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Of Rafael Bush And His Future With The Atlanta Falcons

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In 2010, the move to bring Rafael Bush off the practice squad is likely to be little more than a blip on the collective radar of Falcons fans. After all, the guy didn't make the team out of training camp, and he's little more than special teams depth to replace Shann Schillinger at this point.

Where life could get interesting for Bush and the Falcons is 2011 and beyond. Erik Coleman isn't going to be around forever, bless his heart, and the Falcons will have some room for a backup safety. Where Shann Schillinger comes with an impressive amount of polish for a rookie, Bush needs a little more seasoning. But he may also be the more talented safety.

The Falcons love them some athletic UDFAs, as Brent Grimes and Harvey Dahl can attest. They're constantly searching for a diamond in a field of cubic zirconia, and guys like Bush and Brandyn Harvey (re-signed to the practice squad!) are classic examples of that effort. You let the guys practice with the team, bring them along slowly and then unleash them on the NFL.

I can't guarantee Bush is going to be a miracle in cleats, but I can tell you this. He ran a 4.4 forty-yard-dash, evincing his speed, and he made a name for himself in college as a big play safety with a surprising ability to bang despite his 5'11, 195 pound frame. He was the MVP of his South Carolina State team and is well-known for being a smart football player. Everything about that bio screams Falcons football to me, even if he's going to find it difficult to pass William Moore and Thomas DeCoud on the depth chart.

I predict Bush does little this season, but I think he's got a shot at snagging a roster spot come next September. Alongside Harvey and offensive lineman Jose Valdez, Bush might just give more credence to the idea that Thomas Dimitroff is kind of a freakin' genius.

What say you?