Reject or Gem?

Today was supposed to be the big day for Michael Bush, but surgery last week has delayed his workout in front of scouts. If the big runner does come back, will it be too late for the Steelers to have an interest?

Wex's Draft Series
  • Daniel Sepulveda
  • Darrelle Revis
  • LaMarr Woodley
  • Lawrence Timmons
  • Chris Houston
  • Marshawn Lynch
  • Ben Grubbs
  • Leon Hall
  • Adam Carriker
  • Jarvis Moss
  • Anthony Spencer
  • The Odds
  • It was the comparison to make – Curtis Martin and Michael Bush – until it all seemed to go up in smoke last week.

    Martin was an injury-plagued tailback at Pitt and he took a terrible pounding because of his upright running style. Martin never had a serious injury, but never really shook off the nicks long enough to muster more than one 1,000-yard season in college.

    Martin did that as a junior, and then in the opener of his senior season he severely sprained his ankle and sat out the rest of the year.

    He was redshirted, and could've come back to improve his draft status, but Martin came out that year and was the 74th pick of the draft -- the 10th pick of the third round -- by the New England Patriots.

    In the NFL, Martin shook off his bad luck with injuries and not only became Rookie of the Year in 1995, he gained over 14,000 yards in his career and is the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history and a lock for the Hall of Fame.

    It all turned out pretty well for Martin, and before last week a similar scenario was percolating for Bush.

    He's bigger than Martin, but has the same upright style and the same bad luck with injuries. Bush also had only one 1,000-yard season, as a junior, and he too went down in the opener of his senior year. Bush broke his right leg and had a rod and two screws inserted in his tibia.

    Bush showed up at the combine in great shape. He measured 6-1¾ and was down to 243 pounds. He didn't run, but was looking forward to his pro day, because, he said, his doctors had told him his leg would come back "stronger than ever."

    Bush believed his doctors because there was "no ligament damage," he said. "I didn't dislocate my ankle or turn my knee. It's just a clean break. I'll be 100 percent."

    That was at the combine. Today, he was supposed to have run for scouts at his pro day, but complications set in. Last week, Bush had the rod removed and replaced with another.

    Bush choose surgery and training camp over running at Louisville's Pro Day. (Photo: InsideTheVille.com)
    "It's something he could have put off, but it's something he thought he needed to do," Louisville Sports Information Director Rocco Gasparro told The Louisville Courier-Journal. "A new rod was put in to help the bone grow where it wasn't healing properly."

    Oh? Is that all? Anything else we should know?

    Well, according to the story, Gasparro relayed that Bush thought surgery would "help him heal quicker and be ready possibly by the time training camps start."

    This, of course, is not good news, for Bush or the Steelers, who considered Bush a first-class running back before the second surgery. And they had the need. The Steelers would like a bigger complement to Willie Parker, and taking Bush with the 13th pick of the third round is a move that made a lot of sense, not to mention it would've coincided nicely with the Martin story. But at this point it's not a stretch to think the Steelers have taken Bush off their board. Wouldn't any team?

    Well, with two compensation picks, the Steelers might have the luxury of taking a chance on Bush.

    For one, Bush is a class person. He came to Louisville as a quarterback and became their team captain. He has leadership skills and his charisma was evident to the media throng that showed up to interview him at the combine.

    Two, Bush is a big back with legitimate power potential. He scored 23 touchdowns his junior season and injured his foot carrying two Pitt players across the goal line late in the season.

    There are his critics who believe he's a big back that runs with too much finesse. Bush was asked about the knock at the combine.

    "I think I'm physical enough," he said. "If it's third-and-two or third-and-three and I need the first down, I can get to the corner or put my shoulders down and I can get it for you."

    You'd expect that from Bush, but a few months earlier the same question was put to Pitt defensive line coach Greg Gattuso, who said he understood why people might knock Bush for not being physical enough.

    "But still, he's a 250-pound running back," Gattuso said. "Physical or not, you still have to tackle the man, and by the end of the day he's going to wear you out."

    By the end of draft day, in this writer's opinion, the Steelers should take a chance on the big back – if someone doesn't beat them to the punch.


    Steel City Insider Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
    \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
    \r\n Wex's Draft Series
    \r\n
  • Daniel Sepulveda
  • \r\n
  • Darrelle Revis
  • \r\n
  • LaMarr Woodley
  • \r\n
  • Lawrence Timmons
  • \r\n
  • Chris Houston
  • \r\n
  • Marshawn Lynch
  • \r\n
  • Ben Grubbs
  • \r\n
  • Leon Hall
  • \r\n
  • Adam Carriker
  • \r\n
  • Jarvis Moss
  • \r\n
  • Anthony Spencer
  • \r\n
  • The Odds
  • \r\n \r\n\r\nIt was the comparison to make – Curtis Martin and Michael Bush – until it all seemed to go up in smoke last week. \r\n\r\n

    Martin was an injury-plagued tailback at Pitt and he took a terrible pounding because of his upright running style. Martin never had a serious injury, but never really shook off the nicks long enough to muster more than one 1,000-yard season in college. \r\n\r\n

    Martin did that as a junior, and then in the opener of his senior season he severely sprained his ankle and sat out the rest of the year. \r\n\r\n

    He was redshirted, and could've come back to improve his draft status, but Martin came out that year and was the 74th pick of the draft -- the 10th pick of the third round -- by the New England Patriots. \r\n\r\n

    In the NFL, Martin shook off his bad luck with injuries and not only became Rookie of the Year in 1995, he gained over 14,000 yards in his career and is the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history and a lock for the Hall of Fame. \r\n\r\n

    It all turned out pretty well for Martin, and before last week a similar scenario was percolating for Bush. \r\n\r\n

    He's bigger than Martin, but has the same upright style and the same bad luck with injuries. Bush also had only one 1,000-yard season, as a junior, and he too went down in the opener of his senior year. Bush broke his right leg and had a rod and two screws inserted in his tibia. \r\n\r\n

    Bush showed up at the combine in great shape. He measured 6-1¾ and was down to 243 pounds. He didn't run, but was looking forward to his pro day, because, he said, his doctors had told him his leg would come back \"stronger than ever.\" \r\n\r\n

    Bush believed his doctors because there was \"no ligament damage,\" he said. \"I didn't dislocate my ankle or turn my knee. It's just a clean break. I'll be 100 percent.\" \r\n\r\n

    That was at the combine. Today, he was supposed to have run for scouts at his pro day, but complications set in. Last week, Bush had the rod removed and replaced with another. \r\n\r\n

    \r\n\r\n

    \r\n
    Bush choose surgery and training camp over running at Louisville's Pro Day. (Photo: InsideTheVille.com)
    \r\n\r\n\r\n\"It's something he could have put off, but it's something he thought he needed to do,\" Louisville Sports Information Director Rocco Gasparro told The Louisville Courier-Journal. \"A new rod was put in to help the bone grow where it wasn't healing properly.\" \r\n\r\n

    Oh? Is that all? Anything else we should know? \r\n\r\n

    Well, according to the story, Gasparro relayed that Bush thought surgery would \"help him heal quicker and be ready possibly by the time training camps start.\" \r\n\r\n

    This, of course, is not good news, for Bush or the Steelers, who considered Bush a first-class running back before the second surgery. And they had the need. The Steelers would like a bigger complement to Willie Parker, and taking Bush with the 13th pick of the third round is a move that made a lot of sense, not to mention it would've coincided nicely with the Martin story. But at this point it's not a stretch to think the Steelers have taken Bush off their board. Wouldn't any team? \r\n\r\n

    Well, with two compensation picks, the Steelers might have the luxury of taking a chance on Bush. \r\n\r\n

    For one, Bush is a class person. He came to Louisville as a quarterback and became their team captain. He has leadership skills and his charisma was evident to the media throng that showed up to interview him at the combine. \r\n\r\n

    Two, Bush is a big back with legitimate power potential. He scored 23 touchdowns his junior season and injured his foot carrying two Pitt players across the goal line late in the season. \r\n\r\n

    There are his critics who believe he's a big back that runs with too much finesse. Bush was asked about the knock at the combine. \r\n\r\n

    \"I think I'm physical enough,\" he said. \"If it's third-and-two or third-and-three and I need the first down, I can get to the corner or put my shoulders down and I can get it for you.\" \r\n\r\n

    You'd expect that from Bush, but a few months earlier the same question was put to Pitt defensive line coach Greg Gattuso, who said he understood why people might knock Bush for not being physical enough. \r\n\r\n

    \"But still, he's a 250-pound running back,\" Gattuso said. \"Physical or not, you still have to tackle the man, and by the end of the day he's going to wear you out.\" \r\n\r\n

    By the end of draft day, in this writer's opinion, the Steelers should take a chance on the big back – if someone doesn't beat them to the punch. \r\n\r\n","skipOnMobile":true,"skipOnMobileReason":"UnsupportedHtmlTable","unsupportedMarkup":"LackingResponsiveTableClass","media":[],"dateOverride":"2007-03-26T07:55:00","authorOverride":"Jim Wexell","role":"SteelCityInsider.com","isPremium":true,"isHotNews":false,"isRumor":false,"syndicationFlag":true,"isClassified":true,"hotNamesLinked":true,"storyImage":"[MEDIA:352291]","mainImage":{"url":"[MEDIA:352291]"},"thumbnailImage":"[THUMBNAIL:352291]","heroImage":{},"authorImage":"","tags":[{"id":"9817","name":"Louisville - Football"},{"id":"689","name":"Louisville"},{"id":"182","name":"Pittsburgh 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