Bush adjusting to another new position Print
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Thursday, 20 November 2008 14:24
NFL Headline News

 ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -When the Oakland Raiders drafted Michael Bush in 2007 they felt as if they had stolen a player with first-round talent in the fourth round because of a broken leg that ruined his senior season.
Now they are trying to turn that talented runner into a blocking fullback in a move that has not been embraced by Bush.
``I'm not a fullback. I think it's a waste of my talent,'' he said. ``I'm not trying to be any negative person that doesn't want to help the team. I'm doing it so they can't say I'm not helping this team. What can you say?''
Bush has been practicing at fullback this week, and said he didn't even touch the ball once during an entire practice. But with Oakland's top two fullbacks down with season-ending knee injuries, interim coach Tom Cable sees an opportunity for Bush.
Cable said Bush has the opportunity to be a ``special, special fullback'' and that this is his best chance to play, even if it's not the ideal situation.
mething that's a little bit different, he doesn't want to feel like, 'Jeez, maybe I can't be a runner at this level,''' Cable said. ``He can be. It's just a matter of where he is on the depth chart.''
After being the only active player not to see any action in last week's loss at Miami, Bush has been more willing to try the new position. He made a position switch once before in his career, moving from quarterback to tailback after arriving at Louisville.
Bush resisted the move to fullback earlier this year after Oren O'Neal went down with a season-ending knee injury in the exhibition season, saying he ``never had the kind of mentality to go run into a wall.''
But with Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden ahead of him at tailback, Bush wasn't getting an opportunity to do much of anything. Cable said it is difficult to use three running backs and give them each enough touches to get into a rhythm.
``It kind of seemed like I didn't even have an opportunity,'' Bush said. ``I never said anything about playing time or didn't question it because I knew what was going on. We had two good guys in front of me. I just sit there and wait patiently. If I play special teams, that would be fine but I wasn't on there, either. So, there's nothing I can do.''
or 47 yards in Oakland's last six contests.
``When you're the third runner, you really only have one ball and that gives the chance for only two guys to handle it probably at this level,'' Cable said. ``The third guy is the odd man out. This will get him on the field and get him involved. I think that's important.''
Cable called Bush the team's best pass-blocking back and that using him at fullback would open up other options for an offense that hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in 13 quarters. Cable envisions being able to move McFadden in motion out of the backfield and using Bush as the lone back in formations that give the Raiders more choices.
Bush was eager to get the chance to play this season after missing almost two full years from a broken leg he sustained in the season opener of his final college season at Louisville in 2006. He was coming off a junior season in which he ran for 1,143 yards and an NCAA-leading 23 touchdowns, and was being projected as a possible first-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft.
Instead he had to undergo a long rehabilitation process that took far longer than he expected. The leg didn't heal quickly enough from the original operation, leading to a second surgery about a month before the draft. That helped lead to Bush's slide into the fourth round, where the Raiders were happy to take a chance on a talented player.
He did not play at all last season, eventually being placed on injured reserve because the Raiders had too many other running backs in Fargas, LaMont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes.
 

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