benched last season.

My sense is that Bush’s leash is not infinitely long. If he reaches a similar level of struggles that he showed last season, he will get demoted, if not benched, with both Spillane and perhaps even rookie Mark Robinson as options. Or they could just play more dime defense with only Jack on the field at linebacker, something they’ve done before when they were less than satisfied with the group.

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