Bush, Green Happy To Avoid Roster Bubble

Jarrett Bush and Howard Green have found a home in Green Bay because of the niches they fill on the Packers' roster. Green, who's been released 10 times in his career, and Bush talk about their job security and provide some advice to those wondering about their futures.

Howard Green's been cut 10 times during his NFL career.

Jarrett Bush has been cut just once but spent more than a couple of summers on the bubble.

Now, both players have solidified their positions with the Green Bay Packers, Green as the space-eating, run-stuffing defensive end and Bush as the special teams ace and utility man in the secondary.

So, while a few dozen members of the Packers will be looking nervously at their phones as the team contemplates how to reduce the roster from 80 players to the league-mandated 53 by Saturday afternoon, Green and Bush will be able to rest easy.

OK, maybe not easy.

"You never really know. I always wonder," Bush said after Tuesday's practice, the final workout before Thursday's preseason finale against Kansas City at Lambeau Field. "It sits in the back of my head like, ‘Today's the day, I wonder what's going to happen.' This is my sixth year doing it so you kind of get used to it. I know what I'm capable of, I know what I showed on film, I know what I did at practice and I know I can play. But I don't put too much into it. It's one day, it's a phone call, and I feel like if you give it so much energy, you're giving your energy to it. Whatever happens, happens. Just play football."

Green's transactions list could take a page in the Packers' media guide. A sixth-round draft pick by Dom Capers' Texans in 2002, he was released twice as a rookie, once in 2003, failed to make the Saints in 2005 and Dolphins in 2006 – sitting out two full regular seasons – once in 2007, once in 2009 and three times in 2010 before latching on with the lineman-starved Packers at midseason in 2010.

Green has found a home in Green Bay. Not literally, but almost.

He lived in a hotel for his three-and-a-half months in Green Bay last year and has been at a hotel since the players were dismissed from the dorms at St. Norbert College last week. So secure that, finally, he's found some job security, Green said he was going house shopping after practice and meetings on Tuesday.

"I feel like I have a home here," Green said. "I feel like I've made the team by being productive and being reliable and dependable. That's something the coaching staff knows they can get from me at any point and any time during the season. Those things play into it and give you a better understanding."

Green Bay has been a great fit for Green, and not just professionally. He found a friend in Ryan Pickett. Less than a month after signing with the Packers, Green found himself invited to the Pickett family's Thanksgiving dinner.

"This is a very family-oriented team," Green said. "Very close — everybody's close to one another on both sides of the ball. I would say this is a first being around the kind of camaraderie we have in this locker room. That's a big, big thing."

Bush's NFL career hasn't been quite as bumpy but it's been no picnic, either. An undrafted free agent in 2006, Bush didn't make Carolina's final roster but was claimed on waivers by general manager Ted Thompson. Bush won the job as third cornerback in 2007 but performed poorly and eventually was replaced by Tramon Williams. Still, for all the criticism Bush took from fans for poor play on defense and overzealous play on special teams, Bush kept landing on the right side of the roster bubble and eventually was given a three-year contract as a restricted free agent in 2009. Voted a special teams captain for the Packers' run to the Super Bowl – he led the team with seven special teams tackles in four games -- there's little doubt that Bush's future with the team is secure.

That's not the case for much of the roster, which is on pins and needles entering Thursday's final showcase. The Packers will need to trim the roster by 27 players by Saturday – perhaps more if Thompson adds a player or two off of some other team's scrap heap.

Bush's advice to those players? Play hard and leave no regrets on Thursday, then go bowling and watch a movie to pass the time on Saturday.

"They've got to show what they can do and play hard and compete and try to separate themselves from everyone else," Bush said. "Just try to stand out and take that next step and do some of the stuff that rookies don't do and vets typically do. When you're out there, win. That's how I did it. You've got to compete because you're competing against some of the best. If you want to be the best, you've got to compete against the best and beat the best. They're not interviewing just for this team but for 31 other teams. I tell all the rookies, ‘Man, you should have to almost be carried back in here because that's how hard you should play.' Scrapping, scrataching, clawing — all that. It all depends on how bad they want it. How bad does the kid want it? How bad does he want to play football? That's what it comes down to."

Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.

Packer Report Top Stories