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Keith Butler outlines Joe Schobert’s role with the Steelers, and what it means for Devin Bush

When the Steelers traded for Joe Schobert, many were wondering exactly what it meant for Devin Bush.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

During the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 1 preseason game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, rumors swirled online of the team trading for Joe Schobert of the Jacksonville Jaguars. As the game progressed, the rumors and reports got more and more legitimate.

Almost a week later, and the trade is official, but it has left many Steelers fans with more questions than answers. For instance, what does this mean for Devin Bush? What about the rumors of Schobert wearing the green dot (communication helmet) during games? Didn’t Bush wear that helmet last season before getting injured?

First, let’s talk about the green dot.

The green dot is given to three players on an NFL roster. One on offense, always the starting quarterback, and two on defense. On defense, it is typically given to players who will always on the field, like an inside linebacker.

When the Steelers traded for Schobert, it didn’t take long for Schobert to tell the media the Steelers planned on him wearing the green dot this season. Again, what about Bush?

Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler met with media following Tuesday’s training camp practice, and he talked about the possibility of Schobert wearing the green dot this season.

“Right now, we’re just trying to see how he fits in.” Butler said. “We had him in the Pro Bowl three or four years ago and we knew he was a smart kid then and there was a reason he was at the Pro Bowl. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him. Every day he’s going to be getting better. He’ll be more confident in terms of what he’s doing and what his teammates are doing around him. I think that’s probably the biggest thing for him right now. Not just learning what he’s doing because if we ask him to be the green dot, he’s gotta kinda know about everything. We think he’s capable.”

Thankfully, the follow up question from the media scrum was about Bush. How did he take the news of Schobert getting the dot? Was he disappointed? Does this mean the Steelers aren’t happy with Bush’s return from his ACL tear?

“No. No, we’re not disappointed in Devin at all. He’s trying to get back healthy, trying to make it back from the knee injury. So, we’re trying to keep that weight off him. He’s still going to help Joe [Schobert]. It ain’t like Devin is done.” Butler stated. “He’s still going to help Joe with some of the calls and stuff like that, some of the things that might happen to him that we haven’t covered. He’s pretty much seen a lot of that. We’re not throwing him out the gate; we’ll still lock him in there. If we’ve got two guys who know what the crap we’re doing, what everybody else is doing, then that’s two quarterbacks we have on our team. We need that. We do.”

Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider asked Butler if this means Bush will come off the field in sub packages, something he was never asked to do since being drafted.

“It depends on how he progresses.” Butler answered. “Like I said sometimes you heal faster from a knee injury, sometimes you don’t. We want to see how he is healing by him playing in the preseason. It gives us a chance to know what we can put on him and what we can’t.”

So, it seems, as of now, the issue isn’t so much with Bush’s overall play, but his ability as he continues the rehabilitation process back from his torn ACL.

What exactly do the Steelers have in mind for Schobert? How much can they expect from him coming out of the gate midway through the NFL preseason? Butler admits having Schobert and Bush together will only help the Steelers’ defense.

“Yes, it will help the defense quite a bit. We like Joe. I liked him when we had him in the Pro Bowl. Very smart young man. He’s got an idea of what’s going on around him, it doesn’t take him long to figure things out, and he can always be good for us during the game. He can tell us what’s going on out there and the things that might be tough on the defense when he learns the defense.” said Butler. “He’s still learning the defense. You play in this league long enough, you play in the league six years, most people run the same stuff except they just call it something different. And it’s a matter of him learning the lingo pretty much. I think when he learns the lingo, he’ll relate it to the other stuff he’s done in the league.”

The role for Schobert in the Steelers’ defense is still being set up, and a lot of that will hinge on the progress of Bush’s recovery. Either way, having a player like Schobert will help the transition back for Bush, and the Steelers’ defense, as they prepare for the upcoming regular season.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming preseason game vs. the Detroit Lions, and the 2021 regular season.