Devin Bushfaces a mighty challenge. The Steelers selected Bush in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and they moved up 10 positions to do so, sacrificing a part of their future plans to ensure Bush would wear the black and gold.
Now, Bush is getting thrown to the fire. He ran with the first team at times during OTAs, he called plays and, most of all, he's expected to be great. For him, that all starts with learning his job inside and out and staying engaged off the field, just as he is on it.
“Everything is your job," Bush was saying during Day 1 of Steelers Minicamp Tuesday at the Rooney Complex. "Everything is for you to do on your own, and you gotta carry your weight in the sense of, you’re a grown man and you’re a professional and it’s all on you...
“[I'm] just getting myself better — keeping my head in the playbook, watching more film, definitely getting my body ready for training camp.”
Helping him along the way are many different voices and leaders. There's head coach Mike Tomlin at the top, but Bush also works closely with defensive coordinator Keith Butler, inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky and a special mentor: Ryan Shazier.
The Steelers placed Shazier on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list for the second straight year in 2019, allowing him to stay with the team and to utilize the facilities. And of course, Shazier just can't stay away from the field. He was seen working one-on-one with Bush frequently throughout OTAs, and it's not something Bush takes for granted.
I asked him what Shazier's mentorship means to him, and Bush responded with respect and admiration:
Already feeling a part of the team and a strong connection with his teammates, Bush now must continue to make strides. He's saying the right things, and the early work is promising. But none of it matters if it doesn't translate to the field on game day.
To make sure he's ready, Bush is maximizing those minds around him, saying he's not zeroing in on Shazier or Butler or Tomlin but instead taking everything he can from everyone to gain the best, most well-rounded perspective possible.
“Everybody kind of touches me," Bush said. "I look to seek out as many people as I could because, you know, 20 minds [are] better than one. You get different opinions, you get different ways of looking at things, different perspectives. That’s where I feel like, that’s an advantage instead of just going, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to go to him. I’m going to go to him.’” I like to expand it, keep it open and be open to new ideas."
Listen to Bush discuss the speed of the pro game, the bond with his teammates and much more: