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2022 Stock Watch – ILB Devin Bush – Stock Down

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers are deep into the season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.

Player: ILB Devin Bush

Stock Value: Down

Reasoning: Presumably fully healthy, the nominal starting linebacker played all of five snaps in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens, this in spite of the fact that the Steelers were already dealing with injuries at the position.

Fourth-year veteran inside linebacker Devin Bush logged a total of five defensive snaps for the Steelers on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. It was the first time in his entire career in which he’s logged single-digit snaps when healthy.

And he has not been listed on an injury report, including this week’s, since week 11, so there’s no reason to think that his lack of playing time had anything to do with availability. In truth, his snap count had been going the wrong way already, logging only 46 combined snaps the past two weeks, but he might not have played at all in this game if Myles Jack were healthy.

The Steelers have been starting Robert Spillane at linebacker the past few weeks (he’s played every single defensive snap in the past three games), but with Jack only playing a handful of snaps, how is it that Bush only got five against a run-heavy team that forced the defense to play heavy sets with few defensive backs?

Well, evidently it’s because the coaching staff was not feeling overly confident that he was among their best options for stopping the run. Which is not very encouraging about his future. Certainly, this appears to be a glaring sign that the team has no intention of bringing him back after this season, not that anybody would be shocked by that revelation.

The man who played instead of him, of course, was rookie seventh-round pick Mark Robinson, who saw half of the team’s snaps and registered seven tackles. They think Robinson can have a future, but his processing speed has to catch up to his body first.

It seems that they may be done waiting for Bush to catch up. He’s only played about two thirds of the team’s defensive snaps this year, logging 81 tackles with two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, two passes defensed, and…nothing else. He hasn’t missed many tackles this year and is only charged with one touchdown in coverage. He’s certainly played better overall than last year. But five snaps when a starter barely played?

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