Which Steelers defender should be tasked with the ‘green dot’ helmet in 2020?

Tommy Jaggi
Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to name a defensive player who will be in charge of communicating to the sidelines. Who should wear the ‘green dot’ in 2020?

In 1994, NFL quarterbacks were issued in-helmet radios so they could communicate with coaches on the sidelines. Defensive players were awarded this opportunity in 2008, and a green dot on the back of the helmet marks the players who are able to communicate with coaches without having to run back to the sidelines. The Steelers now have a decision to make.

In 2019, Mark Barron was the veteran who sported the green dot and was on the receiving end of calls from coaches on the sideline. Now, that task is apparently up for grab on Pittsburgh’s defense. Here’s what ESPN’s Brooke Pryor had to say on Monday:

Which Steelers defender should be in charge of the ‘green dot’

Common sense would tell you that Pittsburgh should give the green dot to a savvy veteran who has been in the system. Cameron Heyward and Joe Haden immediately come to mind. While both seem like great candidates, the Steelers may be unlikely to choose one of them.

Historically, Mike Tomlin has preferred inside linebackers to be in charge of communications. Though Mark Barron just joined the Steelers for the 2019 season, Tomlin had no problem giving him the communications helmet.

Though he was a seven-year veteran before joining the team, Barron had only one offseason to familiarize himself with the system and the playbook. In addition, Barron wasn’t exactly the star of the show on defense, and he was deemed one of their biggest liabilities in 2019.

So who should wear the ‘green dot’?

Being the defensive communications leader is something that Ryan Shazier did quite well for the Steelers. If I had to guess, I think this is a job they will eventually want Devin Bush to take over. Though Bush is just a 22-year-old player entering his second NFL season, he’s already started to make some defensive calls. Having a linebacker in a position of leadership like this is something that Pittsburgh has done for years.

Bush showed a lot of promise as a rookie in 2019. The former 10th overall pick recorded 109 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 4 fumble recoveries, and 2 interceptions as one of the youngest relevant players in all of football last year. He was a former team captain for the Michigan Wolverines and was the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.

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The Steelers may not be willing to give the ‘green dot’ to Devin Bush right away due to his youth and inexperience at the NFL level. However, this is no doubt the guy Tomlin wants to relay the defensive calls. It will happen sooner or later – possibly even this year.