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Thread: Steelers select ILB Devin Bush in first round

  1. #181
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    Top pick Devin Bush turning heads 'really quickly' with Steelers

    Jun 8, 2019

    Jeremy Fowler
    ESPN Staff Writer

    PITTSBURGH -- Fast doesn't adequately describe Devin Bush, according to one teammate.

    "He's quicker than snot," linebacker T.J. Watt said. "He's been flying around and making a lot of good plays."

    The early returns on the Pittsburgh Steelers' first top-10 pick in nearly two decades have been largely positive.

    The 2019 draft featured two inside linebackers expected to contribute right away. One was Devin White, who has made an immediate impact with the Tampa Bay Bucs. The other, Bush, the former Michigan inside linebacker acquired via a draft-day trade with the Denver Broncos, has put his 4.43 speed on full display in the three weeks of OTAs.

    To be sure, the Steelers won't know exactly what they have until they put on the pads for training camp. But a No. 10 overall pick is expected to have a presence from day one, and Bush has.

    "He's not the biggest guy, but he definitely walks with a presence, walks with a purpose," Watt said of the 5-foot-11, 234-pound Bush. "He's taken on a good role in knowing all the plays and being able to call some plays for us."

    Bush has made clear since his introductory news conference that he isn't looking to replace Ryan Shazier, whose speed made him a two-time Pro Bowler on the inside before a severe spinal injury stalled his career. Bush understands the expectations. The team's last top-10 pick was Plaxico Burress, No. 8 overall in 2000.

    Bush simply wants to maximize his capacity and play Steelers football. That process is going strong, and his athletic traits are obvious.

    But the Steelers still need one thing from him: a stronger voice in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage. Defensive end Cam Heyward joked last month that Bush needs more boom in his voice if he's going to call plays for this veteran group.

    "He showed really quickly he’s going to be able to fit in well with the defense with that group of guys," tight end Vance McDonald said. "When you look at him, you don’t expect him to be as quick or as agile as he is. There's a couple of things he needs to work on: being more vocal, because of the role Coach Tomlin wants him to fit into quickly, and the expectation of him doing that. But that’s still such a young thing. You never want to overstep, especially when the pressure is on. I think that will come, especially in Latrobe as he gets the pads on."

    That's when McDonald and others expect Bush to really shine with physicality. For now, he's doing what he was taught to do more than a decade ago: Cover receivers in space.

    Bush has received first-team reps but is sharing time with free-agent acquisition Mark Barron, who figures to play in base or nickel packages. Bush has lined up with tight ends and running backs and looks comfortable in either setting, particularly at the goal line.

    "He’s been flying around, especially seeing him in the seven shots period. He’s high intensity, doing a good job covering people," backup quarterback Mason Rudolph said. "You can see his athleticism, and he’s learning quick."

    https://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/30848/top-pick-devin-bush-turning-heads-really-quickly-with-steelers
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  2. #182
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    Keith Butler On New ILBs: ‘It’ll Help Us In Coverage Quite A Bit’

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on June 16, 2019

    Coverage was one of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest issues as a team last season. Not as much about the cornerback position as you might think, however. Joe Haden was his usual self, and once Coty Sensabaugh settled into the lineup, by no means was he bombarded.

    Rather, the Steelers gave up a lot over the middle, and in key situations, as well. Particularly, the coverage at the linebacker position was lacking, and that was due in large part simply because they did not possess the athletes that could compete in that field at the level necessary for a championship defense with the rest of the group that they have.

    And so they attacked the issue aggressively this offseason, bringing in veteran free agent Mark Barron from the Los Angeles Rams back in March, and then a month and a half later trading first-, second-, and third-round picks to move up 10 spots in the first round to land Devin Bush.

    Nobody was happier about that than was defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who was asked toward the end of the team’s spring drills about how he believes the addition of those two players is going to change the way that his defense is run.

    “It’ll help us in coverage. It’ll help us in coverage quite a bit with both of those guys”, Butler said. “Bush’s dad was a safety at Cleveland when I was a linebacker coach there, and he had always been a good player and very bright, very smart. Intelligence and athletic ability are a great thing to have at that position. So we’ve got to get that from those guys. I think we will”.

    Devin Bush, Sr. was a first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons, playing for the Browns and the St. Louis Rams as well. He reached the Super Bowl with the Falcons and won with the Rams. During his time in Cleveland, as Butler mentioned, their times overlapped, though he did not directly coach him.

    Now, Butler gets to coach not only his son, but a safety who is now a linebacker at this point in the NFL’s development, because of the way that the game has evolved. Barron would have been too slight even a decade or so ago to play the position as an every-down player.

    This time a year ago, the Steelers were trying to figure out who to start alongside Vince Williams between Tyler Matakevich and Jon Bostic. Both of them ended up on the bench or in a reduced role in favor of L.J. Fort by the end of the year.

    Things have certainly changed in a year’s time, as Bush and Barron are both logging time with the first-team defense, sometimes one paired with Williams at a time, at others, on the field together. Time will tell what arrangement ends up being the primary, but one thing is clear, which is that they have much more athletic options.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/ke...e-quite-a-bit/

  3. #183
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    Tim Benz: Steelers’ Devin Bush insists he’s big enough for NFL

    TIM BENZ | Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    We can all be critical. And we often are. But it’s not like Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is blind. Nor are head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

    Certainly, Dick LeBeau wasn’t either.

    They saw this coming.

    The Steelers realized where offense was going in the NFL, even if they may have been guilty of trying to counter with the traditional 3-4 defensive sensibilities longer than they should’ve.

    In at least one area, though, the team tried to keep up with the curve. They knew offenses were becoming pass-happy, especially against them and their usual stout run defense. That realization was even occurring toward the end of the Bill Cowher era.

    They have been looking for athletic, sideline-to-sideline, pass-defending, three-down, speed-oriented inside linebackers for a while now.

    They just can’t keep them healthy. First, it was Sean Spence in 2012, who was lost to catastrophic knee injury in his rookie preseason. Then it was Ryan Shazier’s spinal injury after he emerged as a Pro Bowler.

    Now it’s Devin Bush’s turn to attempt to drag that position for the Steelers into the modern age.

    Again, it’s not for a lack of trying that the Steelers haven’t filled that role with long-term occupants. I remember endorsing the Spence pick for all of those reasons above when others criticized him for being a reach because he was deemed too small.

    If Spence came into the draft — pre-knee injury — in 2019 as opposed to 2012, a player of his ilk would probably be an early second-rounder as opposed to a late third-rounder.

    Similarly, a rookie version of Shazier (in perfect health) may have battled Bush and Devin White for top marks at the position and a spot in the Top 10 of the draft. Yet, even as recently as his 2014 draft class, some people were wondering if maybe Shazier went a little too high to the Steelers at pick No. 15.

    He turned out to be plenty worthy.

    All three players are similar in size. The Steelers list Shazier at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds. Leaving Ohio State he was 237. Bush is 5-foot-11, 234 pounds. Spence measured in at the NFL Combine at 5-foot-11, 231 pounds.

    Yet I heard a lot of whispers of “Boy, the first-rounder looks smaller than I thought” from onlookers at Steelers workouts these last few weeks.

    Clearly, both Shazier and Spence had their careers slowed by single massive injuries. But Shazier struggled with nicks and dings throughout his career before his back injury, averaging 4.5 missed games per year. Spence never started more than nine games in the league but did manage to dress for 46 out of 48 contests once he returned.

    Can Bush’s body sustain the pounding at inside linebacker in the NFL?

    “I’m a grown man as much as anyone else in this locker room,” Bush said. “I’m here to play football. Nothing changes.”

    So far, his position coach, Jerry Olsavsky, says Bush hasn’t looked out of place.

    “He’s just a good, quality player,” Olsavsky said. “We’re anxious to see him (in training camp) when everything is going real. But he’s everything we’ve expected.”

    Olsavsky says Bush shows his ability to bang with big bodies particularly in pass-rushing.

    “Devin is a good pass-rusher,” Olsavsky insisted. “He rushed at Michigan. Being a good pass-rusher, if you’ve got feel, you can be a good pass-rusher.”

    Attacking the passer is one portion of the game where Bush maintains his lack of size may help him.

    “I’m low to the ground. Very quick. Explosive off the first step,” Bush said. “I can generate a lot of power with my legs and my arms. Being able to use my athleticism in the middle to have that quick burst — that strength — to withstand the bigger guys, I think that’s the biggest advantage when I rush inside.”

    Running over pass-blocking running backs when Bush has a head of steam is one thing, tackling them when they are running at him is another. And that’s where the wear-and-tear could come into play.

    That says nothing of the open-field kind of hits in the pass game that befell Shazier, as well.

    At Bush’s size, technique will be as important as physicality.

    “Learning the whole new game, being around a bunch of veterans, it’s a whole new way of playing football,” Bush said. “It’s more mental than physical. I’m learning a lot.”

    The unfortunate thing for the Steelers is that they had tried to be up to speed on this inside linebacking issue.

    Twice.

    Now they appear to be playing catch up. Again.

    Hopefully Bush can get them there and validate that the Steelers have properly identified the problem and invested in the right type of solution.

    They just need to keep that solution on the field long enough, often enough, to prove the point.

    https://triblive.com/sports/tim-benz...nough-for-nfl/

  4. #184
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    Man, too many off season stories; can’t wait till they get it on in training camp.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

  5. #185
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  6. #186
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    Film Room: Devin Bush In Man Coverage

    By Tom Mead
    Posted on July 1, 2019

    We have provided a ton of coverage here about Pittsburgh Steelers first round draft pick, linebacker Devin Bush, so why not a little more. And this coverage is about coverage.

    Alex gave several good examples in an earlier film room article so I’ll try to expand upon that to show you some more examples of specific routes and his ability to defend them.

    Bush brings much needed speed to the position and show very good mental processing to be able to diagnose plays. He was used in various ways on passing plays at Michigan. They used him as a pass rusher from inside and on the edge. When playing more mobile quarterbacks he was used as a spy to limit their ability to scramble and run. They used him in Zone coverage and looked comfortable getting depth, showed good route awareness and ability to read the quarterbacks eyes.

    I am going to focus a little more on the Man coverage abilities. Take a look at a few different routes and see how he handles them:

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/fi...-man-coverage/

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