When the announcement came that Jay Cutler was going to start in Sunday’s game, I knew the outcome wasn’t going to be good, especially against such a mediocre team. After missing four games due to an ankle injury, Cutler came out rusty, throwing three interceptions and was responsible for the Cleveland Browns’ first ten points.
But Cutty didn’t let the pressure of a shaky first half get to him and after some much needed halftime adjustments, the Bears managed come back in the second half and pull out a 38-31 win over the Browns.
Aside from throwing to favorites Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Earl Bennett and former HAM of the Week Alshon Jeffery, Cutty also managed to connect to this week’s HAM of the Week, Michael Bush. Bush sealed the deal for the Bears with his 40-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of the game, keeping the Bears’ playoff hopes alive.
The 6’1″, 245 lbs Bush is a 29-year-old veteran running back, who began his NFL career with the Oakland Raiders. Bush was traded to the Bears in 2012 to serve as a backup to RB Matt Forte, a role Bush wasn’t exactly thrilled about filling due to his size. He is ideal for short yardage and is used primarily when the Bears need to gain a few extra yards for a first down or to punch the ball into the end zone.
Bush saw much more play time while with the Raiders where he converted 68 percent on third and fourth downs. His best season was his final season with the Raiders in 2011 when he rushed for 977 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Since coming to the Bears, Bush has struggled to put up the numbers he did in Oakland, but as a backup to Forte, this can only be expected. This season Bush has rushed for only 122 yards on 51 carries, adding 48 receiving yards on 14 carries and one touchdown.
Take a look at this interview by Midway Madness, which showcases Bush’s anticipation to play for the Bears following his 2012 draft:
But Bush seems to have found his groove over the last couple of games, including a 17-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Josh McCown in last Monday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Bush began his football career as a quarterback during his senior year of high school. He had played defensive back, defensive end, linebacker, running back, safety and wide receiver over his four years. He was recruited by the University of Louisville to play quarterback. Using his experience playing a variety of positions on the field, Bush played in 36 games, ran for 2,508 yards and scored 39 touchdowns. He helped lead the Cardinals to three bowl games, and during his senior year, he was projected as one of the top 10 players for the 2007 NFL Draft.
Bush was recruited by the Raiders following the draft, but missed his entire rookie season due to a sustaining injury.
Throughout the next three seasons, Bush had 2,221 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 537 carries, and 717 receiving yards on 72 catches.
After signing with the Bears prior to the start of the 2012 season, Bush ran for 42 yards and two touchdowns in his Bears debut, leaving many to wonder if he would eventually overshadow Matt Forte. While Forte battled injuries and waited for a long-term contract, Bush continued to impress finishing the 2012 season with five rushing touchdowns on 411 rushing yards and 114 carries, adding 83 receiving yards on nine receptions.
Like former HAM of the Week Luol Deng, Bush can play through pain. In his second regular season game as a Bear, Bush suffered a fractured bone in his right shoulder, and played through Week 14 until he was placed on IR.
Despite the injuries, Bush has one thing we both agree on: We both hate the outrageous Chicago weather:
Just checked my phone for the temp. It reads 8 degrees n the real feel is -1 are you serious right now. This some #BS
— Michael Bush (@michaelbush29) December 7, 2013
He’s also got some serious style, both on the golf course and off:
After a round of golf had to come check out the beach real quick pic.twitter.com/u0ZdZ9B2fy
— Michael Bush (@michaelbush29) October 23, 2013
No matter what role Bush plays, football is football, and that is an amazing HAM mentality to have. He also joins the Comcast Sportsnet staff each week following the game. Did we mention he looks pretty dapper off the field?
Follow Bush on Twitter at @michaelbush29 and stay on top of all his golf getaways, Louisville shout-outs and genuinely interesting posts.