PITTSBURGH — Linebacker Devin Bush got more than a new uniform after the Pittsburgh Steelers took him in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.

Bush also earned a spot in a group chat with several linebackers — including Ryan Shazier — who welcomed him to the team.

The Steelers moved up 10 spots in the first round to get Bush, who’s the team’s best chance to adequately replace Shazier in the middle of the defense after the Pro Bowler suffered a severe spinal injury in 2017.

“Just a couple of them like Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams — they put me in the chat,” said Bush, the 10th overall pick, at his introductory news conference Friday. “T.J. Watt, spoke to him, too. They were telling me welcome to the family, can’t wait to work with you.”

The Steelers linebackers have an exclusive chat where they exchange thoughts about just about everything. It’s reserved for current players, but former Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats is considered an honorary member.

Bush appears to be in the club. But on the field, Bush plans to be his own man and isn’t feeling pressure to replace Shazier.

“Ryan Shazier is a great linebacker and I know he’s going to make a comeback,” Bush said. “I’m Devin Bush and he’s Ryan Shazier. We may have similar play styles, but I’m Devin Bush at the end of the day and I’m not trying to be Ryan Shazier.”


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