Ryan Shazier has high hopes for his replacement.
The Steelers traded up to take Devin Bush out of Michigan with the 10th overall pick in April’s draft, and Shazier is already impressed by the linebacker’s efforts in the preseason.
“To me, I think Devin’s going to have a great year,” Shazier said on “NFL Total Access” on Wednesday. “He’s been showing amazing progress every day while he’s been in camp. You’ve seen the way he plays. He had 10 tackles in the first half (against the Buccaneers). Sometimes it’s hard for people to get 10 tackles in two games.
“I think he’s going to make a lot of splash for us. He’s going to be a big-time player for us. I don’t want to put too many expectations on him but I know one of his goals is to win defensive MVP, and I want to do whatever I can to help him out. I think he’s not gonna be that far away from it. I think he’s gonna have a great year.”
Shazier, who hasn’t played since suffering a serious spinal injury against the Bengals in December 2017, spent time with Bush this summer and even had one-on-one sessions with him during camp to ensure that the rookie got comfortable as he prepares to help fill the large void left in Pittsburgh’s defense.
“A lot of times he might ask me some questions when things might go on in meetings. Sometimes we might watch film together,” Shazier said. “I had some great leaders when I played, and I’m just truly thankful for the player I am because of the insight they gave me. So sometimes I give him some insight. I don’t know if he’s listening to it or not, but I just kinda try to give him the insight I wish someone would’ve gave me.”
Bush, 20, had 172 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and an interception in 32 games in his three seasons at Michigan. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and was a huge part of coach Jim Harbaugh’s defense.
As for Shazier, he’s heading back to school to finish the psychology degree he never completed at Ohio State before entering the NFL draft in 2014. He’ll pick up where he left off at the University of Pittsburgh, with classes scheduled to start next week.
But his long-term goal of reviving his NFL career remains unchanged.
“It’s going well,” Shazier said of his rehab progress, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m just working every day, doing the best I can, and I can’t complain. I’m just trusting God and working hard.”