To do it well you can't be soft. You have to be able to "take a licking and keep on ticking" as the saying goes. Lucky for the Chicago Bears they have a guy that can do just that.
I'm talking about Michael Bush.
After playing second fiddle to Darren McFadden in Oakland for a few years he joined forces with the Chicago Bears last season. On the face of things it looks like he had an unimpressive year with just 411 yards on 114 carries for an average of 3.6 yards/carry and five touchdowns.
An average of 3.6 is not very impressive, but his job wasn't to gain a lot of yards--just the tough ones on short yardage plays.
That means that just about every time he carries the ball he knows he is going to be dealing with a whole lot of big, angry guys on defense real quick in hopes of gaining a yard or two.
Just that alone qualifies him as a tough guy, but how he went about gaining those tough yards last season is what makes him one tough SOB. He did it all with a bum shoulder.
In Week Two against the Green Bay Packers he fractured his right shoulder and then played with it till a rib injury ended his season (he played in 13 games).
"How did I play through it? The same way I was going to play through the rib injury until I realized (the rib injury) was worse than what it was. That's just me. Once I broke my leg (in college) ... if it ain't my leg and it ain't my feet and I can still walk around and run, I'm going to play."This season he will get the chance to make use of that toughness even more in new head coach Marc Trestman's offense. His partner in crime, Matt Forte will still be the featured back, but it is likely that he will be used much more in the passing game leaving more of the running duties to Bush.