Oakland Raiders Must Re-Sign Michael Bush
He was tendered right before the lockout but who knows if it will hold up under new C.B.A. rules. Therefore, Raiders owner Al Davis must get on his J.O.B. and get Bush re-signed to remain a Raider.
Losing him would be a big blow to what the Raiders are building these days.
Turn the page to see why.
A Big Part of the Bully
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Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson has repeatedly spoken of "building a bully" in Raider Nation. Having a big back like Bush who's 6'3", 245 pounds is the ultimate symbol of bully-hood.
The fact that the speedy Darren McFadden is also a physical runner that has knocked out defensive backs further solidifies the bully. Stephen Wisniewski is a center recently drafted by the Raiders that has good size at 6'3", 315 pounds to take the place of undersized Samson Satele.
Cooper Carlisle is an undersized guard that will be replaced as well so the Raiders won't be small in the middle anymore. This completes the Raiders transformation to a power running team with more size on the offensive line.
The Raiders don't need to give up bully points by letting their big back go.
Complement to McFadden
Bush is the perfect complement to McFadden.
McFadden could start a game by making the defense chase him to the edge with that 4.2 speed. He could then take a break and have Bush cutting back on an over-pursuing defense that got used to McFadden's speed.
Then when the defense gets used to Bush, McFadden can go back in the game and turn the corner on them. Physically, the defense gets winded chasing speed, then battered tackling the size.
Tell me that's not a nightmare!
Don't Fix What's Not Broken
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The Raiders were ranked No. 2 in the NFL in rushing in 2010 with Bush sharing the load with McFadden. I think all Raiders fans would have to agree that things worked out pretty well in that department for Oakland.
When you finish at .500 after having seven straight losing seasons, you improve by fixing what is wrong with the team. Making any adjustments to a strength of your team is a foolish move, as strengths should be built on.
The Raiders were smart to sign corner Stanford Routt, need to sign corner Nnamdi Asomugha and keep free safety Michael Huff. Those three combined for the NFL's No. 2 pass defense and are big building points for the Raiders as well.
Keep what's working on the team!
The Tough Yards
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The Raiders are on the opposition's 1-yard line.
Who can make the play?
Michael Bush can make the play bully style!
This 245-pounder is money in these situations as most of Bush's eight touchdowns have come from short yardages. This is yet another testament to how important Bush is to this Oakland Raiders team.
McFadden can get tough yards but Bush was made more for it so let him get it done so McFadden can do what he does.
McFadden can go the distance on any given play and that's a great thing to have when behind in a football game. Bush is the perfect back to have when ahead by a little and you simply want to kill the clock.
The defense will especially love Bush, as he will continue to get first downs and give them a rest.
How about that?
McFadden to get the Raiders the lead and Bush to close it.
No Drop-Off with McFadden Out
McFadden finally stayed healthy enough to play in 13 out of 16 games in 2010.
But given his history with injuries, the Raiders need a guy that can go in there and keep the offense rolling. Bush has displayed that he is that guy as he rushed for over 100 yards in two out of three games in McFadden's stead.
Bush also had a touchdown in two of those three games.
I would especially hate to not have him if McFadden misses time.
Bush and McFadden do have their different styles but the Raiders don't tip their hand when Bush goes into the game. This is because Bush is a more-than-capable receiver out of the backfield and a good pass protector.
Usually, opposing teams can predict whether the Raiders will run or pass by which back is in because only of them is in on third down. Either Bush or McFadden can be in on third down so this is just another advantage the Raiders have with Bush.
Good Football Player
The main reason the Raiders should not let Michael Bush go is because he's a good football player. Many don't remember the fact that this man was the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy before breaking his leg early in his senior year at Louisville.
He had the kind of break that takes a while to come back from but the Raiders gave him that time. He is now starting to show he is the real deal running the football.
Good football players don't grow on trees, so when you have one, keep him.
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Good football players are commodities in the NFL.
If the Raiders can replace Bush, he is a running back that would have many teams lined up for his services. Signing him means the Raiders can get a good player or players for him if they so wish.
I don't want him to walk at all, but if he doesn't stay in Oakland, they should get something for him.
Don't Want To Play Against Him
Who wants to play against a big power back that can occasionally break away?
If the Raiders control his rights, they can control who he plays for if it isn't them. This means Davis can ship Bush out of the AFC West if he has a plan in place to go on without him.
The Raiders don't need him in Denver, Kansas City or San Diego as they finally have a leg up on the division. The Raiders dominated their division because they didn't allow a 100-yard rusher in the division in 2010.
The Raiders shouldn't let Bush become a Larry Johnson or LaDainian Tomlinson on them in 2011.
Bush is the perfect thunder to go with the lightning of McFadden because they balance each other well. McFadden isn't as powerful as Bush but he has power so both of these men can wear the defense down.
Bush doesn't have the mercurial speed of McFadden but he can go the distance to complete a big run. Both men catch the ball well and protect the quarterback so the defense can't tell what's coming with either guy in there.
This combination shouldn't be broken up because you don't give up too much of one thing to get the other when you substitute these men. Plus, as I said before, you just don't give up good football players because they are commodities you can broker.
Instead, I prefer that Bush stay in Raider Nation to continue to build the "bully."