When Devin Bush likely walked onto campus at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for the first time, he probably wondered what exactly he was getting himself into. After all, he just left the college life, and was finding himself back in a dormitory going to football practices.
But those feelings likely quickly faded as he realized his dream of playing in the National Football League was finally here. What he quickly realized Sunday at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Fan Fest at Heinz Field was this wasn’t college life, and this wasn’t the Big House at Michigan.
“It was fun,” Bush told Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Just to get the atmosphere, get the feel of the fans in the stadium, get to know your way around, where your sideline is, where you do your pregame warmups, it felt like home.”
Still, this was just practice. He still has quite a few things to check off his to-do list. Next up? His first NFL action against another opponent. This will take place on Friday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Heinz Field in Week 1 of the preseason.
“I’m super excited,” Bush said regarding his debut at Heinz Field.
But throughout his preparation and practices, many fans just want to know how Bush has developed. Is he living up to the hype of a Top 10 pick? Or is he going to follow the Troy Polamalu mold and take a year to develop into a dynamic playmaker?
Who better to ask than his position coach, Jerry Olsavsky.
“That’s the next step [his first preseason game] you have to take,” Olsavsky said Tuesday before practice at Saint Vincent. “How are you in battle? He practiced Sunday at the stadium, so he got familiar with the surroundings. (Now it’s) ‘Hey, what’s it like when (it’s the real thing).’”
Has he impressed in the short time he has spent with the team?
“He’s pretty grown,” Olsavsky said. “That’s the thing. There’s not a lot. He’s doing a real good job of understanding what we’re doing. Sometimes, we switch from day to day. He’s really adaptable. He can do everything. He’s as advertised.”
Bush’s impressions go beyond the coaching staff and even to some teammates. Outside linebacker T.J. Watt has been impressed with how Bush has handled the transition from college to NFL.
“He takes whatever you put on his plate, and he’s doing a great job with it,” Watt said. “He’s also being very aggressive. I’ve very impressed with him.”
All eyes will be on Bush this Friday night when he will not just go against the Buccaneers, but against Devin White, another inside linebacker who was drafted 5 spots ahead of him, 5th overall, out of LSU. Sure, he might not openly admit any angst towards White, but there is no doubt he wants to prove his worth.
It is early, but all signs are Bush is living up to the hype, and getting comfortable in the Steelers’ system.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Buccaneers Friday night at Heinz Field.