Tacklin' Turtle Man

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

From the very first practice, it has been one of the most intriguing matchups of Winnipeg training camp: Bush on Stegall.

And while future CFL Hall-of-Fame slotback Milt Stegall still snares his share of passes, Davin Bush has more than held his own against the Blue Bomber legend. Every day.

"He's done a nice job," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry, who praises individuals sparingly. "He's had a good camp."

Bush, who spent six seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, signed with Winnipeg as a free agent last winter and his reward has been to face the Stegall challenge daily.

"It's tough but it's what I need to do so, that's only going to make me a better player," the 5-foot-8, 165-pound import philosophized. "I don't mind covering him every day."

And it is paying off as Bush is arguably the best DB in camp thus far.

"No. 9 is progressing every day," said secondary coach Corey Chamblin. "He's doing the right things to make the switch from Saskatchewan to Winnipeg because there are some differences in our systems."

Bush, of course, has some history covering Stegall in live CFL contests. And no one will let him forget the game where Stegall burned him for four touchdowns.

"Yeah, that was a learning experience for me," conceded Bush, 29. "You've got to learn from your mistakes so, I learned from that game quite a bit."

In fact, what many conveniently forget is that Bush essentially shut Stegall down in the very next match.

"Yeah, but we lost the game so maybe I didn't do enough," said Bush, who denied any on-field chatter between the two during camp. "We just compete every day and have fun. He's a joker. He just wants to go out and have fun and win. As long as you win, everything takes care of itself."

And Bush signed on because he felt the Bombers had a better chance to win the big enchilada this year.

"Nothing against Saskatchewan, I just felt I had the best chance to win the championship here," he said. "Winnipeg has a great defence and a great offence. I thought I would just fit right in, go out and make plays, do my job help them win the championship."

Although Bush was told that he would play defensive back, he has been learning both cornerback and both inside half spots in camp.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "I've played every position -- the field half, the field corner, the boundary half, the boundary corner so, I'm comfortable at any position ... I didn't really know where I was going to play. They told me I was going to play inside so, I'm just happy to play anywhere."

Davin has an older brother named Devin Bush, who won a Super Bowl as a safety for the St. Louis Rams so, he is determined to earn his own champions' bauble.

"He was a big dude -- 225 pounds," Davin said. "He took all of the size, I was just blessed with a little bit of speed. But I learned a lot from my brother.'"

Suffice to say, Devin would be proud of the way Davin covers dangerous receivers like Stegall.


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