While Antonio Brown was going about the business of getting himself suspended before the Raiders' opener Monday night against the Broncos, the Steelers were quietly going about theirs preparing to face the Patriots Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
A big part of those preparations has centered around getting the player the Steelers acquired with the help of the picks acquired in the Brown trade ready for his first NFL game.
And by all accounts, the Steelers feel inside linebacker Devin Bush is up to that challenge.
"He’s been ready. He’s a football player, and a good one at that. I definitely think he’s ready," fellow inside linebacker Mark Barron told me of the rookie. "He’s a smart football player. That’s really what it takes. Physically, he’s got everything you need. It’s about being up to speed mentally, and I think he’s ready for that."
There's little doubt the Steelers will miss Brown's production on the football field. But the two draft picks they acquired from the Raiders -- in the third and fifth rounds -- gave them the ammunition needed to move up from the 20th spot in the first round this year to the 10th and acquire the speedy inside linebacker from Michigan.
To hear Mike Tomlin earlier in the week, you'd think the Steelers are going to be cautious with how much they use Bush in this game.
"We’ve got some young guys that have a chance to play significant roles for us, but we also understand it is their first time in the stadium, so we have to manage some of that," Tomlin said. "Some of the Devin Bushes of the world, and guys like that who have a chance to be big components of what we do. But you also have to balance that with the fact that it’s their first time stepping into the stadium. So, there’s a lot of things to consider."
That's all well and good. But by all accounts, Bush is more than ready to take on a very active role against the Patriots.