After five long years with the Saints, Reggie Bush finally had his breakout year last season as a Miami Dolphin. Bush more than exceeded his expectations and was able to silence his critics. You won’t find one Dolphin fan who was disappointed with his performance in 2011. In my opinion, this year will only be better! With the implementation of the new West Coast Offense, Reggie Bush’s stock is rising for 2012.
To give a quick recap of his production, Bush surprised everyone with 1,086 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns by carrying the ball over 14 times per game. By the end of week 16, Bush was ninth in the league in rushing yards. He finished number one in the NFL averaging five yards per carry for RBs with at least 200 carries. He needed only fifty-four more rushing yards to become the fourth highest rusher in Dolphins’ history for a single season. During his span with the Saints, he failed to even rush for 600 yards in a season and only averaged eight carries per game.
If Bush can stay healthy, I believe he will be the most productive player on the Miami offense this season. With no true number one receiver on this team, I don’t foresee any other player that will get as many touches as Bush will. Especially with the amount of receptions I expect him to have in a new offensive scheme designed specifically for fast backs as Reggie.
In fact, one could argue that because the Dolphins lack a “dominant and explosive” receiver, QBs Matt Moore or David Garrard will most likely rely on dumping the ball off to the backs and tight ends in this offense. That’s assuming Ryan Tannehill will be holding a clipboard for most of his rookie season. Last year Bush caught a total of 43 passes for just 296 yards and one touchdown. This year you can bet his receiving numbers will go up significantly.
Is it too farfetched to say he can catch 60 balls for 500 yards this season? I think he can and will! He missed 20 games while playing with the Saints and still averaged 59 receptions and 428 yards per season. And for the most part, he was underutilized in New Orleans with all of the other weapons around him.
After all, he was born to play in a West Coast Offense. He is still one of the fastest RBs in the NFL who is very effective catching the ball out of the backfield. Expect to see a lot of passes going his way and Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman will look to utilize his speed more in the passing game than ever before. And why not? Bush causes havoc in the open field and consistently creates mismatches in coverage. He’s nearly impossible to tackle one-on-one and he has made a living making players look silly trying to do so.
Also, the Dolphins are revamping their offensive line to include smaller, quicker, and more athletic linemen. Because of his one-cut running style and elite speed, Bush will reap the benefits from the new zone blocking schemes in this offense. I’m anxious to see how this new O-line philosophy will help create running lanes and down field blocking to increase his yards after the catch. At this moment, he is the most explosive player in this offense and Miami will customize plays for him to excel.
As you can see, I have high hopes for Bush this season. He’s in an ideal situation surrounded by an offense tailored to his unique skill set. If you happen to play Fantasy Football, I would seriously consider picking him in an early round. His stock is rising and I expect to see his best performance in 2012.