The Seahawks had interest in Devin Bush heading into the 2019 draft, but the Michigan standout ended up being the No. 10 overall pick, meaning Seattle was never in the running to obtain him.
Four years later, however, Bush is a Seahawk after signing as a free agent last month, and Bush is looking forward to his opportunity with a new team.
"I know that they liked me coming out in 2019," Bush said when asked about the free-agency process. "I got on the phone with Coach (Pete) Carroll a couple of times, we talked, and we spoke frequently. Ultimately when I got out there in Seattle, I felt like I was around a bunch of good guys. Coach Carroll is obviously defensive minded and I'm a defensive player, so that's a good match. I just felt like they were all about competition. I know that they just signed Geno (Smith) back, so they have a quarterback. Everybody needs a quarterback in the NFL to win, so I felt like it was a growing opportunity. I feel like there is something special brewing there and I want to be a part of it."
Bush signed with Seattle for the reasons mentioned above, but he also did so hoping for one other thing, and he got his wish last month when Bobby Wagner signed with the Seahawks. Bush signed with Seattle knowing that Wagner was still a free agent and hoping that the future Hall of Famer was going to return to the Seahawks, so it was a pretty big bonus for Bush when that signing took place.
"I'm super excited," he said. "Me and my dad were actually talking about it when I signed with Seattle. Bobby was still out there in free agency, and we were just playing around, saying it was a possibility. Once it happened, it was kind of like a dream come true. I can say that he's a potential Hall of Famer and to be able to play alongside of him, I can't ask for a better situation than that.
"I feel like with him being such a veteran and me being a veteran myself, we can kind of feed off of each other, and I think that we can play in multiple spots. I don't think that we have to be sitting in the same spot all of the time."
As a top 10 pick heading to a franchise known for its defenses, Bush arrived in Pittsburgh with a lot of hype, and as a rookie he looked ready to live up to it, recording 109 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries, four passes defensed and two interceptions, earning a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team while finishing third in defensive rookie of the year voting.
A torn ACL cut short his 2020 season, however, for a number of reasons, that injury included, he never quite found that level of productivity from his rookie season.
"I learned a lot," Bush said of his time in Pittsburgh. "Obviously, I wouldn't say it was up to par, but I had my ups and downs. I think I learned a lot about myself, I learned a lot about this business, and I learned about what I want out of it. I thank the Steelers for taking a chance on me and I thank them for the four years that I had, but it's obviously time to move on, go to different things, and learn some more."
And while there were the ups and downs in recent years, Bush tried to turn even the tough times into learning moments that he believes will help him now in this fresh start with Seattle.
"I got a chance to learn the NFL in my first four years in Pittsburgh," he said. "Pittsburgh didn't always put me on the field, so I was able to watch. As they say, 'Mental reps are also the best reps.' I was able to soak up the game, learn the game, and be able to play the game before the game even got played. I think my film study definitely got better, me paying attention to little cues here and there definitely picked up. I think being able to mesh that with (Bobby) Wagner could definitely be something special."
Another reason Bush expects he can take his game to another level with the Seahawks is that he's feeling better now, from a health standpoint, than he has at any time since his knee injury.
"It was a lot," Bush said of the injury. "It was my first time getting surgery and my first time missing a season in my whole entire career, even from being seven years old. It was all new to me, everything was all new, everything was coming so fast, and everything was moving fast. As of right now, I'm on the other side of my injury. I dealt with it, I've been through it, and I'm feeling a lot better. I'm feeling like I have never felt before, honestly. I just can't wait to get out there and showcase my talent."