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Bush Excited for Opportunity

Posted Oct 19, 2011

New Bronco Rafael Bush's life changed Monday morning when he got a call from his agent telling him he'd been signed to Denver's active 53-man roster.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Monday morning started out like most mornings for safety Rafael Bush, who was on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad.
 
He was getting ready to start his day when his agent called.
 
Less than 24 hours later, Bush was on a plane to Denver after the Broncos signed him to their active 53-man roster.
 
"I was like, 'Wow, that's a blessing,'" Bush said. "It was unexpected, it was surprising. But it was something that I always wanted, to be on somebody's roster. The opportunity came."
 
Bush arrived in Denver early Tuesday morning, and spent most of the players' off day meeting with coaches and some of his new teammates. He participated in his first practice Wednesday, and said the players have already accepted him into the locker room.
 
"Those guys have brought me in like I've been here already. All those guys welcomed me in," Bush said. "The first day of practice went well. I've been picking up on the defense so far with what they've already given to me."
 
But there are some parts of Denver that the South Carolina native is still getting used to.
 
"The worst thing about practice is getting ready for the altitude," Bush said. "It's a lot colder definitely. The time zone's a little different. But this is just like anything else. It's business and that's my job to get used to it so that's what I plan to do."
 
Bush signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted college free agent after the 2010 NFL Draft out of South Carolina State, where he was named to the school's all-decade team. He led the Bulldogs to two consecutive undefeated Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships his junior and senior seasons, and accounted for the team's only touchdown when he intercepted Appalachian State's quarterback Armanti Edwards for a 46-yard pick-six in the Bulldogs' 20-13 defeat in the FCS playoffs. He received team awards three consecutive years at the school, including best newcomer, best safety and defensive MVP.
 
Bush spent the majority of the 2010 and start of the 2011 season on the Falcons practice squad, but was called up to the active roster for one game at the end of last season after one of the Falcons safeties was put on injured reserve.
 
Bush said his time on the practice squad enabled him to adapt to the speed of the NFL game.
 
"Honestly, the practice squad over in Atlanta helped me," Bush said. "It kind of slowed the game down for me as well. I felt more comfortable and I started playing faster and seeing things faster."
 
Even with Bush's lack of game experience, the Broncos front office and coaches thought enough of the safety's talent to give him a shot on Denver's active roster.
 
"He's a guy that our scouts had high grades on," Head Coach John Fox said. "Our pro personnel department liked him, and we're just bringing him in to see how he does in our system."
 
For Bush, hopefully he's done with impromptu plane rides this season.