Latest Steelers Buzz

Insider Only Latest Steelers Buzz: Off-Season Additions, Selection of dynamic ILB Devin Bush gives Mike Tomlin/Keith Butler no excuses in 19


“If we stayed put, we weren’t going to get Devin Bush,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said on trading up to No. 10.

Kevin Colbert’s bold move of moving up to the No. 10 pick in selecting Devin Bush was the necessary impact move the Steelers had to make at a position of major need and what getting a dynamic player like Bush does for this defense is put an exclamation point on revamping the defense this off-season.

“When you make a trade up to the top 10, we were very excited to make that trade and get Devin Bush,” said Colbert. “It was something we wanted to do and were able to do it. This is a unique football player. Where we had Devin rated, we didn’t feel guilty about trading up to get him” Colbert said. “He wasn’t the 15th player on our board by any stretch of the imagination. He’s a unique football player.”

It’s easy to start picturing an identity with this group for 2019 and the pressure now turns to Mike Tomlin and Keith Butler to show they know how to maximize a defense for the modern day NFL. The pieces trickling into place.

Adding Bush makes the signing of Mark Barron look much better in that the Steelers defense will be significantly faster and more athletic in the middle of the field.

“As an inside linebacker, his game is really predicated on what is needed to play the position in modern-day NFL football,” Colbert said. “He cannot only play the run he has exceptional cover abilities. We’re very, very excited to be able to move up and get a young player, a young man, like Devin Bush.”

Believed to have had a top-5 grade on Bush, what the Steelers also love about Bush is his dynamic ability to blitz. He’s just a do-it-all linebacker who has drawn comparisons to Derrick Brooks. If Bush comes close to being Derrick Brooks, it won’t matter what happens with the rest of the Steelers 2019 draft class long-term.

He’s an all-situations linebacker, really, all-three down type of guy, versus the run, versus the pass, being in coverage or in pressures,” head coach Mike Tomlin said of Bush. “I don’t want to underscore his blitzing capabilities, just as exciting…… Those are just the tangible things. We were equally impressed and fired up about his intangibles. He comes from a football family. He’s a football guy. Everyone speaks highly of him, not only as a player but as a person. His leadership skills are unquestioned.”

Combining Bush with a hybrid LB in Barron to go with 2nd year DB Terrell Edmunds gives an element of being a fast, unpredictable defense from a scheme standpoint that can run a number of different packages. That’s what you have to do in today’s NFL.

There’s still a few obvious weaknesses with the defensive personnel, namely Bud Dupree and Sean Davis, but there’s enough talent at every spot now with the Bush selection, off-season additions where I just see no excuse for Mike Tomlin, Keith Butler in 2019.

The Steven Nelson signing has drawn it’s criticism but many keep forgetting how good Joe Haden still is. Having Nelson in the fold as your No. 2 cornerback is a significant upgrade from what the Steelers were throwing out there in 18 opposite Haden.

And the way Round 1 went, it shows how bland of a pick a cornerback would have been at No. 20. The value to get a cornerback was always going to be in Round 2 or 3.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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