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.
Jarrett Lee Bush
Height: 6-0 Weight: 194 lbs.
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——————