RB Michael Bush, Free agent
HT: 6-2, WT: 250, Born: 6-16-1984, College: Louisville, Drafted: Round 4
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Bush wasn't used as a short-yardage back and he didn't really see any action until the 4th quarter. On the second play from scrimmage in the 4th quarter, Bush snuck through the line and Cutler looked to dump a quick pass to him. Instead of continuing up the field though, Bush broke right over the middle and the ball flew well out of his reach and was easily intercepted. It was Cutler's only interception of the day. After the Bears had taken the lead and got the ball back with under five minutes to go, the turned to Bush to run the ball on six consecutive plays. None of the runs were particularly impressive and Bush was actually stopped short on 3rd and 6 with just over a minute to play. But an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Bengals gave Chicago a 1st down and they ran out the clock with Jay Cutler kneeling down.
Week 2 - Michael Bush had just two short carries in this game, and he was quickly stuffed on both. He only came in to give Matt Forte a breather and was not used in goal line situations, even when the Bears had 1st and goal from the 2 yard line in the second quarter.
Week 3 - Michael Bush returned to his role as the short-yardage back for the Bears in this game, and they turned to him several times in goal line situations and in the 4th quarter when they were just looking to run out the clock. In the first quarter, after a pass-interference call on Brandon Marshall gave Chicago 1st and goal at the one, the Bears turned to Bush to punch it into the end zone. He was stuffed twice and with an incomplete pass to Martellus Bennett in the back of the end zone, the Bears faced 4th and goal from the 1. Undaunted, the Bears used Bush for the third time in four plays and although he was stopped short of the end zone, his second effort pushed him through the pile and into the end zone. In the 4th quarter with Chicago trying to close out the game, they handed the ball to Bush to pound it up the middle. He was stuffed on three consecutive plays and the Bears were forced to punt. Bush finished the game with just nine yards on eight carries.
Week 4 - Less than a week after being declared Chicago’s goal-line running back by head coach Marc Trestman, Michael Bush did not even get onto the field against Detroit. To be fair though, there really were no short yardage opportunities where Bush could have been used.
Week 5 - Bush was used only on a few plays to give Matt Forte a break after some hard running. Near the end of the second, after a hard run by Forte where he fought through three different defenders to get an additional five yards, Bush came in on the next play. Bush took the handoff straight up the middle for a big five yard gain. In the 4th quarter, when the Bears were looking to get back in the game, the Saints were giving up big chunks on the ground. On one running play, Jay Cutler faked the handoff to push, pulled the ball back and bootlegged around the right end for a big 12 yard gain. On the next play, Bush ran a toss sweep to the right side, found an opening and powered ahead for another seven yards. Forte came back in after that play and Bush didn’t have another carry in the game.
Week 6 - Michael Bush saw more playing time in this game than he has had over the last few weeks, but it was primarily in short yardage situations. His first carry came at the end of the first half when the Bears were driving down for their final possession. He took a 3rd and 1 carry straight up the middle for 2 yards and a first down. He also came in on a couple passing downs late in the third quarter, but he dropped his only target on a 3rd and 10 check down. In the 4th quarter, he lined up in a shotgun formation on Cutler’s right, and Brandon Marshall motioned from the right sideline into the backfield on Cutler’s left. When the ball was snapped, Bush broke into the spot that Marshall had just left and Cutler dumped the ball to him. Bush made the catch and broke up field, rumbling six yards for a short catch and run. Bush came in for the final series of the game and just hammered the ball into the line, keeping the clock running and grinding out the clock.
Week 7 - the game. Matt Forte got all the short yardage carries and scored two TDS because of it.
Week 9 - Michael Bush came in to give Matt Forte a breather and the Bears even used him when they were on the goal line. However, Bush was stuffed on almost every attempt that he had, including the goal-line plunge from the 1. He had several carries in the 4th quarter, the longest of which was a nine yard dive up the middle when the Bears ran a trap and he broke through the defensive line for a nice gain. Bush also had a 15 yard catch and run at the end of the second quarter that helped set up the Bears for a field goal at the end of the quarter to take a seven point lead into halftime.
Week 10 - Michael Bush came in for a couple plays to give Matt Forte a rest. However, his only carry came in the second quarter. On 4th and 1, the Bears decided to go for it and lined up in a power-I formation. Bush took the handoff straight up the middle, but the Lions penetrated and he was stuffed for a loss, ending the drive.
Week 11 - Michael Bush came in for the first two Chicago offensive series in the 4th quarter. All three runs were off tackle, and his longest was just a five yard plunge. He lost two yards on his final carry and the Bears didn’t have another offensive series until the overtime period.
Week 12 - Michael Bush had a terrible game for the Bears, yet he still managed to get into the end zone. Bush was only really used in short yardage situations or when Matt Forte needed a break. Bush was completely ineffective at running the ball and he had more negative carries than positive ones. His first carry came in the second quarter – a sweep to the right side where the defense penetrated and he was dropped for a three yard loss. He nearly scored later in the quarter on first and goal from the 11, where Josh McCown checked the ball down to him and he powered up the middle for a 10 yard gain, but he was stopped at the one. It was his biggest play of the day. He could have scored on a pass on the opening drive of the third quarter – where on 1st and goal from the 4, Josh McCown floated him a pass in the right flat. Bush was wide open and it would have been an easy touchdown but the ball was a little short and Bush couldn’t come up with it. Three plays later on 4th and goal from the 1, Bush took the handoff and was stuffed for a four yard loss, killing the drive. On the opening drive of the 4th quarter, Matt Forte was hurt and Bush filled in while Forte recovered on the sideline. After a pass interference call in the end zone gave the Bears 1st and goal from the 1, Bush had two carries and was stuffed both times. On the second, he refused to commit to powering in and the defense strung him along before bringing him down. Multiple penalties extended Chicago’s chances, and Bush needed two more dives from the one yard line before he was finally able to power into the end zone for a touchdown. It was his last carry of the day.
Week 13 - Michael Bush did not receive his typical short yardage carries in this game. On second and third downs, with under two yards to go, Matt Forte was the guy that Chicago called on every time. Bush came in for a few plays to give Forte a rest, but Bush’s only carry came in the second quarter. It was a toss sweep to the right where the blocking was solid out in front of him and Bush was able to get to the edge and power up field for a big 15 yard gain.
Week 14 - Michael Bush came in for few plays in the game, mostly to give Matt Forte a breather from a long run or a hard tackle. Bush only had one carry in the first half, but by the third quarter, the Cowboys were already in trouble and Bush just continued to pound the ball. With five minutes to go in the third, Bush came in for a couple plays and the Bears ran a straight power I formation with Tony Fiametta as the lead blocker. Bush ripped off two carries for 14 total yards before Forte was able to come back in the game. As the 4th quarter opened, the Bears were in a commanding position and driving again deep in Dallas territory. The Cowboys tried to blitz again, and Josh McCown swung the ball out to Bush in the right flat. With blockers in front of him, Bush rumbled 17 yards for a nearly uncontested touchdown to put Chicago up 42-14. Bush padded his stats with three more carries for 17 yards later in the quarter as the Bears were just running out the clock.
Week 15 - Michael Bush only had three carries in this game, but the last one was a back breaker for the Browns. With three minutes to play and the Bears leading 31-24, after Matt Forte had just gashed the Browns for 24 yards, Bush took the handoff and ran off tackle to the right. The Browns were blocked out of position and Bush easily ran through the arm tackles into the open field. He cut to the outside and turned on the after-burners, rumbling 40 yards for the touchdown and scoring the knockout blow for the Bears. Bush’s only other run of not was a 15 yard pitch out near the end of the third quarter. It was a play that they had run with Matt Forte several times where the Bears brought Alshon Jeffery in motion as the ball was snapped, faked the handoff to him and pitched to the RB going back the way that Jeffery came from. Bush broke it outside and rumbled up field for a big 15 yard gain, but it was called back for a questionable illegal shift call on Jeffery.
Week 16 - All of Bush’s carries came during garbage time when the Bears were down by 36 or more. He mostly ran straight up the gut to keep the clock rolling and put the Bears out of their misery.
Week 17 - Bush has a couple carries near the end of the second quarter, on the final series of the 1st half. He had two back to back carries for 11 yards, but that was about it. He saw a little time in the 4th quarter but didn’t have a touch.