Repeat as necessary

The response after a critical road win in which he had scored his first NFL touchdown was more matter-of-fact than emotionally charged.

Devin Bush is that way off the field, steady and seemingly unaffected by what’s transpiring around him.

The Steelers’ rookie inside linebacker is much more mild mannered than maniacal.

But on the field he’s the guy who was on display in Sunday night’s 24-17 decision over the Chargers in Carson, Calif.

“The thing about him that’s great is, you could look at him and he’s a nice kid, he’s polite and stuff like that, but trust me, underneath all of that there is a nuclear reactor of emotion going on,” inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky maintained. “And that’s what charges him.

“He may not be as outspoken as Greg Lloyd, as flamboyant as Kevin Greene or as demonstrative as Joey Porter, but it’s in there. Trust me, he is a linebacker through and through. He just only lets it out once in a while.”

Bush was a lightning rod for the ball against the Chargers.

He scooped and scored when a backwards pass got away from quarterback Philip Rivers (“They didn’t blow it dead, so until they blow it dead it’s still a live ball,” Bush explained).

He came up with an interception of a Rivers pass that had been tipped at the line of scrimmage by defensive end Tyson Alualu.

And Bush led the Steelers with seven tackles.

The 10th overall pick in last spring’s draft became the first NFL rookie with a fumble-return TD and an interception in the same game since safety Eddie Jackson of the Bears in 2017, and the first Steelers rookie to pull that off since cornerback Delton Hall in 1987.

Through six games Bush leads the Steelers in tackles (52) and has had a hand in six of their 15 takeaways (an NFL-leading four fumble recoveries and two interceptions).

To Olsavsky, such numbers represent a start for Bush but only that, a launching point much more than an arrival.

The Steelers prepare for the Week 8 matchup against the Miami Dolphins

“He’s just going up the next step and that’s what I told him,” Olsavsky said. “I’m not surprised he’s made any plays. I don’t subscribe to the idea that somebody could only make a fumble recovery and a touchdown and an interception in one game. Every series go out there you could make a play, and it could be a great play.

“I don’t want to limit him in any way. I never tied to limit Ryan (Shazier). I’m not going to try to limit Devin. Because they’re great players and they’re great people, so who’s to say I can’t make a play every drive I go out there?

“He makes some mistakes, but you get tired and you’re young and things happen, that’s how football is. Just the fact that you keep coming back after all those plays is what’s hard to do. But that’s what he’s learning, and he’ll get there.”

The taunting penalty Bush drew in the third quarter against the Chargers is the type of mistake Olsavsky considers unnecessary for a player of Bush’s caliber.

“Pointing at a guy who’s an excellent receiver, I think he should realize he’s a great player and he doesn’t need to do things like that,” Olsavsky said. “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.’”

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