3 reasons losing Devin Bush is not a fatal blow to Steelers in 2020

Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers safety Marcus Allen (27). Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers may want to implement a new ‘base’ defense

Since 1982, the Steelers base defense has been the 3-4.  There was a time where we would stay in base almost exclusively.  That time has come and gone.  Because the NFL is a ‘passing league’, the Steelers have been deploying more sub-package looks on defense than ever before.

Playing sub-package defense lends itself to allowing big plays if the pass coverage is weak.  It remains to be seen how Pittsburgh will replace Bush in the base defense, but in the sub-package defenses, he really doesn’t need to be replaced.

Losing Bush may provide the Steelers with an opportunity to rethink the defensive personnel.  We can still have a base 3-4, but instead of having two inside linebackers, how about having one linebacker and a safety at the other ILB spot? This would be more of a 3-3-5 look than anything else. However, in passing situations, it’s possible that this lineup could even be an improvement.

Marcus Allen is somewhat of a hybrid player who can play both safety and linebacker. Though he wasn’t necessarily known for his coverage skills coming out of Penn State, keeping him in the box and near the line of scrimmage will allow him to operate where he is best.