Bush adjusting to new offense

RB Michael Bush (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Bears backup running back Michael Bush, signed this offseason after spending his first four years with the Oakland Raiders, is adjusting to both a new locker room and a new playbook.

Michael Bush's biggest adjustment since joining the Chicago Bears has been in the locker room. After four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Bush is used to a little chaos before game time.

"At first I thought it was just me," Bush said in the locker room today. "Maybe it was quiet before the game because I was new there. Waiting in the locker room before we went into the tunnel and on to the field, you could have heard a pin drop. I found that strange, or at least very different."

Coming from the famed Black Hole of Oakland, Bush knows noise.

"When we were waiting for games to start in Oakland, the players would yell at each other, do chest bumps, pound their lockers, get worked up every which way. When I first saw the Bears quietly going about their business, it was a completely different world to me."

After a while, Bush began to enjoy the peace on game day.


RB Michael Bush
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

"I realized that it all filters down from the coach. Coach [Lovie] Smith is very intelligent but he tends to be soft spoken. I think most of the players here have picked that up. It's an interesting approach and an effective one. To me, it's sort of like a using a stealth bomber. You sneak up on the other team then let them have it."

But Bush understands how to get up for a game.

"I go through my regular routine, just without the noise" Bush laughed.

Evidently the new system works. Bush had two touchdowns in nine minutes during the first quarter of last week's game against the Redskins.

How does Bush see himself fitting in with his new team on the field?

"I came here to play my role, whatever that might be. I do think though that some players on opposing teams might be surprised that I move fast. I have a big stride so on film it seems that I'm just loafing along. In reality, I get good acceleration and can sustain that as long as necessary."

Bush was encouraged after watching the Washington game film yesterday.

"I see things coming together really well on the field. This offense has tremendous potential. We moved the ball well the first drive. I think this is going to be an exciting season."

Bush shared carries with Darren McFadden in Oakland, a role he'll again assume with Matt Forte.

"I've been in this league a long time and many times in a similar situation. There's always plenty of balls to go around. In my experience, the more weapons you have at your disposal, the better for the team as a whole."

At 6-1, 245, Bush is sizable for a running back. In high school he played quarterback because his coach felt he might be too large to run effectively as a back.

"Actually that gave me motivation," Bush said. "I wanted to show him what I could do. Pretty soon, I was back in my preferred position. I've been a back ever since."

As a Raider, Bush had 2,642 total yards and 21 touchdowns. He started 19 of 61 career games. Bush signed a four-year contract with the Bears this past March.

"I know what I can do. I don't think the fans know me just yet but I hope they'll be surprised at my production."


Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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