June 12, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush (24) catches a ball during the team's mandatory minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
Jarrett Bush has been playing with the first team offense since last week's game against the Cleveland Browns and he believes he is going to be a starting cornerback for the Green Bay Packers. That's fine, and I admire his confidence in his own abilities. Casey Hayward is a rookie, Sam Shields is struggling and Davon House is injured, so I don't have any problem with Bush playing with the No. 1 defense at the moment.
Bush catches a lot of criticism from fans who never got over his poor performances from years long passed. He is a reliable dime corner who is very good on special teams. I feel like I've written those two exact sentences on this site five times this summer, but they need to be repeated over and over. Jarrett Bush is an okay player, and it's good when okay players think they can be something better.
But these quotes? Man, I can't get behind this. From a conversation with FOX Sports Wisconsin's Paul Imig after Monday's practice:
"It's my time, I feel like, to take on that starting role. Being here seven years now, I feel very, very confident in what I'm doing. I'm experienced, I've been in different situations, I've been in big games, playoff games (and) the Super Bowl ... I feel I'm able to lead the rest of the secondary and show them what we're held to as a standard, continue what Charles (Woodson) and Al Harris, what they left behind, and continue to be the No. 1 takeaway defense."
I don't say this to attack Bush, but it needs to be said: He isn't good enough. He has never demonstrated that he has the ability to start at outside cornerback for a team good enough to make the playoffs in the NFL. He is a seven-year veteran with very good physical tools who has yet to put everything together and play at a level high enough for anyone to have confidence in him as a starter.
Bush has not been horrible in his first two preseason games, but he has not wowed anyone. The same goes for just about every account of his performances in practice thus far. He looks like the same Jarrett Bush that he has been for the last couple of years: Good enough to be a reliable dime for a good team, or a reliable nickel for a team that isn't so great.
Hayward is going to make mistakes if he starts, but he is going to make more big plays than Bush. The same goes for Shields. We have no reason to believe that either player would make significantly more mistakes and get beaten by his man on the outside more often than Bush would.
There's no reason that a team that aspires to win their division should start Jarrett Bush. Davon House needs to get healthy immediately, or else Aaron Rodgers is going to be tasked with putting up seven touchdowns a game.