Why Michael Bush Will Keep Chicago Bears Offense Rolling
He's been reliable all season when called upon and Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings was no different. During the contest, Matt Forte went down with an injury per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune:
#Bears announce Matt Forte has an ankle injury. Return is questionable.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) November 25, 2012
In addition to Forte, the Bears had plenty of other injuries during their home victory. According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com:
Hester was just one of five Bears who suffered game-ending injuries.
"I normally don't write down injuries on a sheet, but we had so many I had to to remember them all," coach Lovie Smith said after the game.
As a result, it would not be surprising to see Bush in an expanded role moving forward. With that, let's look at why his impact on Chicago's offense will keep the Bears steamrolling into December.
After all, he does lead the Windy City with five rushing touchdowns.
What Makes Bush Dependable?
Ball-carrier vision, the ability to cutback and always fall forward is what makes Bush a reliable running back.
At this point in the game, Chicago is in obvious control. Still, the Bears simply can't stop moving the ball. Doing so would gradually shift the momentum back into Minnesota's favor.
So, the Bears take a first-down opportunity and Bush slices for six yards. Here, he receives the handoff on the right side, ends up make a quick cutback to the left and then darts through the lane.
Notice how his body remains square to the line of scrimmage upon getting the handoff. He's then able to plant his right foot—circled in yellow. If Bush is angled one way or another, he restricts his lateral movement, hence the ability to plant his foot and makes an easier read for the defense.
Instead, Bush does this to a T and is able to jolt through the lane upon making a cut. Because of that, he sees a bit of open space in the second level and makes a spin move for extra yards.
This is what any team wants in a running back, because it displays downhill running mixed with recognizing and adjusting to the developing play.
Running Back Technician Equals TD
In the second quarter Bush scored his second touchdown from one yard out against Minnesota. Much like what we saw from him a play later in the game, it was Bush's lateral movement and downhill running that propelled him into the end zone.
Although it's not a designed cutback play, Bush keeps the linebackers moving laterally because of his own shoulders staying rather square.
He then sticks his foot in the ground, gets downhill and bolts through the running lane.
Once near the goal line, courtesy of the forward momentum from being a downhill runner and the 'backers moving laterally, Bush carries the two defenders into the zone.
Matt Forte is a great back and is certainly Chicago's No. 1 guy.
Bush, though, is deserving of an even greater role because he is a dual-threat back with excellent athleticism. In turn, regardless of Forte moving onward, the Bears won't miss a beat with Bush bulldozing the rock between the tackles.
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