It’s an antiquated notion that in order to play football at a high level, you have to have a certain type of attitude or personality, a disposition that allows you to play the game in a way that leads to success. This is demonstrably false, the Pittsburgh Steelers themselves alone having a number of players on their roster who defy that stereotype.
From Alejandro Villanueva and David DeCastro to Vance McDonald and others on down the line—historically, two big examples being Heath Miller and Troy Polamalu—we know quite well that you can be a different person on and off the field.
So of course local media members asked inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky about rookie Devin Bush’s personality, which they wondered may not be the typical attitude that they view as conducive to success at the position.
“He has that linebacker attitude when he goes and celebrates and he gets the ball”, Olsavsky observed, referencing a taunting penalty he had on Sunday.” And some things like pointing at a guy who’s an excellent receiver, that, to me, is atypical, because I think he should realize that he’s a great player, and he doesn’t need to do things like that, because he’s just going to make enough great plays where people are going to be like, ‘wow, we just need to stay away from this kid’”.
When you speak to him off the field, however, you might never know that he plays football for a living. While he might have some swagger to him, he is generally soft-spoken and polite, generally with a smile on his face and a positive outlook.
“He’s a nice kid, he’s polite and stuff like that, but trust me, underneath all that, there is a nuclear reactor of emotion going on, and that’s what charges him to make those plays”, Olsavsky said. “So he may not be as outspoken as Greg Lloyd or as flamboyant as Kevin Greene or demonstrative as Joey Porter, but it’s in there, and it comes out in these little spurts, and that’s what you see, but then he’s like, ‘oh yeah’, because he expects to do that”.
“Trust me, he is a linebacker through and through”, he added. “He just only lets it out once in a while”.
The only time that ‘attitude’ really ever comes into play is in expression and communication. Right now, Bush can still stand to grow in that department, and he can take his cues from Vince Williams for the time being.