When the Miami Dolphins first put together a trade with the New Orleans Saints for running back Reggie Bush, I did not know how to react. Yes, Reggie showed promise during his rookie season with short spurts of potential in seasons after. But, he never really had lived up to the “superstar” label that was placed on him coming out of USC. After the news broke, I couldn’t help but wonder if Miami could get anything out of Bush. After all, Payton and Carmichael never really could get much out of the dynamic running back. Bottom line: I was baffled.
Once the pre-season began, I started to warm up to the idea of Bush wearing aqua and orange. He, reportedly, was putting in extra time after practice, and had packed on ten plus pounds of muscle. After watching Reggie throughout the pre-season, he surprised me. Though he only played in two games (Carolina and Tampa), he looked extremely well against Carolina. He looked as though he regained his burst, agility, and his football I.Q. Although, he showed us what he had been doing in New Orleans during the Tampa game, Bush looked to be the center piece of the offense, during the upcoming season.
Throughout the season, Reggie gave the offense that extra burst that Miami had been missing for years. He had that uncanny knack for finding the seam, and bursting through it. Bush finally had the season most expected during his second season, posting career high’s for carries (216), yards (1,086), and games started (15). Bush also tied a career high for rushing touchdowns (6) and had a long of 76 yards, which came against the rival Buffalo Bills (Bush also ran for a career high 203 yards). Not only did Bush look great while running the ball (he seemed to get stronger as the season progressed, which is what you want from a running back), he was involved in the passing game. Posting 43 receptions for 296 yards (good for a 6.9 average), Bush may have not been involved as much as we had originally expected. Although we may have expected more from Bush, he was not given many looks in the passing game. Bush finally silenced his critics by showing he is an “every down” back, and a complete one at that.
What should we expect from our talented running back this year? A LOT. Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman are both offensive masterminds. Giving these two magicians a dynamic tool such a Bush, well, it’s almost illegal. With alpha wide receiver Brandon Marshall out of the picture, Reggie will now be the main attraction. Plays will be designed around him, and for him. Bush could have a similar season to what Philly’s LeSean “Shady” McCoy had last year (273 attempts, 1309 yards 17 touchdowns/48 receptions, 315 yards 3 touchdowns). Both are extremely fast, quick, and shifty. Although I think Bush is a better receiver out of the back field (I can definitely see around 60 receptions), we could even see some sets with Bush in the slot, McCoy has a better nose for the end zone. If Bush can post over ten rushing touchdowns, he will cement himself as a top ten running back in the NFL. Now with all of this being said, it all depends on Bush remaining healthy for the whole season, which I believe he can do.
Reggie is definitely going to be the focal point of the offense this upcoming season, but let’s not forget about the man who will “spell” our dynamic running back. Daniel Thomas showed flashes of potential during his rookie campaign. Although I feel Reggie will have a huge season, Daniel Thomas will certainly take some of the focus off of Bush. Thomas is ultimately the reason I think Bush will have a huge year. Why? It’s really quite simple. Thomas is a big bruiser who is going to soften the defense for Bush. Thomas will certainly be stealing some touches from Bush, but this will allow Bush to be more fresh. Thomas is in line for a decent season himself, as long as he cures his fumble issues. BUT, if Thomas is able to break out, it will allow Miami to run a two-back set. This means, both Bush and Thomas in the back field. Also, like I have already mentioned, it will allow Bush to line up at wide receiver, which will put him in the open field (where he is most dangerous). Bush is a match up nightmare when lined out wide, just ask Brian Urlacher. Miami’s offense could surprise some doubters, depending on Daniel Thomas’ progression.
Reggie Bush is a reason for Miami Dolphins fans to have hope, for the upcoming season. Although phin’s fans aren’t sure who will be commanding the offense, fans know that our dynamic running back will take some pressure off of the Dolphins quarterback. Remember one thing phin’s fans, Miami has a plan in place. South Beach needs supporters, not doubters. Support your team. (And trust in REGGIE!!!)
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