When any player is returning from an ACL injury the team’s focus is 100% on that player throughout the process. That focus goes through the roof when it’s an impact player like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Devin Bush. From everything we have gathered his rehabilitation has gone well and he’s on track to be a starting linebacker when the team opens in Buffalo. One could be excused however if they were thinking Bush was returning from a head injury. His social media activity in recent days suggests that perhaps he’s had one too many blows to the head. All humor aside, the fans are concerned and I assure you the Steelers are as well.
How We Got Here
Prior to his injury against Cleveland last fall, Bush was not what I would call “highly visible” on social media. Was he on social media? Yes, but his presence was nothing compared that of several teammates. Over the course of this off-season however he became more and more active.
While his tweets especially were a bit “odd” most didn’t think much of his new attitude. Then came a video he shared this week. The video was of a cat falling to its death. Bush captioned it with a comment about “I thought cats always landed on their feet.” There are some things we should not say and there are some things we should not tweet either. An animal dying definitely falls into this category.
Steelers’ Twitter is never at a loss for drama. That is likely a serious understatement. Most Steelers’ fans were appalled by Bush’s post. There were those who were upset by it but also felt it didn’t deserve the explosive “overreaction” that ensued from many Black and Gold supporters.
What made things worse though was that Bush didn’t really seem to think it was that big of a deal and continued to tweet some bizarre stuff. I’ll be honest; my first thought went back to Michael Vick in the moments after his dog-fighting ring was exposed. He truly seemed to believe he didn’t know what he’d been doing was wrong. The two things aren’t what I’m comparing here so relax. I’m simply stating the reactions of both men seem really similar.
Fans on social media held their breath much of the day in the hopes that Bush would get off of Twitter but not even Zach Banner’s effort to add some humor seems to get passed by.
The min @_Dbush11 lands back in the 412 I’m confiscating his phone lol…
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) July 4, 2021
I’m guessing many of you will recall Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown using social media in less than thrilling ways. The organization recognized times were changing and they devoted an entire position to someone tasked with monitoring all players on social media. Therefore, the Steelers are aware.
What I found as disturbing as some of Bush’s tweets were the attacks on Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. Fans suggested that this was “Tomlin’s fault because he doesn’t hold players responsible.” Tomlin is to blame because “this is the type of thing he tolerates.”
I truly believe that many fans are stuck in their own experiences. They know their high school coaches would have never tolerated such behavior and therefore they apply it to Tomlin and the team. These are adults! They are young men who are still maturing but Mike Tomlin can’t be responsible for their behavior every second of every day. That’s not his job.
What I can tell you is that the team is concerned. They know what Bush has been doing is out of character and for those wondering where is the leadership? Where are the coaches and players taking him aside? Trust me. This is happening. Cam Heyward and Ben Roethlisberger aren’t going to do this publicly nor is anyone else in the organization. But it is taking place.
My advice right now for all of us is to let things play out. The risk is that Bush could keep doing this and further harm his own reputation or that of the team. The team reports in less than three weeks but that’s a lot of down time. I don’t believe we should add anymore drama than necessary but Bush’s overall behavior is seriously concerning.