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Michael Bush: Taking a knee would be smart, but I wanted a TD


When Bears running back Michael Bush broke into the clear with 2:17 remaining in Sunday’s game against the Browns, he had an instant to make a decision: Run to the end zone for a touchdown that would give the Bears a 38-24 lead, or take a knee so the Bears could simply run out the clock and win the game?

Bush chose the 40-yard touchdown. But he acknowledged afterward that strategically, it would have made more sense to go down once he had picked up the first down. Cleveland was out of timeouts, so all the Bears would have had to do was kneel down three times after the two-minute warning and seal the win. Bush, however, has had a quiet season and wanted to make a big play.

“I know that I probably needed to go down, the smart play would have been go down and take a knee. But my plays are limited. I am going to take advantage of the opportunities I have,” Bush said, via the Chicago Tribune.

Bush is right: That would have been the smart play, and it’s a play that other running backs, including Brian Westbrook and Maurice Jones-Drew, have made. But Bush said the Bears’ coaches didn’t ask him to go down.

“No,” Bush said. “If they did I would have told them, ‘I’m sorry,’ with a smile on my face. It worked out for us.”

After Bush’s touchdown, the Browns got the ball back and scored a touchdown of their own with 59 seconds remaining. The Bears recovered the subsequent onside kick and ran out the clock. But if the Browns had recovered the onside kick, scored again and won the game, there would be some uncomfortable questions for Bush today about why he didn’t make the smart play.

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46 Responses to “Michael Bush: Taking a knee would be smart, but I wanted a TD”
  1. ravensterps says: Dec 16, 2013 6:59 PM

    I would probably feel the same, especially given how short the NFL careers of running backs are, but I would probably NOT tell the media that I put my stats above the team winning.

  2. conormacleod says: Dec 16, 2013 7:02 PM

    He spells team, “TEIM”.

  3. dracko19 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:03 PM

    There is no “i” in team, but Bush knows their is a “me” apparently. TEN pulled off a miracle vs ARZ this week on an onside to force OT, so it’s not like it was an impossible scenario for the Browns to come back. Just selfish and dumb.

  4. hansenbrothers says: Dec 16, 2013 7:03 PM

    “I wanna pad my stats at the expense of the team.”

  5. nyyjetsknicks says: Dec 16, 2013 7:10 PM

    Bush: It was the fantasy playoffs and I started myself. I needed the points. The Raiders aren’t going anywhere but I could advance in my fantasy league. Why must you be so selfish?

  6. mrlaloosh says: Dec 16, 2013 7:13 PM

    Please. It’s Cleveland. You knew they would lose. The only mystery would be by how much.

  7. gochargersgo says: Dec 16, 2013 7:13 PM

    This one should have been kneeled, but I still question the MJD example. His team didn’t have the lead, and would have felt pretty stupid if they missed the kick.

  8. razzzmajazzz says: Dec 16, 2013 7:14 PM

    When told that there was no “I” in “team”, Bush replied ” yeah, well there ain’t no “we” either.”

  9. lionsfan2014 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:16 PM

    I got knocked out of fantasy because of this, my opponent had Gordon who got the garbage time TD…

  10. mcmeen0576 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:19 PM

    One of the many reasons he will get cut in the offseason.

  11. westcoastraider says: Dec 16, 2013 7:21 PM

    Why is this dude not a starter on a team? He was a workhorse with Oakland and looks like he’s still got it..

  12. mad55555 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:22 PM

    Brent Celek of the Eagles kneeled down last week against the lions to end the game when he could have scored a 60 yard TD. Bush is a selfish prick and the Eagles will bury them at the Linc this coming Sunday.

  13. lemmetalkwouldya says: Dec 16, 2013 7:24 PM

    Clearly puts himself before the team.

  14. moodstr says: Dec 16, 2013 7:24 PM

    If he wanted touchdowns he should have went to a team where he’d be in consistent rotation. Instead Michael Bush got paid!

  15. larryboodry says: Dec 16, 2013 7:25 PM

    I notice the only comments calling him selfish are from people who root for other teams…No Bears fan I know wishes he’d taken a knee. He did what he’s paid to do, and if Cleveland had scored two TDs in those final two minutes, that woulda been on the defense, not him.


  16. seahawksbmx says: Dec 16, 2013 7:26 PM

    I was watching the game when Westbrook did it and that play defined his legacy with me: classy team player.
    Bush just defined his legacy with me as well: assy me player.
    Was it worth it, Michael? Was it worth it?

  17. wjarvis says: Dec 16, 2013 7:32 PM

    He’s a player that likely will be looking for a new team before next year, he’s signed for two more years but the bears aren’t going to pay him $2.8 million next year and $3.55 million after that. That single run might have gotten him a tryout next year, since his 2.38 yards per carry before that run wasn’t going to, it’s up to a bad but not historically bad 3.07 yards per carry now.

  18. teambringitstrong says: Dec 16, 2013 7:35 PM

    With all the comments blasting MB for his act and his honesty, it makes me wonder how thin the air is up there on your high horses.

  19. mydroopysack says: Dec 16, 2013 7:37 PM

    Yesterday, the 1st-round rookie safety of the 49ers, Eric Reid, had an opportunity to run a pick from Mike Glennon back for a TD near the end of the game. However, he specifically chose to go down so he and his teammates didn’t have to go out there again and risk injury to defend a desperation drive from the Tampa Bay offense. The 49ers were able to kneel out the clock and win the game.

    Ladies and gentleman, this is a rookie, whereas Michael Bush is a veteran.

  20. mackcarrington says: Dec 16, 2013 7:45 PM

    I don’t know. Fantasy footballers sound just as selfish as this dude.

  21. eatsleeptalksports says: Dec 16, 2013 7:47 PM

    Very selfish play. What would he have said if the bears had lost that game? He is out there to help his team win, not to pad his own stats. I’m also very surprised that he publicly admitted to “wanting that TD”

  22. metalhead65 says: Dec 16, 2013 7:48 PM

    he did the right the thing if for nothing else than to show the bears and other teams what he can do when asked to do more than usual third down dive plays they run for him. that is 2 weeks in a row he has broken off big runs when given the chance. maybe now teams will have to be ready for more than that play when the bears are faced with short yardage.

  23. realitycheckbaby says: Dec 16, 2013 7:50 PM

    Doesn’t he play for the coach who forgot there were 4 downs in real football?

    Isn’t Cutler their QB?

    Go wonder the IQ level on that team isn’t very high.

  24. howiehandles says: Dec 16, 2013 7:54 PM

    “No Bears fan I know wishes he’d taken a knee.”

    Um, Bear’s fan here, and that was selfish. He took the money to be a change of pace back, he knew what he signed up for, and I don’t blame him. However, Marion Barber made a pretty dumb play too, and the Tebow crap continued because of it.

  25. larryboodry says: Dec 16, 2013 8:07 PM


    You are a bigger idiot than filthymcnasty1…And that is some honest reality for you.

  26. imonfire2niteoyeah says: Dec 16, 2013 8:24 PM

    Points forced is potentially a tie breaking scenario.

  27. comeonnowguys says: Dec 16, 2013 8:26 PM

    A Seahawks fan blasted someone on another team for being classless?

    Look at your coach. Then shush up.

    Also, to the people complaining about “playing” against Gordon’s garbage time TD, my bet is the hearts of the three other people in your league that had to line up against him in the three previous weeks are breaking for you.

  28. larryboodry says: Dec 16, 2013 8:40 PM


    There is no comparison between what Bush did, putting the team up by two TDs with two minutes to go, and what Barber did against Denver. Barber cost us that game twice, once on a mental blunder, and then in OT on a physical one.

  29. jack3dsd says: Dec 16, 2013 8:49 PM

    that’s a little bit nit picky dont you think?

  30. sevensgottago says: Dec 16, 2013 9:49 PM

    ” Taking a knee would be smart, but I’m not. I’m a selfish glory-hound who could care less if my team wins.”

  31. japmen says: Dec 16, 2013 9:54 PM

    So, with two minutes left he puts them up 14 and all they have to do is depend on the defense and an obvious onsides kick…and we should blame the RB? Huh?!!!!!

  32. detroit20iron says: Dec 16, 2013 10:01 PM

    maybe he should have signed elsewhere as a starter

  33. ydousuk says: Dec 16, 2013 10:07 PM

    larryboodry says:Dec 16, 2013 8:07 PM


    You are a bigger idiot than filthymcnasty1…And that is some honest reality for you

    But you didn’t dispute his post………..huh

  34. johngaltwho says: Dec 16, 2013 10:18 PM

    Come on, lets be realistic – he’s a member of the Chicago Bears. Historically, Bears players have been described as tough, opportunistic, fast, physical – but smart? not so much.

  35. mikejsmith32 says: Dec 16, 2013 10:42 PM

    If the Browns were playing the Cowboys, they would have recovered the onside kick and won the game.

  36. chut26 says: Dec 16, 2013 10:56 PM

    I’m sure he wouldn’t have said that if one of the players on the Bears defense suffered a season ending injury after Cleveland got the ball back.

    I hate players like him, and frankly these comments will make it hard for him to find a job.

  37. GO FOR TWO SPORTS says: Dec 16, 2013 11:23 PM

    This guy made a dumb move leaving Oakland where he was relevant and was getting huge numbers. He left Oakland and never recovered..
    He was getting 100 yard games in Oakland now he is lucky to get 13 yard games

  38. nygnjd says: Dec 16, 2013 11:42 PM

    It’s the job of the offense to score. It’s the job of the defense to stop the other team from scoring. He did his job.

  39. iowahbr says: Dec 16, 2013 11:47 PM

    The Bears get a gift from the Lions. Beat the Eagles and the Packers and this 10 and 6 season is a play-off spot.

  40. dontcensormebro says: Dec 17, 2013 12:22 AM

    Get off his back, PFT. For an offense that was full of question marks with Cutler back in the line up, I’m sure it was a mega confidence booster for these guys to score three tds in the fourth quarter.

    They’ll be carrying that momentum onward.

  41. gohawks7 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:25 AM

    There is more to just running the clock out by taking a knee. You are also forcing your defense to go on the field again to defend against garbage time and risking injury.

  42. hendeeze says: Dec 17, 2013 3:14 AM

    Interesting, when 49ers rookie safety clinched an INT with 2 minutes remaining, he had the forethought to go down with nobody between him and the endzone, just so the team could run out the clock and prevent the possibility of injury (well almost prevent, they were playing against a Schiano team afterall so victory formation is never safe) He went down with the game well in hand for the good of his team, While Bush is ready to risk a loss and the possibility of injury to pad his own stats.

  43. larryboodry says: Dec 17, 2013 9:25 AM

    nygnjd says: Dec 16, 2013 11:42 PM

    “It’s the job of the offense to score. It’s the job of the defense to stop the other team from scoring. He did his job.”


  44. beardownfromcali says: Dec 17, 2013 11:25 AM

    Why not run down to the 1 and take a knee? Get the 59yds to your stats and help your team. Mind. Blown.

  45. Daniel Lawson says: Dec 17, 2013 7:01 PM

    Bush is a backup who has had his touches taken almost completely away from him so when he break it for a 40 yarder I bet you that there isn’t a single person in that building that wasn’t happy for him and if Conte did his job that pass would have been broken up or picked off

  46. kenmasters34 says: Dec 18, 2013 12:38 AM

    Come on. If you have a 14 point lead with 2 minutes left… and manage to lose the game, the blame belongs to the defense. Not on an RB that didn’t take a knee.

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