The Pittsburgh Steelers trade for Devin Bush was received with generally positive reviews. However, it was a risk, of course. The Steelers traded two picks to get into the top 10 for an off-ball linebacker.
Most teams who move up ten spots into the first round do so for a franchise-changing quarterback. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Rosen are recent picks at 10 overall that were acquired via trade up. Devin Bush is a great player and he fills a huge need, but is his value at a franchise-changing cost? Potentially. The value with Bush can be seen on video, we have watched some of his dynamic playmaking abilities.
However, the reason Devin Bush goes from a player you want to trade up for to a player that you pull the trigger on goes beyond what you can see on the field.
When Ryan Shazier went down due to an injury it was obvious the Steelers lost an athletic talent and a speedster in the middle of the field. However, on top of that they lost a play caller. It was quite apparent that the Steelers had issues getting in line, and communicating with each other once Shazier went down. As shown in the play below, it was a devastating factor that led to giving up 42 points to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs.
When the team drafted Terrell Edmunds, they bragged out about his communication skills. Jon Bostic and Morgan Burnett brought similar qualities. However, injuries to Burnett, lack of experience for Edmunds and lack of speed for Bostic had the team relying heavily on Vince Williams as a play caller.
Williams took steps as the year went on, but it was clear that the role was a bit too much for him. Williams showed that while he can play the role of Robin, he is much better with a batman.
Devin Bush was the communicator as a play caller for Michigan. While he has the communications skill to match Burnett, Bostic and Edmunds, he adds the health, speed and instincts that all three lacked.
It may not come immediately, but sooner rather than later Devin Bush will be calling plays in Pittsburgh. The totem pole effect of putting Vince Williams back in a role he is more comfortable in could arguably make two positions better.
Bush is vocal, he is smart, he is an emotional leader. In a time where “culture” has been the keyword in Pittsburgh for the bad and the issues associated with the term, Bush was brought in to Pittsburgh to spin the definition again.
For #Steelers fans, a Devin Bush story a team told me: In a game Michigan was getting beat up, DC Don Brown was heading to chew on the defense after a poor series. Bush stopped Brown on the sidelines and said, “Let me do it.” Then he tore their asses up and challenged everyone.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) April 26, 2019
Devin Bush is not going to be afraid to call out his teammates when he feels they are not living up to the standard. Bush is going to set a culture by doing his job, and setting an example, as highlighted in his leadership skills at Michigan. The type of fire to challenege your peers and elevate those around you runs through Bush. Plus, he spent a lot of time with Jim Harbaugh. He clearly has that same crazy fire.
Devin Bush's act wasn't just random.
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) October 20, 2018
Do you think Devin Bush is going to take his rivalry with the Ravens, Browns and Bengals seriously?
Devin Bush has a chance to turn the culture back into one you associate with Pittsburgh. As a top ten pick, he has to take on a leadership role of the defense, and eventually the identity of the Steelers. In a time where the Steelers need a voice, and someone to change the tone and the culture, this absolutely played into the Steelers interest and desire to trade up for him.
It may sound like a lot seeing the Steelers trade up into the top ten. However, on the field, off of the field and in terms of the overall perception and dynamic of the Steelers, Devin Bush was a great fit as the quarterback of the defense moving forward.