Switch to safety fine with Bush

Cornerback's versatility may be enough to earn a roster spot

With one preseason game left to prove he belongs, Jarrett Bush will get another chance to show off his versatility Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. Bush, who has played mainly cornerback during the last two seasons in Green Bay, has been inserted at safety at times in training camp practices and preseason games for a couple of reasons: The Packers have been banged up at the position and the team is trying to find a spot for him on the roster.

So far, so good for the third-year pro who struggled in the preseason opener against Cincinnati. Bush practiced at safety during the the Packers' Organized Team Activities practices and early on in training camp. When starting safeties Atari Bigby and Nick Collins left last Friday's preaseason game at Denver with injuries, Bush stepped in to fill the void, rotating in with Aaron Rouse and Tyrone Culver.

Bush said he played about 20 snaps at safety against the Broncos. He is expected to play more at safety against the Titans at Lambeau Field.

"It's a different world being out there playing deep and run-fitting," said Bush, who has seven tackles and three passes defensed this preseason.

Despite the rough outing against the Bengals, Bush is probably the fifth-best cornerback on the team behind Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Will Blackmon. It can be argued that Bush has performed better than rookie Pat Lee in training camp. But the Packers won't release Lee at the end of this week after selecting him in the second round of the NFL draft in April.

That leaves the team with the option of either releasing Bush or retaining six cornerbacks and three safeties. If the Packers like what they see of Bush at safety, it is likely that he will stick around on the roster as one of six cornerbacks and on standby as a safety.

Thus far, Bush relishes the chance to be on the field, and has made the necessary adjustments to playing safety.

"You've got more to look at," he said. "Instead of tunnel vision, you have big vision. I'm working on it now. With corner, you focus on one man every play. With safety, you've got to focus on eight players at one time. I've got to keep working and get better at it."

Bush said he practiced a little bit at safety last year, but the team was fairly healthy at the position. Besides Collins and Bigby, backup Charlie Peprah has been sidelined an extended period of time in training camp with a hip flexor injury.

Bush's versatility in the defensive backfield, plus his ability on special teams may be enough for him to continue his football career in Green Bay.

Todd Korth writes for PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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