After a couple of down years in Pittsburgh, linebacker Devin Bush wants to prove that he can still be the dynamic player he was expected to be, and he hopes coming to Seattle will be just what it takes to jump-start his career again.
"I knew that I had a place that I could come into and compete right away," he said, via the Seattle Times. "I knew that I had a place that was very historic for defense. It was a place that I also knew liked me early on in the draft process, so we all had something mutual going on and something familiar. I felt like it would be a good chance for me to get outside of my comfort zone and go to Seattle to learn the ways out there and get a chance to play football again."
The Steelers traded up to grab Bush with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 draft, and the initial return on that investment was strong, as the Michigan product put up 109 tackles, which led all rookies and was fourth among all players that year. Add onto that a couple interceptions, four fumble recoveries and a sack, and it was enough to earn him a third-place finish in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.
But he didn't have the chance to follow up that effort, as Bush tore his ACL five games into the 2020 season. Even after returning to the field he wasn't able to get back to that level of play, never surpassing the stats from his rookie season. Ultimately the Steelers decided not to pick up his fifth-year option, then he lost his starting spot at the end of 2022 and the now-24-year-old Bush became a free agent.
"Obviously, I wouldn't say it was up to par," Bush said. "But I had my ups and downs. I think I learned a lot about myself, I learned a lot about this business, and I learned about what I want out of it. I thank the Steelers for taking a chance on me and I thank them for the four years that I had, but it's obviously time to move on, go to different things and learn some more."
Bush said he's now fully recovered from his injury, feeling "like I have never felt before," and ready to move past the hard years to turn over a new leaf in Seattle. There, he'll be able to work with a team that has become known for developing powerful defensive units over the years.
And as he opens this new chapter, he'll be able to play alongside and learn from one of the most well-known of those Seahawks defenders in Bobby Wagner. Wagner was an eight-time Pro Bowler in his 10 years with Seattle as part of its fabled Legion of Boom. And after a one-year stint with the Rams, the veteran outside linebacker re-signed with the Seahawks just 11 days after Bush.
Bush said that when he signed his own contract, he had been hearing the musings of a possible return by Wagner, and expressed excitement over the "possibility" at the time, which was only compounded upon the official announcement.
"Once it happened, it was kind of like a dream come true," Bush said. "I can say that he's a potential Hall of Famer and to be able to play alongside him, I can't ask for a better situation than that."