The Detroit Lions practiced in pads for the first time during training camp Sunday and running back
Bush, 28, is certainly used to a little contact at this point in his career, but he hasn't taken the kind of abuse that other running backs entering their eighth season in the NFL have. The Lions are hoping to benefit from that fact.
"I really didn't get beat up early in my career," Bush said. "The last two years in Miami was the first time I really experienced that 20 to 25 carry range (per game). I feel good. I've really played injury free both seasons (in Miami)."
Bush makes a good point; he averaged less than 140 carries per season his first three years in the league in New Orleans and has less than 1,000 career carries (967). The last two seasons in Miami were the first time he reached 200 carries in a season.
Compare that to some of the other running backs taken after Bush in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Carolina's DeAngelo Williams was the third back taken that year and has racked up 1,169 carries. Maurice Jones-Drew, who was taken in the second round by Jacksonville, has 1,570 carries. Even a player like Joseph Addai, who last played for Indianapolis in 2011, has more career carries than Bush with 1,095.
We talk all the time about the age of 30 being some kind of benchmark where NFL running backs qualify for their AARP card.
Bush is only two years from his 30th birthday, but the lack of abuse he's taken over the majority of his career has him feeling younger than the age on his drivers license.
"I still feel good," he said after a training camp practice this weekend. "I still feel like I have a lot to prove and a lot of football left in me and I'm just getting started."
That's exactly what the Lions are hoping after signing Bush to a four-year, $16 million contract this offseason. He's taken most of the first-team reps in camp and the Lions expect him to provide a big-play spark in both the run game and the passing game this year.