Last night Miami Dolphins fans got their first glimpse of free agent running back Reggie Bush. Judging by the chants of “Reggie – Reggie” he was a hit. The first quarter of last nights pre-season home opener against the Carolina Panthers was the Reggie Bush show. It was just a pre-season game against the worst team in the NFL last season but last night provided a glimpse into what the Dolphins may have found in Reggie Bush.
Bush provided an electricity that hasn’t been felt in Miami in quite awhile. It seemed as though he had the “it” factor. For most, his pass catching ability on the outside was no surprise. Bush registered two catches for 33 yards and had another called back on a penalty. His ability to make LB’s miss in the open field was something that Miami hasn’t had on offense in, well, I honestly can’t remember the last player on Miami’s roster who could make a guy miss every time he touched the ball. That was all well and fine, it was expected. What wasn’t expected was the ability of Bush to carry the ball. Up the middle. Into traffic. And he excelled there as well.
Bush rushed for 48 yards on 8 carries with his longest a 17 yard scamper. He had added a 20 yard scurry in the 2nd quarter but it was wiped out by a Brandon Marshall illegal block. He had another run called back in the first quarter. Bush was simply electrifying last night and he proved that he does in fact see himself as more than just a third down back.
Bush’s carries were not to the outside, they were up the gut in the guard/center gap and hit the holes with conviction. It was a huge difference from the Ronnie Brown days of dancing behind the line. Bush did his dancing in the open field. Bush doesn’t possess the body mass of a Ricky Williams so he won’t bowl over the defender as Williams did. He does however possess the same quick feet and speed and uses his agility to move around space, and in doing so, creating more space.
Last night offered a glimpse into what Miami’s offense could look like and while Daniel Thomas finally showed some spirit after a week 1 pre-season shaky start and a few tough yards early in last nights game, the case is being made for Reggie Bush to take center stage and be more than a third down threat.
Next week, the Dolphins will travel to Tampa Bay where the starters will likely work into the third quarter before wrapping up the season a week later against Dallas. There is a lot of prep time between now and the start of the season. Last nights game is history now and it was fun to watch, but was just a pre-season game. It’s nice to be talking for once however about a positive instead of the negatives.