"I just wanted to be vocal the best I could and trust what I see, whether I was right or wrong," Bush told the media following Fridays first day of Steelers rookie minicamp via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I know concepts already, I just got to learn the language — different things they call, different things they speak. I just got to get familiar with the playbook, get familiar with the language and get confident in my play-calling."
You multitask on a weekend like this, said Tomlin. You have people here under different circumstances. You are really sensitive to that. Some guys like Devin Bush, you are getting them oriented into how we do business, whats going to be expected and introducing him to the drill. Where as others who are on less stable footing you are more respectful of their position and the fact that they may be trying to earn a spot or gain somebodys attention, so you want to provide opportunities to them to show themselves.
Granted, its just the first day and the first day of rookie minicamp at that. There are no pads. The season is still more than three months away. But one cannot help but be impressed by a first-round pick having a mission on Day 1 and setting forth to achieve it.
"[Showing] why I belong here, why I belong in the NFL, that Im going to play here for a long time," Bush said.
While the majority of Pittsburgh headlines — and controversy — in the recent past have been attributed to the teams offense, notably quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the departed LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown, defense used to be the franchise calling card and has been in need of improvement and perhaps a face.
Once again, its just rookie minicamp. Talks of Bush joining the legendary ranks of famed Steelers defenders of the past such as Jack Lambert, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Mel Blount, Rod Woodson and Troy Polamalu would be folly.
Given his prowess around the goal line for Kentucky, Snell could yet find himself the man in short yardage situations, but Samuels proficiency as a third-down back should see him end the year with more carries and snaps than Snell. Expected improvements in his pass protection after his second training camp should only further cement his place as the backup to Conner. If Snell is to make the job his, barring a regression by Samuels, he will need to have an exceptional preseason.
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Still, the Steelers took Bush with the No. 10 pick for a reason. And its never too early to begin proving your worth and showing your new employer what the future can be.
"Just being out there, getting back in football mode, its football again," Bush said. "So Im happy to be back.
“I felt like I was made to be a Steeler,” Snell said on 93.7 The Fan earlier this week. “It was just right. It feels right. This is my type of football and the fit was just perfect. I feel that Ive been in a lot of situations, and the NFL is completely different, but I feel like Ive had pressure on my shoulders on so many occasions that I became successful at the end of the game. Or I was able to get those tough yards, get the touchdown if needed, so I feel like whatever situation Im put in, Im going to try to give my best so we can have the best outcome.”
"Now Im a part of the Steelers organization. Im a Steeler. Im very grateful to be in this position right now."
Everything from jersey numbers, skilled plays caught on film and activity levels were all the rage on social media, and websites like this, as they try to get a grasp on who might be big-time playmakers, and who might just be praying to stay on the 90-man roster long enough to collect a few paychecks.
One of the more head-scratching aspects of Day 1 was the activity level, or should we say inactivity level, of third round pick Diontae Johnson. The former Toledo wide receiver was present, but only participated in individual drills.
Johnson participated in the individual portion of the 1-hour, 45-minute workout, but he did little after that.
Johnson said he was not injured — Im fine. Im fine right now. — and deferred questions about his lack of participation to coach Mike Tomlin.
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While his participation on Day 2 will be a good glimpse of whether he is dealing with a nagging injury or was held out for other reasons, it is safe to say any reason for him to be sitting out on Day 1 of Rookie Minicamp is not a big deal.
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The Steelers newest wide receiver will get every opportunity to show off his skills when the veterans show up for minicamp and Organized Team Activites (OTAs) and eventually training camp, but for now taking precaution is paramount.
As for Johnsons overall thoughts on his first day with the Steelers? He is just happy to be back playing football.
Its exciting being able to play football again, being able to run routes and catch balls and learn the plays, Johnson said.