Buffalo Bills position room preview: Safety
By Avery Duncan
The versatile, hybrid safety: Rafael Bush
Rafael Bush is cutting it close to not being on this list. Not for his play, but for his versatility. In his first year in Buffalo, 2018, Bush cycled through positions on a week to week basis. He was expected to be the team’s third safety; and he was, until slot cornerback Taron Johnson got hurt. Bush, 32, stepped into Johnson’s role admirably and was the starter by year end.
But we’ll keep him as a safety now, even though he’s best described as a defensive back. A vital aspect of playing the position is versatility; as a backup itching for playing, this holds especially true, it’s also what Bush does best. He’s seen time at strong and free safety, outside cornerback, and in the slot.
Bush is a jack-of-all-trades but a master-of-none — this is how it’s been throughout a productive eight-season career. He’s acted as a spot starter at every defensive back position through his time in Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, and now Buffalo.
2018, with the Bills, may have been Bush’s most productive season in the league. He didn’t record an interception or pass deflection, but he was solid playing near the line of scrimmage — blitzing and defending tight ends/slots — tallying 42 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Bush isn’t a household name, but he fills a clear need for the Bills well. He’s a versatile defensive back that can truly play any position and keep the ship afloat. Considering that injuries happen, it’s never bad having a seasoned veteran on the roster to plug and play until a long-term answer, like the next two, emerges.