1) Introduction: Like any other player on the Green Bay Packers’ secondary, 2011 was not exactly a banner year for Jarrett Bush. Still, he recorded a career high in interceptions (two, but hey it’s still a career high!) and recorded his first NFL sack finishing with one and a half on the season. Known as a special teams ace, Bush once again was a big contributor on an improved special teams unit.
3) Expectations coming into the season: Bush made a big interception of Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XLV and played decent ball with Charles Woodson suffering a broken collarbone. Bush’s expectations for 2011 therefore were to keep improving and be ready to play should Woodson suffer an injury.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: As it turned out, Bush started two games during the 2011 season. A big highlight for him came during the regular season finale against the Lions with Woodson and many of the other defensive starters resting up for the divisional playoffs. The Lions were driving deep in Packers territory when Bush intercepted Matthew Stafford and helped the Packers eek out a 45-41 win over their divisional rivals.
As for the low-light of the year, the hail mary in the playoffs to end the first half against the Giants will go down as the most embarrassing play for the Packers defense in the playoffs since the 4th and 26 debacle in Philadephia. Bush and Sam Shields allowed THREE Giants receivers to run up the field without jamming them at the line of scrimmage. The rest of the play is history, unfortunately.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Bush overall made plays when they counted. He saved a touchdown in the Lions game with his interception deep in Packers territory and against the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the season. His pick of Matt Ryan and long return helped propel the Packers to victory after trailing 14-3 earlier in the game.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: This is going to sound like a broken record, but the secondary didn’t show up in that game. The Giants have a tough trio of receivers in Victor Cruz, Mario Mannningham and Hakeem Nicks but the Packers should have been able to force some turnovers and they couldn’t.
Season Report Card:
(B-) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(D) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: C-——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke