Miami Dolphins’ Offensive Focal Point Must Return


Nov 11, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (22) before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins star running back, Reggie Bush, has yet to be offered a contract by General Manager Jeff Ireland. With the National Football League‘s free agency period right around the corner, Bush’s future with the team seems uncertain.

Bush has been the only spark the Miami Dolphins have had on the offensive side of the ball the past two years, topping one-thousand yards for the first time in his career in his first season with the team. The former USC Trojan was the obvious focal point on offense for the ‘phins last season, toting the rock 227 times for 986 yards and 6 touchdowns. Bush was also used in the passing game – not enough, though, in my opinion – reeling in 35 receptions for 292 yards and two touchdowns.

Obviously Bush is a key play-maker for the Miami Dolphins, so why exactly does it seem like the team wants to move on?

The 6’0”, 203 pound running back will be 28 years old when the season officially kicks off in March. It is believed that running backs have a short shelf life in the NFL – ever heard of the 30 year wall? The 30 year wall indicates the age when a running back’s body begins to feel the wear and tear of such a brutal position. Although Bush does not have the usual wear and tear that most running backs do at his age – he only has 967 carries in his career – Bush is notorious for being injury prone, playing in all sixteen games just twice in his seven-year career.

Money also could be a big concern here. Bush may be desiring a deal in which he can “cash” in on because of his age – he is 28 years old which means this likely will be his last shot at a “big” deal. Bush has expressed his interest numerous times to return to Miami. Would he be willing to take less money to return to the place he “wants to be”? That remains to be seen. But that certainly seems like a plausible scenario if Bush has the strong desire to stay in Miami and the “stars” align just right.

If the team does indeed let Bush walk via free agency, who will fill his role? Is the coaching staff going to feel confident with third-year running back Daniel Thomas running the ball in crunch time? Thomas was in Head Coach Joe Philbin‘s “dog house” last season numerous times from showing up late to a workout or fumbling the ball in crucial times during games. Honestly, Thomas is one of the team’s more frustrating players (along with Chris Clemons if you have been following me for awhile). The former Kansas State Wildcat has all of the potential in the world to be a full-time NFL starting running back, but seems to lack the ability to hold on to the football on many occasions. Thomas, at this point, is better suited as a change-of-pace back for the Miami Dolphins.

Will the team put all of their chips on the table for Lamar Miller and hand him the keys? Although Miller has a similar skill-set to Bush, the former Miami Hurricane is not as polished at this point in his career. Yet for months now, it has been speculated that the Dolphins will indeed let Bush walk via free agency and move on with the younger and less developed local product. Miller, who played in thirteen games last season for the squad (51 carries 250 yards 4.9 average 1 touchdown), had quite an up and down rookie season, therefore it remains to be seen just how confident the team can be in Miller’s ability to take over full-time.

More or less, the team would be better served bringing Bush back for a few years while Lamar Miller fully develops in to a full-time NFL running back. Not to mention the offense would receive a boost by Bush’s return. The more explosive play-makers, the merrier.

It would seem odd for a team starved for explosive players on offense to allow one of the league’s most elusive and electric players walk. Wouldn’t it?