Bush Wants to Show Athleticism, Pass Rush Ability Sunday

Steelers rookie LB expects to play vs Titans after missing last week

Josh Rowntree
August 23, 2019 - 1:50 pm
Steelers LB Devin Bush at practice in 2019

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Devin Bush is ready for dress rehearsal. 

The Steelers rookie linebacker will join the rest of the team as it heads to Nashville for Sunday night’s primetime matchup against the Tennessee Titans, the third game of the preseason.

That game, normally, is seen as the most meaningful of the preseason, as starters are expected to play more minutes than any other game.

Bush was an immediate standout in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay, making ten first half tackles. But he did not play, at all, in last Saturday’s win over Kansas City. Bush dealt with a nagging injury through training camp.

“I feel good,” he said, confirming that he anticipates playing Sunday in the team’s first road exhibition contest. “I’m excited to get out there with these guys and be able to compete  at a high level and have fun.

“Just getting a chance to travel again. It’s going to feel like a real game day, with the travel, the hotel and getting ready for the game.”

While Bush has been impressive early on, he knows there is plenty of areas to improve.

“Turning the ball over,” he said. “I think I need to create more turnovers. It’s something they’ve been emphasizing off of last year. So doing that, making sure tackles and being able to communicate.”

And that is clearly not an easy task. Pittsburgh was one of the NFL’s worst teams in forcing turnovers last season, hence the emphasis in 2019.

“Get your hands on the balls,” Bush said. “Like (Steelers coach Mike Tomlin) says, you’ve go to ball search. If you’re on the ball, you’ve got to punch it out. You’ve got to get your hands on it, catch it, tip it, whatever you can do.”

Bush’s speed and athleticism can, ideally, allow the Steelers’ defense to be a little more free flowing. His ability to quickly get to the edges can take some pressure off the outside linebacker and allow them to blitz the inside of the offensive line more often, knowing that Bush will be there in support. 

He also sees his agility as an opportunity to get the quarterback himself. 

“I’m having the chance to do everything, play the pass, play the run and be the rusher,” he said. “This is a game where I can be able to show that I’m a rusher, as well. I’m very versatile, off the edge, in the A-gap, B-gap, dropping back in pass and playing man-to-man coverage.”

Maybe most impressively, Bush has picked up the playbook and the defensive signals necessary to play the position at a high level. Multiple teammates have raved about his “above-the-neck” game, meaning that his intelligence has stood out. 

“I think that’s something I’ve kind of always been good at,” he said. “In college I think it got even better because I was the main signaler out there, I was the only person signaling. 

“Coming into this defense, communication is everything. Just to have those guys around you, talking to you, alerting you, it makes the game that much more easier.”

Hear more from Devin Bush below.