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Bush Joins Battle At Tight End


He was going on nothing more than three hours of sleep, but that didn't keep tight end Steve Bush from making a few catches in his first mini-camp practice with the Green Bay Packers.

Officially signed by the team Wednesday morning, Bush joined the Packers' 11 a.m. workout after taking a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Minneapolis and then arriving in Green Bay at the start of the workday.

Still, the eighth-year NFL veteran wasn't overly impressed by his performance, even considering his sleep deprivation.

"I had a lot of help," Bush said, referring to tight ends coach Joe Philbin. "Coach (Philbin) was telling me where to go a little bit. But football is football no matter where you are."

Well, almost.

After four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and three with the Arizona Cardinals, Bush hasn't enjoyed a single winning season in his professional career. And after being waived by the Cardinals, the Packers' recent winning ways looked pretty attractive.

"It was really a no-brainer," said Bush, who was also pursued by the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. "This is a playoff-contending team every year, with a winning tradition. I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Assigned number 85, Bush is competing for the third tight end spot that was most recently held down by the previous No. 85: Wesley Walls.

To win the spot, he'll have to beat out converted defender Tony Donald, who made 32 catches for 382 yards and four touchdowns in NFL Europe this spring, and undrafted rookie Keith Willis out of Virginia Tech.

Bush has never played in a West Coast offense during his career, but in addition to his general NFL experience -- 46 career catches compared to none for Donald and Willis -- the Arizona State alumnus has another advantage over his rivals -- experience as a long snapper.

Bush said he hasn't been a regular long snapper since his first three seasons with the Bengals, but he has continued to practice the trade as a backup in Arizona.

"Stuff like that keeps you in the league," Bush said. "I'm pretty versatile. I can catch, I can block. I think there's a use for me a lot of places, and I think this can be a pretty good place for me."

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