Michael Bush on his 4.91-second 40: There goes my career


Former NFL running back Michael Bush tried to show his stuff at the Veteran Combine on Sunday. It did not go well.

Bush clocked a 4.91-second 40-yard dash time, which is way too slow to be an NFL running back. Afterward, he realized he probably isn’t going to get another chance.

“You gotta be [expletive] me . . . 4.91?” Bush said, via NFL Network. “There you go, there goes my career. You all just messed it up for me. A 4.91? That’s like saying you [addressing reporters] can come off the bench, and you can come catch me. It hurts. It hurts.”

If it makes Bush feel any better, I can tell him he’s wrong about one thing: He’s still faster than those reporters he was addressing. I think I can speak for my sportswriting colleagues when I say we’re not running any 4.9-second 40s.

Bush hasn’t played in a regular-season game since he was with the Bears in 2013, and he averaged 3.1 yards a carry that season. So his NFL career was probably over already. His slow 40 time just confirmed that.

53 responses to “Michael Bush on his 4.91-second 40: There goes my career

  1. Speed isn’t that important at RB since they work mostly in small spaces. If we were to time every starting back right now, I think most NFL fans would be surprised by the slow times posted by some of the best RBs in the league.

  2. You would think that he would know what his time would be before he came to the combine. It is not like it is hard to measure. All you need is a stop watch.

  3. the idea that someone can be that surprised by their time doesn’t sound right. Almost as if he was pulled off the street and asked to run it for the first time since the combine.

  4. “There you go, there goes my career. You all just messed it up for me. A 4.91?”

    Lmao yeah, shame on NFL scouts for rigging the Veteran Combine to make Michael Bush run a 4.91 I can’t believe they would do that. :eye roll:

  5. The kicker is that there was a $400 fee to attend, meaning he had to shell out to learn what every personnel guy in the league already knew. That’s cold.

    Question, though – would he not have run some practice 40s before going? How could he NOT have known or been prepared? It’s hard to feel sorry for a student who knew what was going to be on the exam, but didn’t study.

  6. The thing is… the world needs far less ditch diggers these days because we have machines and other drones to do the work. In fact, even sports writing will soon be replaced by algorithm driven drones. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  7. Vet Combine, just another made for TV event. If any of those participating had anything left teams would call them in for a look.
    It’s sad that they aren’t even paid to be the “stars” of yet another NFL Network: Not-Really-Reality TV show.

  8. So, I take it Mr. Bush is blaming the New vet combine as to why he has gotten slow and cant run like a deer anymore. NEWS FLASH… Father time has his hands on ALL of us, not just slow, fat, fans. You are slow and you are not going to get any faster, its called life and its also why its called a young mans game, you should feel lucky to have had the honor to play in the league, try radio you do not need a quick 40 time to do that. But unless you quit pointing fingers, I do not think you would be that great at that either, I hear Churches Chicken is Hiring..

  9. Your forty speed isn’t the only problem,

    Compare your Veteran’s minimum pay scale VS. the rookie pay scale

    And you can thank the Players Union for putting a lot of vets out of business…

    Is it any surprise why the majority of players (RBs especially) only see 1 NFL contract???

    Why wouldn’t any team want to go younger for cheaper with a steady pipeline of fresh legs coming in every yr?

  10. He’s slow, but he makes up for it by being weak. Softest 245-lb RB in league history. I would be interested to know what he weighed in at.

  11. Bush spent a couple of weeks on the Cards roster in 2014, but was never active. So, a desperate team might still look his way for an inside runner.

  12. commenter says:

    Speed isn’t that important at RB since they work mostly in small spaces.

    Actually, yes, speed is very important. Assuming you want a running back who can break it open and get to the end zone before someone catches him.

  13. I hope he did not spend the millions the Bears gave him to run slow, go down when touched, trip over his own blockers, miss blocks, drop passes and run poor routes. Good choice Lovie.

  14. The Vet combine is good to show these guys that the game has passed them by. They can end the “I can still play.” talk and move on in their lives.
    Bush and many of the RB’s had times that let them know it’s over. It may be a little sad, but it’s good for them to get closure…too many people don’t and they can’t move on. This way they can put this behind them and create a new future rather than live in the past.

  15. Okay, wouldn’t it be cool to have a veteran combine and also a veteran combine that included an actual draft and a football game. So it would be like a veteran combine Super Bowl. So you know that those men are going to be playing much harder than the Pro bowl game because they’re working to get their carrer back.

  16. “There you go, there goes my career. You all just messed it up for me. A 4.91?”

    Yeah, it’s kind of tragic how they forced you to show up to the combine without any preparation or self-awareness of how you would perform in drills. Another innocent victim of the media, this Michael Bush.

  17. I have always believed that the 40 times for the collegiate combine are always inflated compared to the rest of the league. College players are preparing hardcore for those tests at the combine. Do you think jerry rice was running a 4.5 40 at age 37? Probably not even close. What would Charles Woodson run today? Everyone knew times would be slow at the veteran combine. You just don’t keep that athleticism you have at age 22, especially with the wear and tear of the nfl. The players who stick around have great instincts which help game speed as they are a step faster based on that. players who rely solely on athleticism fizzle out a lot quicker.

  18. Was the timing off?

    I have read quite a few articles now and the players seem to be in arms over this laser technology that was being used.

    Obviously the players would point to faulty equipment but I read that a receiver, who was clocked at 4.6 at the event, went outside and ran a 4.43 from stopwatch.

  19. what most fans don’t realize is that the majority of draftable college talent has agents paying upwards of $15-$20k for them to train for a month or more prior to the Combine ..while most of these guys have in fact lost speed, the difference in preparation prior to the rookie vs. vet Combines almost certainly accounts for some of the differences in results

  20. “dcapettini says:
    Mar 23, 2015 11:53 AM
    You would think that he would know what his time would be before he came to the combine. It is not like it is hard to measure. All you need is a stop watch.”

    I’m sure his agent hand timed him *wink wink* and told him he had a 4.5 and that he should totally go for it.

  21. Like most Raider draft picks, he showed flashes of brilliance but those flashes were few and far between.

  22. I fail to see how the reporters are to blame for him running slow enough to be clocked with a sun dial.
    Typical though! Always the fault of someone else.

  23. Guy is good for goal line situations. So this should be taken in to consideration.

    I doubt many older players will still have blazing speed despite some claims. I am looking forward to see if some claims are accurate.

  24. Don’t know what purpose the Vet combine serves. There is plenty of video on all of these guys and they’re out of the league for a reason other than their 40 times or how they look in position drills. For the most part I think it’s because there are younger, cheaper options for teams to replace them.

  25. azcardssuckbutiluvem says:
    Mar 23, 2015 12:04 PM
    So, I take it Mr. Bush is blaming the New vet combine as to why he has gotten slow and cant run like a deer anymore.


    A) Bush was never known as a speedster
    B) That sounds like him saying “you guys took the wind out of my sails when you told me I just ran a 4.91”. I think he was flabbergasted.
    C) He is right. His career is done like dinner.

  26. “You gotta be [expletive] me . . . 4.91?” Bush said, via NFL Network. “There you go, there goes my career. You all just messed it up for me.
    So how is it their fault?????

  27. Makes me wonder how much slower other veteran players are now. They get tied to these lightning fast numbers that ran when they were 21 years old.

  28. Should never have left oakland. Would have got a lot of time playing alongside McFadden

    Going to Chicago was a crazy move as Forte would see the bulk of the action

  29. he was blaming the reporters for his slow 40 time? if his career is over, it’s only because he can’t run/play football anymore. how can it be someone elses “fault?”

  30. “He would have seen plenty of time in Oakland next to McFadden”

    Not true. Rashad Jennings was the raiders best RB and by far. Bush would have just been his backup when DM was injured. If he were on raiders now, with Jennings starting for NYG now Latavius Murray would be in front of him. He never was spectacular.

  31. For one thing, scouts are aware of how different meaurements affect stats and were likely aware of the difference between the stop-watch and the laser. These guys get paid to bring in talent, and getting vet minimum talent that can contribute for a team is still more vital than yonug, fresh legs.

    Ask Belichick or Newsome how hard it is to build up speed positions at WR/CB. They have proven, even moreso with free agency, that if they can get a veteran to contribute they will hold cap space and possibly playing for veterans over rookies. The scouts know this.

    The scouts do look at other things while these guys are working out, so the 40 time might not be high on their list based on who they are watching or what position they are playing.

    BUT, they probably have an idea of a specific time for the 40-yard for certain players because of due dilligence.

    40-yard is like a resume. It showcases you trained to work it, and you have the talent to reach a certain time. If someone doesn’t reach a good time it might not be because it was a good time in general, but might not be a good time for that specific player/position, and they probably won’t get signed.

    Bush ran a 4.91. I’m sure the scouts knew that stop-watch time is probably 4.76, that RBs his age/size run a 4.71, that Rbs playing football are running that time while focused on football, and that whether due to lack of training or talent, Bush couldn’t reach the time they want.

    This shows he was over the boat. Past his prime. They already had a number in their head of what he needed to reach for them to pique interest and he didn’t reach it. There’s a lot of money and winning at stake, and they have enough information to know whether Michael Bush can contribute.

    I don’t want to judge someone as lazy or not talented. But they narrowed down 100 people, and had enough information on whether individuals can perform to specific levels.

    40-time is like a resume. And they saw a time, compared it with information they had, and decided the worth. It isn’t a great determinant, but usually a good initial point to judging a player, and pretty sure its only Bush who is sad about the 4.91. Scouts saw something else, which is the reason he isn’t signed (as of now, maybe he did/will show something).

  32. I never considered Bush a guy that was going to break off many long runs anyway. I always saw him as a guy that was going to grind and get tough yards. Don’t see why a slow 40 time would stop that.

    He’s not going to be a feature back, but if he had any chance of that he wouldn’t be at the veteran combine in the first place. Not saying I would want my team to run out and sign him, but if he was willing to be a special teams guy/backup back for short yardage, I don’t see why he couldn’t still at least compete for a roster spot

    But then again I didn’t watch the vet combine because….it was the vet combine

  33. We talk about these numbers like they are huge differences between a “fast” and a “slow” athlete.

    Think about this. The difference between a guy running a 4.41 and a 4.91 is a half a second. Slow guy is half a second behind the fast guy after running 120 feet. You have two guys running side by side and the “fast” guy crosses the finish line and then before you can say, “one Missi…” the “slow” guy crosses it, too.

    The 40 yard dash is just one metric and far from the most important one in the real world. You can have quick feet and a good burst through the hole and still have a poor 40 time. (for the record I doubt Bush has either of those at this point either)

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