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papz 08-23-2013 06:37 AM

Saints’ Rafael Bush taking nothing for granted
 
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Rafael Bush nearly failed the sixth grade, so his mother punished him in the harshest way she could think up: No football for a year.

The punishment didn’t just teach Bush that it was important to mind his schoolwork — it taught him he had to do everything he could to avoid being kept away from the football field.

“This is a privilege,” Bush said. “It’s not a given.”

Bush, a safety, is now entering his second year with the New Orleans Saints, whom he joined after spending one season on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad as an undrafted rookie and another playing sparingly for the Denver Broncos.

Bush, 26, has emerged as a leader on special teams, has made plays on defense and is expected to land on the Saints’ roster behind Malcolm Jenkins, Roman Harper and Kenny Vaccaro. So, barring a disaster, Bush won’t have the same problem this year that he had for slacking off as a schoolboy.

“It’s good to see his hard work ... rewarded,” Saints cornerback Jabari Greer said about Bush. “He hasn’t had as much stability as he has now.”

In three seasons as a running back at Williston-Elko High School in Williston, S.C., Bush rushed for more than 3,500 yards and had 28 touchdowns as a junior alone, good enough for all-state and all-region honors.

Bush then dislocated his elbow as a senior and played in only five games that year. He didn’t attract much recruiting, in part because his health was a concern.

Bush eventually walked on at South Carolina State University and became a defensive MVP there. After a quiet two years in Atlanta and Denver, New Orleans signed him just before the 2012 regular-season opener and let him wear No. 25.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Bush earned plenty of playing time, taking the field in all 16 games and leading the Saints’ special teams with 15 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Meanwhile, his role on defense grew after Jenkins suffered a hamstring injury and ended up on injured reserve. Bush had an interception, which he returned 40 yards; forced a fumble; and recovered another fumble.

Suddenly, Saints fans started wearing their No. 25 “R. Bush” jerseys to game-viewing parties and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome again.

“Being undrafted, ... we just have to prove ourselves,” Bush said. “We have to prove that we’re not a liability but an asset, and I think that’s what I was able to prove last year.”

Read more: Saints

jeanpierre 08-23-2013 06:45 AM

Re: Saints’ Rafael Bush taking nothing for granted
 
He outplayed the starters at the end of last season...

Know he came on when Payton wasn't here - but I think he'd be a great asset to this team as both a defensive back and a special teamer...

homerj07 08-23-2013 07:38 PM

Re: Saints’ Rafael Bush taking nothing for granted
 
I hope he works out. Because if he is Doug well chances are the team is too

Danno 08-23-2013 08:23 PM

Re: Saints’ Rafael Bush taking nothing for granted
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanpierre (Post 519253)
He outplayed the starters at the end of last season...

Know he came on when Payton wasn't here - but I think he'd be a great asset to this team as both a defensive back and a special teamer...

No he didn't

QBREES9 08-23-2013 09:31 PM

Re: Saints’ Rafael Bush taking nothing for granted
 
His mother should have gotten the mother of the year award.

Rafael Bush nearly failed the sixth grade, so his mother punished him in the harshest way she could think up: No football for a year.

This is a privilege,” Bush said. “It’s not a given.”

Utah_Saint 08-23-2013 11:17 PM

Re: Saints’ Rafael Bush taking nothing for granted
 
He only played the last few weeks of the season last year but I thought he looked pretty good.

But then in that secondary, it didn't take much to stand out.


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