Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Charlie Brown of the Packers?

There's a very good article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by sports writer Greg Bedard about one of the Packers who is going to be more heavily called upon to help fill the void left by the loss of CB Al Harris: Jarrett Bush.

Admittedly, my reaction to seeing Bush on the field anytime other than on special teams is "uh-oh." Apparently, according to the article, my perception of Bush is pretty much the same as that of most other fans. Bush is one of those players -- heck, he's at the top of the list -- that fans just seem to wish was somewhere other than with the Packers. It's not the same loathing that fans had for, say, Terrell Buckley or Ahmad Carroll. They had personalities which, in addition to their play, rubbed fans the wrong way. But from all accounts, as Bedard notes in his article, Bush is actually a fine, likable young man who is very active in the broader Green Bay community. Somebody you'd actually like to root for.

It's just that he's kind of like the Packers' version of Charlie Brown, says Bedard. Bad things just seem to happen to Bush, which Bedard enumerates in his article.

The thing is, Bush had no idea that fans generally regard him and his play with such disdain. He was actually surprised to hear it when Bedard told him. Ignorance is bliss, that's for sure. But he's now aware of how things are from the fans' perspective and says, "I definitely want to show those people that I can play. It's unfortunate that I need to prove that, but I've got to go out there and prove it to them. That's what I have to do."

Yes, Jarrett, you do.

Bush is a decent special teams player. The thing he hasn't shown yet as a defensive back is the ability to be aware of the ball when it's in the air, avoid penalties and play smart. All somewhat essential aspects of being a defensive back...or a football player of any variety, really.

Packer fans would like nothing more than for Bush to succeed and turn his game around, because to the extent he does that the greater the likelihood that the Packers will also succeed. Given that we'll probably be seeing a lot more of Bush in the remaining games of this season, let's hope he is finally able to rise to the occasion. We'll get our first glimpse tomorrow in the game versus the Lions. Bush is likely to be the nickel back.

You can read Bedard's article here.