Let me preface this with some simple facts.
This was just a preseason game.
Devin Bush didn’t even play the entire game.
He went up against some starters, but majority backups.
But there is one more fact I want to get across before I go any further...
This was also Bush’s very first time stepping onto an NFL field for a game of any kind.
Think about that.
When all was said and done, Bush tallied 10 total tackles, 7 solo, and would have had a pass break up had a Tyson Alualu roughing the passer call nullify the play. In fact, the pass break up should have been an interception; nonetheless, Bush was dynamic. As dynamic a player Steelers fans have seen since Ryan Shazier flew all over the field as a rookie in 2014.
It would be easy to think the Steelers’ top rookie in their 2019 draft class could start to believe the hype being talked about him. To start and believe what all the fans are raving about the day after a tremendous first performance with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But if you think that, you haven’t heard any of the interviews Bush has given since being drafted 10th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. The young man is extremely humble. He isn’t going to start patting himself on the back and touting himself as the next big thing in the Steel City.
No, he’ll let his play do the talking for him.
Just listen to this brief interview he gave with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews after the game, which was broadcast over the stadium sound system.
Bush seemed more excited his Michigan teammate Zach Gentry catching a touchdown pass more than him performing in a dominant fashion in his NFL debut.
Mike Tomlin talked about Bush after the game, and had a glowing report for the former Wolverine. “I was less concerned with his productivity and more concerned about his demeanor, and I really liked his demeanor,” said Coach Mike Tomlin in his post-game press conference. “He was present, it wasn’t too big for him. He handled the communication responsibilities associated with his job. He was alert and those were good signs.”
That is about as glowing of a report Tomlin will ever give in a post-game press conference after a preseason game for a rookie.
But back to Bush. He was just out there playing football and having fun.
“I was just feeling it,” Bush told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “I was just having fun. I think that’s the biggest thing, I was having fun and playing football.”
When I look back at the film of Bush from Week 1 of the preseason, the one thing which can’t escape my brain is how this is his first professional game. Was Bush perfect? No, but the way he played just screamed of a maturation uncommon for NFL rookies. If this is his floor, just imagine what his ceiling would be?
Maybe it is being the product of a father who was an NFL player, and being a part of big-time football his entire life. But whatever it is, Steelers fans shouldn’t just be excited about Bush’s play in Week 1, but in the prospects of his undeniable potential.
For once, when someone says “the sky is the limit”, they might not be exaggerating. Bush could be that good, but it won’t be easy. The Kansas City Chiefs coming to town next Saturday will be a great test for the rookie linebacker.