One of the toughest things for any athlete to do is live up to an immense amount of hype. But Devin Bush is doing everything possible to do just that.
First, Bush reignited a flame of excitement into Steelers fans following an offseason of drama, when Pittsburgh traded up to draft the star linebacker out of Michigan. He then wowed both fans and media with his immediate ability to learn the playbook and take charge of the defense at the team’s rookie minicamp. This then carried over to training camp, as he showed no fear in acting as a the quarterback of the defense, even amongst veterans. However, none of that would matter if it didn’t translate into success during games.
Bush’s first game experience in the NFL proved to be yet another example of why many believe he will be the next “face” of the Steelers franchise. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft played the entire first half, finishing the night with 10 total tackles, seven of which were solo, and a near interception. As impressive as his stat line was, it wasn’t even the best part of Bush’s preseason debut. The fact that Bush called the plays, especially as part of a two-minute drill to end the half, is what really stood out.
For maybe the best evaluation of his preseason debut, Devin Bush himself spoke about how he felt in his first NFL game action and what he still needs to work on.
While there’s tons of pressure already on Bush, not only to adequately replace Ryan Shazier, but to be a perennial Pro-Bowl linebacker, who can serve as a Ray Lewis type in Pittsburgh for the next decade plus, the expectations are only going to increase thanks to performances like Friday night.