3 reasons Steelers fans should not expect Devin Bush to get much better
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting sub-par play out of Devin Bush, but here’s why we shouldn’t expect the young linebacker to get a whole lot better.
The 2021 season has not gone according to plan for the Pittsburgh Steelers. While Mike Tomlin’s team is still in the mix for a playoff spot in a wide-open AFC, there are many expectations this team has failed to meet and several players who have been big disappointments this year.
However, no player has been as disappointing as linebacker, Devin Bush. Kevin Colbert traded a first and second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to move up to the 10th overall selection to pick Bush, but his career path is, unfortunately, spiraling downward.
Bush hasn’t come close to living up to lofty expectations, and sadly, there’s not a lot of reason to believe he will turn things around at this stage of his career. Here are three reasons why Devin Bush probably won’t get much better than the player we have seen as of late:
Linebackers historically aren’t the same after ACL tears
While many fans have used Devin Bush’s recent injury as an excuse for his disappointing play this year, I would argue that this is simply another major cause for concern — and one that may not be correctable.
Off-ball linebackers plant, turn, cut, and pivot just as much as about any position in the league on any given play. Sadly, we haven’t seen a lot of linebackers really have outstanding seasons after suffering such a major knee injury. In 2018, former Pro Bowl linebacker Kwon Alexander suffered an ACL tear just 6 games into the season. Since then, he has graded out as one of the worst linebackers in football, according to Pro Football Focus.
Jaylon Smith dealt with something similar. The once blue-chip prospect was never the same after a major knee injury and his play has gotten progressively worse since 2018. This year, he has already been cut by both the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.
The fact of the matter is there really aren’t a ton of success stories for off-ball linebackers who have suffered season-ending knee injuries and there’s no reason to believe that Devin Bush should be an exception to the mold.