Michael Bush (born June 16, 1984) is an American football running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisville.
Bush attended Louisville Male High School where he played quarterback his senior year after seeing action at defensive back, defensive end, linebacker, running back, safety, and wide receiver over his career. As a senior, he led the Bulldogs to the state championship game in Kentucky's highest class. In a showdown with future Louisville teammate Brian Brohm and his Trinity Shamrocks, Bush threw for 468 yards and six touchdowns and ran for 116 yards and another touchdown in a 59-56 loss. He also caught two passes for 24 yards, returned a punt and a kickoff, and made five tackles on defense.
Following a successful high school career, Bush became a highly sought after college recruit. He turned down offers from several more established programs (including Ohio State) to stay at home and attend the University of Louisville, largely because head coach Bobby Petrino promised the opportunity to play quarterback, his preferred position. As a true freshman, he was forced to play several positions in order to get on the field because Louisville's starting quarterback position was locked down by Stefan LeFors. Though he was not the starter, Bush was able to rush for 100 yards in back-to-back games as a tailback toward the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Petrino had decided to recruit another star quarterback from the Louisville area: Brian Brohm of Trinity. Though Bush had played various positions his freshman year, he believed this arrangement to be temporary and still expected to be a quarterback in the long-term. The recruitment of Brohm, however, meant Bush would have to find another position. Much to Bush's chagrin, Petrino moved him to tailback permanently.
Bush's breakout season came as a junior in 2005, as he rushed for 1143 yards on 205 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, racked up 23 rushing touchdowns, and was second in NCAA Division 1-A in scoring to LenDale White. He was also widely considered to be a preseason candidate for the 2006 Heisman Trophy. Though he could have left early for the NFL Draft, Bush decided to return for his senior season.
He came into the 2006 projected as one of the top 10 players for the 2007 NFL Draft, and his season began successfully as expected. His first carry of the season was a 48-yard run for a touchdown in the Cardinals' annual rivalry game with Kentucky. He then scored two more touchdowns in the first half, and had carried for 128 yards when he was tackled during a routine rushing play by Kentucky linebacker Wesley Woodyard, and suffered a broken right tibia. The injury was so bad that ESPN announced before the end of the game that Bush would miss the remainder of the 2006 season. The injury required the insertion of a steel rod and a second operation to facilitate the healing process.
Bush participated in 3 bowl games during his career as a Cardinal. The first was a GMAC Bowl loss to Miami University (Ohio) in which Bush ran for 33 yards on 9 attempts behind Lionel Gates's 12 carry 128 yard performance. Bush would do better in the Liberty Bowl victory over Boise State with 12 carries for 96 yards, his best performance in a college bowl game. He finished his bowl career in the 2005 Gator Bowl in which Bush ran for 94 yards on 16 carries.
Bush majored in sports administration at Louisville.
Bush was chosen by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft with the first pick of the fourth round. With his broken leg still hobbling him, he was declared Physically Unable to Perform for the entire 2007 season.
After a two year hiatus, Bush finally returned to the football field in 2008. He was the Raiders' third string halfback but saw some action because of injuries to Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas. He also filled in as a blocking fullback.
An early high point in his professional career was the last game of 2008 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Bush rushed for 177 yards on 27 carries and 2 touchdowns to help Oakland deny Tampa Bay a spot in the playoffs.
In 2010 he rushed for 655 yards in 14 games, including eight touchdowns. Before the 2011 season, Bush agreed to a contract extension with the Raiders. In week ten of the 2011 season, he started as running back against the San Diego Chargers in place of the injured Darren McFadden. In that 24-17 victory, he gained a total of 242 yards from scrimmage, fourth most in Raiders history and eclipsing Bo Jackson's total for the most since the AFL/NFL merger. Bush also has shown an ability to score on when near the goal line, as he scored 13 touchdowns on 30 attempts.
Bush signed a four-year contract worth $14 million (with $7 million guaranteed) with the Chicago Bears on March 22, 2012. Bush replaced Matt Forte as halfback during minicamp while Forte was holding out over a contract dispute. After Forte and the Bears agreed to a multi-year contract, Bush stated his displeasure of possibly being a complementary back. In the first preseason game against Denver, Bush fumbled on a pitch from Raiders teammate Jason Campbell, giving Denver the ball. In the second game of the preseason against the Washington Redskins, Bush scored two touchdowns in the first quarter. In his regular season debut as a Bear, Bush ran for 42 yards and two touchdowns as the Bears defeated the Indianapolis Colts 41-21. After sustaining a rib injury, Bush was placed on injured reserve on December 18.
- "ESPN - Brohm, Bush primed to color Cardinals' canvas". Sports.espn.go.com. 2005-08-19. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/preview05/news/story?id=2137624. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "ESPN - Michael Bush's Stats at Louisville". Sports.espn.go.com. 1984-06-16. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=149846. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "ESPN - Bush stats". Sports.espn.go.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/stats?playerId=149846. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "ESPN - Quinn, Peterson front-runners in Heisman race - Columnist". Sports.espn.go.com. 2006-08-27. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=2560105. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "ESPN - Louisville's Bush breaks right leg in season opener - College Football". Sports.espn.go.com. 2006-09-04. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2572409. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Yahoo - Bush - Game log". Sports.yahoo.com. 2011-04-20. http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/players/105507/gamelog;_ylt=AtNgFS4pYm_sL9OuBC8o9djA.88F. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Michael Bush Biography". Michael Bush Online. http://www.michaelbushonline.com/Michael-Bush-Biography.php. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "San Francisco Chronicle - RB Bush is odd man out rest of season". Sfgate.com. 2007-11-22. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/21/SP27TGP3I.DTL. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "ESPN - Oakland vs. Tampa Bay Recap, December 28, 2008". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-12-28. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=281228027. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Corman, Rebecca (2011-08-06). "RB Michael Bush Re-Signs with the Raiders". Raiders.com. http://www.raiders.com/news/article-1/RB-Michael-Bush-Re-Signs-with-the-Raiders/d33af21d-24a2-49f5-9f83-19e4f24668c3. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Michael Bush hopes for bigger role with Chicago Bears". NFL.com. 2012-07-28. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82ae0758/article/michael-bush-hopes-for-bigger-role-with-chicago-bears. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Brad Biggs (March 22, 2012). "Bears sign free agent running back Michael Bush". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-bears-sign-free-agent-running-back-michael-bush-20120322,0,953338.story. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- "Bears minicamp is minus Matt Forte, but Michael Bush has been a plus - Chicago Sun-Times". Suntimes.com. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/13146845-606/bears-minicamp-is-minus-matt-fortebut-michael-bush-has-been-a-plus.html. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Larry's Bears vs. Broncos blog". Chicagobears.com. 2012-08-09. http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=8964. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- 8:00 PM ET, August 18, 2012Soldier Field, Chicago, IL . "Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears - Box Score - August 18, 2012 - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=320818003. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- Mayer, Larry. "Explosive Bears outduel Colts". Chicagobears.com. http://www.chicagobears.com/news/article-1/Explosive-Bears-outduel-Colts/fe5509a2-6877-4304-b4d7-4f66279b9724. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- Associated Press (2012-12-18). "Bears place Bush on IR with rib injury". Fox Sports. http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/chicago-bears-michael-bush-injured-reserve-rib-injury-121812. Retrieved 2012-12-18.