Dunlap: Make Devin Bush The Big Dog

Colin Dunlap
May 02, 2019 - 6:19 am
Devin Bush with Roger Goodell

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I don't want to hear this nonsense. 

Don't give me this stuff about competing. I'm not going to be your audience for some talk about a feeling out period, a competition at St. Vincent or anything else. 

Oh, and I'm not into any depth-chart shenanigans, either. I don't want to read about "co-starters" or, God forbid, see the man as a backup. 

Get this and get it loud and clear: Devin Bush needs to be the starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers from Day One at the inside linebacker position opposite of Vince (Bince, if you must) Williams. 

There, I said it. I'm not into some rookie earning his keep or forcing his way into the lineup. I'm not into Bush needing to beat out Mark Barron for anything --- the job should be handed, yes handed, to the Michigan rookie starting right now. 

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It should be Bush's to lose and not anything else. 

You see, that's the way it should work out when an organization thinks highly enough of a player to use a few draft picks to trade down to the No. 10 pick overall in the draft. The player selected knows --- and everyone else in the NFL-consuming world does, too --- that he's highly-sought-after and a guy who is tabbed as someone who the organization feels can swing the fortunes of the franchise. 

So while I am not certain of this, a good bet is that there will be this talk and action of competition with Barron in the coming days. There will be a stated emphasis on a sort of "best man will win" route taken by the Steelers as they handle all of this. 

For me, I'd like to see it go another way. 

Give the rookie the job and see if he loses it --- the bet here is that he won't. 

List Bush No. 1 on the depth chart and let him burst with confidence. Run him with the ones in all the offseason drills and allow this young man to realize just how much is on his shoulders. 

There shouldn't be any easing in period or some chicanery wherein he needs to compete for a designation. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers rarely do what they did on draft day when they advanced forward on the board to get their man. 

He is, unquestionably, their man. 

So with all that said, make Bush the man from the very first day and don't be wishy-washy or gradual about it. Throw this man right in as the starter. 

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