Originally written on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 11/17/14

What type of player did the Chicago Bears get when they signed Michael Bush to a four year contract in March?  There's a lot of misconceptions on what type of player Bush is and what type of player he can be in Chicago. 

Is Bush the type of player who can come in and be a starter if Forte decides to hold out part of the season?  To answer those questions I broke Bush's game on tape as an Oakland Raider to find out what precisely the Bears have in the 6-foot-1 240-pound running back.

Strengths:

Michael Bush is a big running back and he runs hard and is pretty fast and nimble for his size.  He has good vision to the hole and good cutback ability for a player of his size.  He can accelerate through the hole that he sees and pick up positive yards.  He played in an inside-zone rushing offensive in Oakland much like he will here in Chicago and performed above average in that offense.

Bush has quick feet and soft hands and can make people miss better than most running backs.  Once he gets going Bush can be tough to bring down in the open field.  He rarely has carries go for negative yards, but the Raiders have a pretty strong run blocking offensive line.

Bush gets a lot of good yards between the tackles as he doesn't have a lot of speed to threaten the edge like Forte does.  He's a grinder, a pile pusher that could be a really solid compliment to  Forte's style.

Also benefiting Bush's production is that the Raiders like to go jumbo a lot and bring in sixth offensive lineman, make him eligible and put him on the edge of the formation.  They get good yards out of this heavy formation look.

Bush is pretty athletic for his size he can jump over a pile, cut back into an open hole and get into the second level pretty quickly.

Weaknesses:

Bush is not a power running back any means even at size well above average most NFL backs.  Perhaps Bush's biggest weakness is an upright style that leaves him vulnerable to being cut down at the legs a lot.

Getting tripped up or cut down below the waist was Bush's biggest weakness that I saw on tape.  He isn't a lower the shoulders and fight his way forward for extra yards kind of player.

He can be tough to bring down, but that is more related to his overall size versus his style of running.   Bears fans should not expect Michael Bush to run like Marion Barber did for the Bears last year.

Also of concern is the Bears' offensive line and it's tendency to give up a lot of yards behind the line of scrimmage.  Bush does not do well with defenders around his feet or when there is penetration.

Bush is by no means a short yardage back so if the thought process is that he will be the answer to Matt Forte's short yardage struggles, Bears fans may want to rethink that.

He gets most of his positive yards when there is a good surge in front of him and he can lean into the pile.  He can be cut down pretty easily if there is a lot of traffic.

Overall:

What is going to make this Bears offense successful are the new weapons the Bears have in place.  Bush can be successful in Chicago if he's not asked to fulfill the role Matt Forte has had to since his rookie season.  Bush is not a franchise back like Forte and the Bears probably shouldn't consider hims a starter capable of replacing Forte.

He is a very good complimentary back that could really lengthen Forte's career in Chicago.  He could succeed as a starter and keep the Bears' offense efficient enough but he doesn't have any where near the home run ability of Forte.

The primary goal the Bears should have for Bush is to lessen Forte's carries and prolong his career.  When you watch a guy like Bush run you learn to appreciate what the Bears have in Forte even more.  Forte is an all-around back who can win in all phases of the running game with his athleticism.

What the Bears have in Bush is a player that shouldn't be the primary starter, but if it came down to it could be productive enough in a balanced run-oriented attack.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cavs beat Hawks without Kyrie Irving, take 2-0 lead

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Minor League team cancels 'A-Rod Juice Box Night'

Dolphins teammate on Dion Jordan: It’s a bad situation

Texans reportedly the favorite to be featured on ‘Hard Knocks’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Goodell will not recuse himself from Brady appeal

Will Smith suspended eight games for 'foreign substance'

Report: Kobe Bryant likely to retire following next season

Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2 versus Atlanta

Michael Sam signs with CFL’s Montreal Alouettes

The Los Angeles Angels are finally finding their groove

Re-evaluating all 30 MLB teams at the quarter mark

Is virtual reality training the next leap forward for football?

Warriors a very shaky 2-0 against the Rockets

NFL icon Bud Grant zings Pats with Deflategate joke on Twitter

RG3 announces birth daughter's birth on social media

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.