- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Miami safety Deon Bush returns as one of the most experienced players on the Hurricanes, with high hopes for a turnaround in 2015. I had a chance to catch up with him on a recent visit to Coral Gables, Florida. Here is a little of what he had to say.
Do you sense a difference in attitude with this year's team?
DB: Everybody's on the same accord right now. Everybody's got their mind on not trying to lose anymore. Everybody's got a winning mentality right now. Guys aren't being mediocre. Everybody seems like they're on a mission right now, trying to do whatever it takes to win.
How is everyone coming together?
DB: Everybody has to be accountable. Everybody has to be on the next guy and the competition's got to be amazing. Everybody's got to push each other. If we see somebody slacking on the team, we have to be the one to pick him up. It has to be a team ran by us players getting on each other.
You guys lost Antonio Crawford from the secondary, so depth is something the team needs to work on this spring and into the offseason. How do you feel about the group coming back?
DB: I feel great about the secondary. We have a ton of experience coming back. We've all been playing for a long time. You've got Tracy (Howard) playing three 3 years. I've played for 3 years. We have (Rayshawn) Jenkins coming back, Jamal (Carter). Artie (Burns). All these guys played, Dallas Crawford. We have so much experience so the game should slow down a lot this year, even more than last year. We've got a strong bond together.
The defense made improvements last year. What is your potential for this season?
DB: The sky's the limit. We've got a lot of good players and it basically depends on how we play together as a team. The individual talent is there. It depends on us, how good we are this season depends on how much work we put into it.
How about the team as a whole? Not many believe you guys were a six-win team given all your talent. How do you rebound from that?
DB: Potential is potential. It's what you put in the W column, what you put in the L column. We remember it, but we try not to dwell on the past. It gives us motivation coming into this year. Now we know what we can't do from last year. We're not trying to think about last year that much, but when we do think about it, we think about it motivating us to have a lot better season this year.
Does it mean more to you to get this program back because you grew up in Miami?
DB: My No. 1 reason why I came to Miami -- I loved the Hurricanes growing up. I'm a diehard fan so it's personal to me, getting us back to winning. I think I said it when I committed that's my No. 1 goal is to bring the Hurricanes back. This is my last chance. A lot of the guys are in the same situation as me. They love the Hurricanes as well, a lot of the hometown guys even the other guys from Florida loved the Hurricanes before they came to Miami.
So how do you deal with the criticism that has surrounded the program?
DB: Football is a big business, so we have to take the good with the bad. There's going to be negativity around, we just have to have a tough chin and stay positive with each other. We're all we've got in the room. If you really look at all the negatives, it's going to do nothing but drain you. If your mind has a negative outlook on things, then things are going to go negative and things aren't going to go right.