Bears RB Michael Bush is a reluctant ‘battering ram’
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 27, 2012 10:50PM
Last season with the Raiders, Michael Bush rushed for 977 yards and caught 37 passes for 418 yards. The Bears lured him away with a four-year deal. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: August 29, 2012 12:27PM
BOURBONNAIS — Despite his size and skill, Bears running back Michael Bush doesn’t necessarily like playing in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
“That’s the role I’ve been stuck with because of my size,” he said. “But if that’s what I got to do, then that’s what I got to do.”
Asked if he doesn’t necessarily like it, he said, “No one likes to be a battering ram, but it just happens that way.”
Signed to a four-year contract during the offseason, Bush would naturally prefer to be an every-down running back. But that won’t be the case. The Bears signed Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte to a four-year deal worth nearly $32 million.
Last season, while filling in for Darren McFadden with the Oakland Raiders, Bush racked up 977 rushing yards and scored eight total touchdowns.
What would he prefer?
“Hit the corner, go inside, catch balls, make the hard yards, be a complete back,” he said.
Bush, 28, has stood out during his first two practices, with his 6-1, 245-pound frame barreling through the line of scrimmage.
But don’t assume he’s looking forward to training camp’s first padded practice, which is Saturday night.
“More shots at me,” he said. “But that’s how it is.”
So far, though, Bush has flashed some of those well-rounded skills. He catches the ball cleanly, which should come as no surprise since he caught a career-high 37 passes last season for 418 yards, including a 55-yarder.
“I’ve been doing that since college,” Bush said. “If people don’t think I can catch, I don’t know what film they’ve been watching.”
Last season, the Bears backup running back was Marion Barber, who was not as effective as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
Nobody knows how the workload between Forte and Bush will be split, but general manager Phil Emery likes the potential of his backfield.
“What’s exciting is that both Michael and Matt can catch the football and so can all the backs on our roster,” Emery said. “They’re a big part of our offense and that allows us to maintain that balance and our opponents off balance.”