Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick Devin Bush isn’t going to be the biggest inside linebacker to ever set foot on an NFL field. At 5-foot-11 and 234 pounds, Bush is a bit undersized compared to some of his compatriots across the league.
However, Bush believes he’s plenty big enough to be effective in the NFL.
“I’m a grown man as much as anyone else in this locker room. I’m here to play football. Nothing changes,” Bush said, via Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
While Bush may have been too small to play the position a decade ago, he may ultimately be the perfect size to handle the modern NFL game. With the proliferation of spread offenses and pass-heavy attacks, Bush’s speed and athleticism could prove to be the ideal counter to the trends of the NFL.
He’ll be asked to do a wide range of tasks in Pittsburgh’s defense as well. He’ll be called upon as a blitzer in Keith Butler’s 3-4 defensive scheme in addition to covering quick receivers and tight ends over the middle of the field, and tracking down running backs out of the backfield. With fewer and fewer teams looking to run the ball, he’s not going to have to worry about being blocked by guards or tackles as frequently.
But when he does have to take on bigger players, he believes he’s built to handle it.
“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.”
Bush had 161 tackles with 18.5 for loss with 10 sacks, 11 passes defended and an interception during his final two seasons at the University of Michigan.