RENTON — Devin Bush knows why Seattle pursued him — and he’s confident he can deliver.
Heading into his first season with the Seahawks, the 25-year-old believes he can make a difference as part of a thin linebacker group that seems likely to be without 2022 leading tackler Jordyn Brooks, who suffered a torn ACL late last season.
Bush is three years removed from a major knee injury of his own. But he isn’t worried about his ability to stay on the field, and views his one-year, $3.5 million deal with Seattle as proof of its faith in his abilities.
“I don’t think I have much to prove, I just think it’s just more of a reminder, you know, I’ve obviously come back from that,” Bush said. “I’ve been back for going on three years now and if I wasn’t healthy, if I wasn’t still good enough, I’m sure coach (Pete) Carroll wouldn’t ever even have picked up the phone to call me. I’m here for a reason and I’m here to play a role.”
Bush finished third in defensive rookie of the year voting after getting picked 10th overall by Pittsburgh in the 2019 draft, but underwent ACL surgery the following season. Since then, he hasn’t been able to match the level of play from his first year.
Bush became a free agent in March when Pittsburgh declined his fifth-year rookie option. Soon after, the Seahawks called and offered him a chance at a significant role with Brooks still recovering. Seattle also lost Cody Barton, who signed with Washington in free agency.
One exciting thing for for Bush about being in Seattle is the presence of Bobby Wagner, who signed a contract to return to the Seahawks nine days after Bush inked his deal. The pair have texted back and forth since Bush’s rookie year with the Steelers, but had never met in person before becoming teammates.
Bush is trying to soak up every bit of knowledge he can from the veteran linebacker, who he describes as a “coach on the field.”
“He’s a good guy to pick his brain with knowledge, and he’s a good guy to talk to just as a person too,” Bush said. “It’s good on both sides, on and off the field. You can’t really put those words into perspective about how useful he is to the team.”
Wagner has been pleased so far with Bush’s progress in learning the Seahawks’ defensive system. He complimented an interception that Bush hauled in while covering Tyler Lockett in Monday’s practice.
“I think he needed this new environment, a fresh environment,” Wagner said. “He’s been making plays. Yesterday he had a nice little pick that he took back, so I think he’s getting more and more comfortable with the scheme. I’ll be excited to see him out there on the field making plays.”
With a new team, a new system, and Wagner to help guide him, Bush is eager to show he can be a standout player once again.
“It’s huge motivation behind all that, and I think now it’s a different side of the table,” Bush said. “Now I’m playing with a group that allows me to be a professional and play football. So I mean, different outcomes are going to come.”