Steelers’ Pending Free Agent Posts Cryptic Tweet During NFL Wild Card Weekend

Mike Tomlin

Getty Head coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers saw one of their pending free agents post a cryptic tweet during NFL Wild Card Weekend.

The NFL put the “wild” back in Wild Card weekend this year to begin the 2023 NFL playoffs. Four of the five games from the weekend came down to the final two minutes of regulation.

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t playing, they still appeared to provide fans drama over Wild Card Weekend too, in the form of a Devin Bush tweet.

“Playing for a former NFL player …” Bush posted on Twitter with a “thinking” emoji during the Jaguars-Chargers matchup on January 14.

Bush Referred to Doug Pederson in Cryptic Tweet?

It’s obviously not clear who Bush was referencing in his tweet, but based on the time of his post, the most logical guess is Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson.

At 9:26 pm ET, the Jaguars were beginning their comeback against the Los Angeles Chargers, who jumped out to a 27-0 lead in the AFC Wild Card matchup thanks in large part to 4 interceptions from Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

But the Jaguars stuck to their game plan and chipped away at the lead beginning in the second quarter. Pederson’s game plan eventually worked, especially after the Jaguars regrouped at halftime.

In the second half, Jacksonville outscored Los Angeles, 24-3, including 11-0 in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars won with a last-second field goal, 31-30.

Pederson’s coaching shined during the comeback. Most notably, he called an outside run when the Chargers were expecting a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 during the final drive. Running back Travis Etienne gained 25 yards on the play to set up the game-winning field goal.

Before coaching, Pederson played quarterback in the NFL for 10 years. He started 17 games, going 3-14. He completed 54.8% of his passes for 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 100 games.

He spent most of those 100 games on the sideline as a backup. Pederson served as Brett Favre’s backup in two different stints. His first season behind Favre was in 1996 when the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl.

If Bush was indeed referring to Pederson with his tweet, maybe he has some interest in joining the Jaguars after watching them play in the postseason.

Bush Set to Be Free Agent for First Time

Bush to Jacksonville is obviously pure speculation at this point. But the former first-rounder pick is due to become a free agent in March.

The Steelers traded up 10 spots for the right to draft the linebacker at No. 10 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Bush finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and appeared on his way to stardom, but he suffered a torn ACL in Week 6 of 2020 and hasn’t been the same player since then.

This past season, Bush recorded 81 combined tackles, including 2 tackles for loss and 2 quarterback hits during 14 starts. But he didn’t have a single sack, interception or forced fumble.

Bush played a career low 62% of Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps this season. In 2020 before he suffered his injury, he was playing 90% of the team’s snaps on defense.

Bush’s playing time also decreased as the 2022 season went. He played under 55% of the team’s snaps on defense in each of the final four weeks.

During the last two games, Bush played 10 defensive snaps total.

Whether or not he will have a chance to play for the Jaguars or another head coach who played in the league won’t be determined until March. But it’s pretty clear based on how the end of the 2022 season went that Bush won’t be back in Pittsburgh.

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