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DblBogey 09-21-2011 08:35 AM

Bush's Role in Miami
Bush’s role with Dolphins already lessened

MIAMI – Did the Dolphins lie to Reggie Bush(notes) or just to themselves?
Since late July, when the Dolphins pulled off the trade to get Bush from the New Orleans Saints, the talk had consistently been about Bush getting a chance to prove that he’s an every-down back and not just some hybrid specialty player.

That talk was still strong before the Dolphins played the Houston Texans on Sunday in a game that nearly ended the Dolphins’ long streak of home sellouts. Miami coach Tony Sparano talked about how Bush, who had 11 carries and nine receptions in the season-opening loss to the New England Patriots, would get about 20 touches a game.

New Dolphins RB Reggie Bush has gotten less touches than he anticipated.

During the loss to Houston, Bush got seven (six carries and one catch), gaining a grand total of 21 yards. In two games, Bush has 17 carries for 56 yards, which is pretty much in line with his career numbers. Considering rookie Daniel Thomas(notes) had 107 yards on 18 carries in his debut Sunday, you can understand why Bush’s time as the fulltime back is probably over only seconds after it started – even if Bush still wants to hang on to the dream.

“I can be that type of runner. I know I can handle the work,” Bush said in a matter-of-fact tone.

Bush isn’t whining about his plight, he’s just firm in his belief. Can’t blame a guy for that.

[b[The problem for Bush is that his game doesn’t play well between the tackles. Never has, not even in college. Bush is a weapon of mass destruction, not part of the infantry.[b] He should be used as such.
That’s why it was so disappointing to listen to Sparano talk about how the team planned to mix Bush and Thomas. The two were on the field at the same time exactly once on Sunday and Sparano explained why in very simple terms.

“That’s a way to do it, it’s just somebody got to block if you’re doing that,” Sparano said of the two-halfback notion.

Coming from the coach who brought you the Wildcat, that statement is a bit of a head-scratcher. Then again, maybe not. The Wildcat was built with more blocking in mind. It eliminated the true quarterback and gave the running back an extra blocker, which was interesting until defenses countered by bringing an extra defender into the box every time the Dolphins lined up that way.

Bush is the anti-Wildcat player. Bush needs open space more than he needs blockers. Anytime he’s in the game, he has a polarizing effect on defensive players.

“All I know is that guy is a headache,” Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber(notes) said.

When Bush was in New Orleans, there were enough other weapons around him that coach Sean Payton could use him sparingly. Coupled with injuries, that’s why Bush never had more than 243 touches in a season and that total was during his rookie season.

In Miami, the Dolphins need to find ways to maximize Bush even if Thomas is obviously going to be the bellcow runner. Bush is the only player on the team who can consistently demand a double team or any type of specialized coverage. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall(notes) is close, but Marshall is not so much explosive as he is powerful.

In short, Bush inspires fear. Marshall inspires concern. The rest of the Dolphins offense? Eh, not so much.

There is hope, of course. Sparano hinted that the “package” of plays the team has for Bush and Thomas (who missed a lot of camp with a hamstring injury) hasn’t been expanded yet. After all, the Houston game was the first time Thomas had played.

“We didn’t expand on the package a whole lot. We just weren’t sure by week’s end with Daniel with where he was physically going into the ball game,” Sparano said.

Fair enough, this may be only the beginning of something that will become interesting. But based on what’s happening now, that expansion better happen fast.

Beastmode 09-21-2011 08:41 AM

If the Saints couldn't make it work nobody can.

Srgt. Hulka 09-21-2011 11:17 AM

Someone here in the office told me that Miami benched Bush in the game because of non-production. Has anybody else heard that? Maybe someone here was trying to start a rumor.

Mardigras9 09-21-2011 11:29 AM

“I can be that type of runner. I know I can handle the work,”

Delusional much?

st thomas 09-21-2011 11:35 AM

who wants to bet he has had i shoulda never left thouhts going on. lol

WhoDat!656 09-23-2011 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by st thomas (Post 332526)
who wants to bet he has had i shoulda never left thouhts going on. lol

If he hasn't yet, his ass will when he is playing in Foxboro in December!!

papz 09-23-2011 03:28 PM

I'm was hoping he would have a lot of success there... now, not so much. I could really care less what he's doing now. Kind of like Joe Horn when he left the Saints. After the comments, he pretty much was irrelevant to me. I didn't think you were going to sell us out like that Reggie... tsk tsk.

homerj07 09-24-2011 10:27 AM

Sparano is gone & real soon if things do not change (& I cannot see them changing)

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