Updated: Jun 6
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
To say the least, Devin Bush had a tumultuous season in 2021. He just didn't look like the same Bush, who in his rookie year recorded 109 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, two interceptions, and four fumble recoveries. He also didn't play as fast or cover well either, which is supposed to be his strength, and that could be attributed to the fact he was coming off an ACL injury. He was very hesitant at and wasn't playing with confidence.
“I get the chance to play football again how I want to, for real,” Bush said on Wednesday at OTAs via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I get the chance to go out there and be myself. I feel like I’m starting a whole new slate, and I feel pretty good about it.
“I wasn’t happy with my play,” he said. “I wasn’t happy with losing. I went through some things personally. It was a learning process for me.”
Bush returned to his native South Florida for almost two months after the season and said he felt like he was at full strength when training.
“After the season, I got a chance to go home,” Bush said. “I spent almost two months at home. I was able to just go out on the field and put my cleats on whenever I felt like it.
“I was running miles on the beach. I was cutting, planting, jumping, playing around, and my knee wasn’t an issue. I was able to get back to that, and just do normal things and get my confidence back in myself and my knee. I think that was a big part of my rehab actually, just after the season."
Bush was the 10th overall pick by the Steelers in 2019, and it's safe to say that the Michigan product hasn't lived up to expectations. The Steelers traded up to acquire Bush, also. Bush received a lot of flak from the media and fans on social media last season for his poor play. Bush's dad even went on 93.7 The Fan with Paul Zeise to defend his son. Despite the backlash, Bush doesn't feel like he has anything to prove to people.
“I don’t think I’ve got nothing to prove,” Bush said. “I’m a first-rounder, a top ten pick. That’s never going to change. I don’t think I’ve got to prove anything to anybody. I’ve just got to go out there and play football. My mentality is going out there and being a football player again.”
Bush is hoping to get back to his 2019 ways in 2022.
“Before I got hurt, I feel like I was doing good,” Bush said. “I think I was on the way to being an All-Pro and Pro Bowler, but things happen, you go through some things. I learned a lot along the way. It was supposed to happen to me. I’m grateful for it, that I get to go out there and play again.”