CARSON, Calif. -- The comparisons have been there for a variety of reasons. Devin Bush is like Troy Polamalu because of his hybrid form and because the Steelers traded up for him. Devin Bush is likeRyan Shazier because of his athleticism at the linebacker position and his nose for the ball.
They're valid. They've always been valid ... most surface comparisons are, especially when there's a very obvious overlap of skills and ability. It wasn't until just before Bush's first defensive touchdown for the Steelers, during a 24-17 win over the Chargers, that I felt he was doing what both of those Steelers were able to do for the team.
Lined up before the snap of the ball, Bush looked ready to blitz as he prowled toward the line of scrimmage. He faked a jump of the ball a couple of times and backed away. We'll never know whether showing the blitz forced a change in Philip Rivers that sent a quick ball laterally to the right ... a ball which Bush picked up and guided in for a touchdown.
Here's that sequence:
Bush lined up inside, faked the blitz, made it outside ... just like Polamalu or Shazier would have done ... scooped and scored. Comparisons pretty valid.
He made his way into the end zone for one of those "team photos," by the way. I just ... wasn't equipped to handle it at the time. You can see, at the right edge of that last photo, Vince Williams pointing to the end zone where I was with another Pittsburgh-based photographer.
They sprinted over and I made this lovely photo of Williams' face, and only his face:
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what it looks like when you're equipped for just about every focal length except for the one for five inches from your face.
Then, before I could do anything to solve the five inches from my face problem, the next sequence happened involving Bush:
I honest-to-God started laughing and said out loud, "they're coming back," mostly in fear of missing another team photo. That never materialized after Tyson Alualu's tipped pass turned into a second turnover for the defense and for Bush, but I did shoot an iPhone photo of the aftermath of Bush sliding into the end zone and a few of his 10 best friends celebrating around him:
The photo at the very top of this Sunday's Best is of Bush faking his blitz. I saw him and chose to start snapping. It wasn't a bad idea. You can even see him in one of the moments he faked his jump -- all his weight on that forward leg.
That one's followed by the rest of the game's best images. See you guys and gals in the comments.