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Bears' Michael Bush has much to prove vs. Rams

Michael Bush leads a strange little existence. The Chicago Bears' running back is respected, but not quite loved.

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Bush, a power back with speed, was the perfect complement to Darren McFadden, a speedy back with power, when he was with the Oakland Raiders. He was ready and reliable last season when Run DMC was plagued by the inevitable injury -- this time a bum foot ended his season.

Bush hoped to find a job as the No. 1 back through free agency, but landed in Chicago in a similar role -- the backup behind Matt Forte. He will make the 17th start of his career Sunday in a similar fashion -- with Forte hurt.

"Hopefully I can get people to get that knock off me about not being an every-down back," Bush recently told The Associated Press. "I can't please everybody. It's a business. It is what it is.

"You don't like me, so what? I'm going to keep playing hard."

Bush posted 977 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011 and has more than proved his ability. The Bears were smart to find a quality No. 2, but Bush becomes the goal-line back when Forte is healthy. Forte is, arguably, the most well-rounded back in the NFL and does not need a third-down back.

"The more I get to play, the more I get to show (the coaching staff)," Bush said. "The more they trust in me, believe in me and give me more opportunities. For the most part I know they're behind my back regardless. That's a good thing."

Bush should get more love. He'll get the chance to earn some against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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