As the New Orleans Saints look to bounce back from a disheartening 2012 season that was crippled by the effects of “Bountygate,” the roster will start to evolve with the hiring of Rob Ryan as the new defensive coordinator.
Although many players will get the ax as the defense makes the transition from a 4-3 to Ryan’s 3-4, there will likely be at least a few defenders sticking around. One of those players will be safety Rafael Bush, an exclusive rights free agent.
A former undrafted free agent out of South Carolina State in 2010, Bush spent his first year in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. He never saw the field and failed to earn himself another go around, landing with the Denver Broncos in 2011. While with the Broncos, he played in six games and made three tackles. Yet again, he didn’t earn himself another year in Denver, hitting the open market one more time.
The Saints picked him up prior to the 2012 season, where Bush played in all 16 games. He racked up 18 tackles and one forced fumble throughout the year while adding an interception. Although he saw time on defense, the majority of Bush’s action came on special teams. More than likely, he’ll be in an identical role in 2013 for the Saints.
The 25-year-old safety is a raw talent who brings electricity and intensity to the Saints’ special teams units. He may never crack the regular safety rotation, but he’s a young player who consistently makes tackles in kick coverage.
Re-signing Bush wasn’t a priority for the Saints heading into the 2013 offseason, but this move lessens the load and takes one more task off of New Orleans’ to-do list.