16

February

Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Jarrett Bush

1) Introduction: The shot of Jarrett Bush overcome with emotion after the Packers clinched the Super Bowl is the most underrated moment of the 2010 season. Watching Bush — a player who has been the team punching bag since arriving in 2006 — let everything come pouring out before he made it off the field was powerful stuff. It was great to see Bush earn some respect from Packers fans by contributing on special teams later in the season. It was also great to see Bush come up with a key interception and be around the ball on the final play of the Super Bowl. It would be nice if Bush continues to improve, but I would not count on it. Despite his new found good standing with Packers fans, Bush still is a bad football player.

2) Profile:

Jarrett Lee Bush

Position: DB
Height: 6-0    Weight: 194 lbs.

Born: May 21, 1984 in Vacaville, CA
College: Utah State (school history)    (Bush college stats)

3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: To not single-handedly lose any games. Instead of having expectations for Bush, most fans just hoped he would remain on the sideline. When Bush plays as the dime back, he gets lost in coverage (especially against stack formations) and struggles to win one-on-one battles against whomever he is matched against. On special teams, his over-aggressiveness often led to penalties or over-pursuit. Aside from a couple of plays in the Super Bowl, Bush still looks hopeless in pass coverage, but his special teams play took a giant leap forward.

4) Player’s highlights/lowlights: Is it wrong to list a news conference as a season highlight? Yes, Bush had several key special team’s plays and a Super Bowl interception, but his Super Bowl week news conference is what I will always remember (and for the record, I’m dead serious, not being snarky at all). The way Bush handled questions about the vitriol Packers fans have thrown at him was a prime example of a player who “gets it.” Very few players understand just how passionate NFL fans are. Often that passion leads to criticism, and sometimes meanness. But a passionate fan, even one who is highly critical or mean, is a fan that cares. Bush realizes that. Instead of lashing out at Packers fans, Bush confronted the issue and delivered this money quote: “It was unfortunate what (the fans) thought of me, but what I thought of them didn’t change.  I thought they were still the greatest fans in the world.  But it was up to me to change their perception of me and the way I played the game, the way I played football.”

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Emerged on special teams. Unfortunately, performing well in a news conference does not lead to wins on the field. Bush transformed himself into a competent special teams player during the second half of the season and helped the team down the stretch. Bush and punter Tim Masthay formed a special teams tag team of sorts: Masthay would hang punts high up in the air and Bush would race down to cover them, sometimes even catching the ball before it hit the turf. Bush finished with 12 special teams tackles, five in the postseason, and eliminated most of his penalties. Bush is paid too well to just be a special teams ace, but at this point, I’m done nitpicking.

6) Player’s contributions during the 6-win end-of-season run: Moderate. Bush’s special teams exploits were especially noteworthy in the season finale against the Bears. His relentless effort as a gunner was a major reason why Devin Hester was contained and the Bears started so many drives deep in their own territory. He also made a helluva play to pick off Ben Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl. Right after he made the pick, I had to have my wife slap me to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Jarrett Bush coming up with a huge interception in the Super Bowl? I thought for sure I was dreaming.

Season Report Card:

(B-) Level of expectations met during the season
(C-) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(B) Contributions to team’s success during the playoff run (last 6 games)

Overall Grade for the year: C

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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17 Responses to “Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Jarrett Bush”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jersey Al – Packers and Kris Burke, John . John said: New from Jersey Al: Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Jarrett Bush: The shot of Jarrett Bush… http://bit.ly/e9JoEA [...]

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  2. Packers Fan in Atlanta says:

    Meh. I still cringe when I see him in the field with the defense. He did give up the TD on the drive after his INT, displaying his typical flail move while the ball went over his head. I will commend him on his special teams play and the INT in the Super Bowl though.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      The INT was a brilliant read of the QB’s eyes. When the play is in front of him, he’s not bad. As soon as he has to turn and locate the ball while covering a receiver, he’s all over the place.

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      • PackersRS says:

        I’m pretty sure he missed his assignment on that play, and left Heath Miller wide open. If the opposite QB was better, that could’ve been a huge play for them.

        He’s nothing short of awful as a CB. He can play moderatedly well up to 10 yards after the LOS. Anything beyond that, he’s abused.

        ST is another issue. He was as bad as a ST player in the past, but he was arguably our best ST player alongside Matshay, and, with better coaching, could be one of the best gunners in the league.

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        • Adam Czech says:

          I forgot where I read/heard about it, but I think Bush said he recognized the play and broke off coverage on the TE. Still a risky move (especially if the QB pump fakes and finds the TE), but I don’t think he missed coverage.

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          • PackersRS says:

            I guess what both of you are saying is right. He didn’t “blow” the coverage, but he still “guessed”. He might’ve guessed right, but, re-watch the play, Ben could’ve torched us. Between Bush’s jumping the route and ig Ben throwing the ball, there was enough time to re-evaluate and throw the ball to a wide-open Miller.

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        • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

          It was a great read, period. I’d have to see it again to check, but there should have been safety help behind him. On the end zone camera angle you can see where the quarterback is going, which is what Bush saw. Any such move can be considered risky, but it’s still a brilliant read, in my opinion.

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          • Ruppert says:

            Re: Bush’s INT in the Super Bowl. I read somewhere…I want to say it was on JS Online maybe, that said Charles Woodson should have picked up Heath Miller on that play–not Bush. There’s a camera angle from behind the play that shows Woodson looking around and suddenly making a move towards Miller right before the INT, too. I don’t know who missed the coverage…obviously I’m thinking it was Bush due to both Bush’s body of work and Charles Woodson’s, but either way Bush made a heck of a play.

            I have been known to skewer Jarrett Bush from time to time, and I still get a little queasy when he gets forced into duty on defense. But he seems like a real nice guy, it’s obvious he works his tail off, and he was part of a Championship-clinching defensive effort. So Jarrett, you da man. I don’t want to see you selling that ring on eBay in 10 years, either:)

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            • PackersRS says:

              Bob McGinn pointed out that it was Woodson’s responsability. But like you said, Woodson’s body of work, Bush’s body of work…

              Still, not completely out of question, as we don’t know exactly who had that responsability.

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  3. Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

    “Just when we think he’s gone,he does something to bring him back”.
    So I guess with all things being fair,1 good Interception allows for giving up a bad TD.It’s never easy trying to be fair.

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  4. ELong says:

    Not a Jarret Bush fan – his INT was offset by the poor coverage that allowed a TD. I agree with your summation – prone to key penalties on ST and generally useless in coverage. Glad he got his day of fame but we can fill his spot with someone better

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Elong – it seems like I say that every year, but like a cockroach, he’s just doesn’t die easily. Last offseason I guaranteed this would be the year Bush gets cut, but then Harris can’t make it back, Bigby and Burnett go down, Underwood and Lee have some injuries and still standing is one Jarret Lee Bush.

      In fairness, he’s worked on the penalty issue and shown great improvement, he’s been a terror as a gunner on PRs and his overall DB play has improved. Just still has a problem with balls over his head.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      My nickname for Bush is “Cockroach.” He survives just about anything.

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  5. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    I have to disagree with: “Over the 2nd half of the season he’s transformed himself into a competent ST player”. Dude, he’s been a stud on ST the 2nd half of the year. He was competent last year and the beginning of this year. He’s worth a roster spot for that alone, and if he’s the dime back, so be it. I’d prefer if he was the 5th or 6th CB on the roster, but I digress..

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      yes, I’d say “competent” is too weak of a word. “very good” might be better. Once he cut out the penalties, that was HUGE.

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      • Oppy says:

        That’s the difference between Bush’s ST play in previous seasons compared to this one: Penalties.

        There’s a reason Bush was being offered big money by other teams last off season (well, big money for a ST player, at any rate), and that’s because the kid can flat out dominate on STs- that’s something he has shown in years previous. It was simply the penalties that were the issue.

        On defense, there has been little improvement. As someone on CHTV noted last season, Jarrett Bush does actually COVER well, for the most part- there isn’t usually much separation between himself and WR’s- but his ball skills are atrocious. Once that head has to crane around, he has a horrible time locating the ball in air, and just can not seem to adjust his body positioning while looking backwards. It’s almost like he suffers vertigo when locating the ball.

        At any rate, He’s such a nice boy.

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  6. Ron LC says:

    Another testament to Capers ability to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

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