Lewis Bush, the former Washington State Cougars linebacker and current WSU diehard, is a San Diego Charger who was nearly a Seattle Seahawk.
Bush’s chance to be reunited with former WSU coach Dennis Erickson, now the Seahawks’ head man, was foiled in the off-season by a young boy.
“It was pretty much a done deal,” Bush said. “They wanted me to come up the next day, like on a Thursday. I told them I had something to do and I couldn’t get away.”
And that was? “I was babysitting my nephew and I was doing some stuff with my mother’s house,” he said. “Sunday was the earliest I could get there.”
By Sunday, the Chargers had set aside the previously bitter negotiations and re-signed Bush for $6 million over four years.
“It was really cold for a while,” Bush said. “Me and Dennis spoke and that was a place I was interested in. They have a nice nucleus there. I enjoyed playing for Dennis. He was committed to us and our success, no matter what that entailed.”
Bush’s Chargers visit Erickson’s Seahawks today at 1 in the Kingdome.
“Good for Lewis, I’m glad he could get a raise,” Erickson said. “He’s playing really well and their three linebackers are probably the strength of the defense. He’s got great speed.”
(We interrupt this article to allow Bush some alma mater chest-thumping.)
“You know, I’m running around with my Cougar stuff on. I’ve got a satellite system and I watched (WSU’s win over) USC,” he said. “I was very pleased with their poise.
“Now, they’ve got to stay focused and not drop any games they should win. When I was there, we got off to some good starts, but dropped one or two we shouldn’t have.”
(We now return to the Bush article.)
The Chargers feature middle linebacker Junior Seau, back from knee surgery, ends William Fuller and Marco Coleman, and cornerback Dwayne Harper, an exSeahawk who was San Diego’s defensive MVP in 1995.
San Diego was 4-1 and leading 17-0 at Denver last year when Harper was injured. The Chargers finished 8-8.
“We’re trying to find our groove,” said Bush, who filled in at middle linebacker when Seau was injured. “We’re waiting for a breakthrough. We’re all asking the same questions. We have everything in place. We have more than enough.”
Ex-Vandal activated for game
Former Idaho offensive lineman Jim Mills has been on the inactive list for every game of his fledgling Chargers career except last year’s season-opener against Seattle. But he’s been activated for today’s game, thanks to an injury to guard Troy Sienkiewicz. Mills will back up starter Joe Cocozzo.
Kickoff coverage woes
Seven missed tackles ruined kickoff coverage for the Seahawks last Sunday. Special teams coach Dave Arnold hopes to fix a unit that has averaged giving opponents the ball on the 37.5-yard line, second-worst in the NFL.
“Look around the league, we’re not exempt,” Arnold said. “Right now, we’re not very good. Kickoff returns have now become the most frightening play there is in football as far as I’m concerned. Very few kickers are consistently getting it in the end zone for touchbacks.”
Opponents are averaging 30.2 yards a return against the Seahawks.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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