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Reggie Bush: Star, focal point, workhorse?

Reggie Bush will the be the focus of much attention, perhaps the most attention, on the Dolphins offense this year.

He was a national figure before coming to the Dolphins and remains so now. His importance locally is best understood in that every Wednesday, including this afternoon, when Chad Henne speaks with the media, Bush will either follow or precede Henne in conducting his own press conference.

The attention is warranted because Bush is expected to be a primary playmaker for the Dolphins. In fact, he's going to be asked to make plays as he's never been either in college or the NFL.

That's because the Dolphins, by their own account, are making Bush their lead running back. They're saying he's going to get the ball a lot and in many ways and everyone -- including Bush -- is embracing the idea because if some Reggie Bush is good, well then, a lot of Reggie Bush might be better.

I. Do. Not. Buy. This.

Sorry.

Early on when Bush was signed, I was told he would not be over-used and turned into a workhorse. It didn't fit his injury history, his body type, or his running style.

But lately the talk from the Dolphins is that Bush will get the ball a lot. I don't know if the change is based on something they saw in Bush during camp. I don't know if it's a lack of trust in rookie Daniel Thomas. I hope it's just a smoke screen.

Failing that, apparently Bush is going to get a bunch of touches, with the definition for a bunch changing from game to game and depending on need.

Not wise.

That kind of use for a 205-pound back is not exactly optimal. Oh, there are 205-pound backs that can carry the ball 20-25 times a game. Curtis Martin did it back in the day. But the ones who are successful at it can do it because they never take a solid blow.

Those guys seem to have a natural instinct for avoiding the full-on big hit. They seem to cause defenders to miss even as those defenders are making the tackle, if you get what I'm saying. Nobody ever really blows them up.

Bush hasn't been that kind of runner. He has taken some monster hits in his day. Consequently, Bush has a history for being injured during his NFL career. Bush has been able to play a full 16-game season only once in his five NFL years -- that in his rookie season of 2006.

He played only eight games last season because of injury. He was hurt on and off in 2007 and 2008. There's injury history there. And that is perhaps the reason the New Orleans Saints limited him.

They didn't let him be their starting running back the last couple of years because they thought it was more important to keep him healthy for the important downs rather than make every down an important down. They asked him to come in and specialize in situations to limit carries and hits.

They wanted Bush to be their sprinter, not their marathon runner.

The Dolphins seem willing to have Bush run the marathon. They seem prepared to ride him -- certainly more than the Saints did in recent years. Bush welcomes this, by the way.

But is it smart? Can Bush stay healthy in such a role?

"I mean I don’t have a crystal ball," Coach Tony Sparano said this week. "I can’t tell you whether or not it’s going to be or it’s not going to be. All I know is the guy works hard at it. I’ve been around a lot of running backs in the last several years that have been injured one way or the other. This is a really hard game at that position so people are going to get injured at that position.

"I’m really not concerned one way or the other about that at this particular time, I’m just concerned with finding ways to get the guy the ball. He’s going to be the first runner out of the gate and we’re going to figure out ways to get him the ball. We’ll see how it goes. This guy takes care of his body pretty well. Better than anybody I’ve been around."

Bush took care of his body in New Orleans. And he got hurt a lot.

I understand Miami's need to use Bush more than the Saints (sort of). The Dolphins don't have a franchise QB. They don't have the playmakers New Orleans has. The Dolphins need to use Bush.

But use him too much and you won't have him. Simple as that. Pete Carroll knew this at USC where Bush was not the primary back. Sean Payton figured it out at New Orleans after Bush's second season.

We shall see if the Dolphins get lucky and Bush stays healthy regardless of how often he's used. Or if the laws of physics -- big men pounding on a smaller man time after time will get the smaller man injured -- will force the Dolphins to change.

I must say this: I know Sparano is saying he's not worried about Bush getting injured. That cannot be totally true. His job as a coach is to manage his players in a way that allows them to contribute as much as possible. Injured players don't contribute. The coach must consider the possibility of injury to a player who has been injury-prone in the past.

And then there's this: Bush is another in a line of players the Dolphins have added that come with an injury history. I find it fascinating that a team that depends so much on its players being healthy, so often takes chances on players with injury histories.

This is the club, you must remember, that signed Justin Smiley the year after he blew out a shoulder. And sure enough, Smiley got hurt often during his two-year stint in Miami -- including a shoulder injury that made him lose strength in his upper body, something an offensive lineman needs.

Then the team signed center Jake Grove, who came with a long and eyebrow raising history for getting injured. And, shockingly, he came to the Dolphins and got injured.

Chad Pennington came to Miami with a history for being healthy one year and getting hurt the next. He was healthy in 2008 and got injured and was lost for the season in 2009. Then he got hurt again in 2010. Then he got hurt again in the 2011 offseason.

You as fans and the media sometimes get convinced that a team knows something other teams don't. That is rarely true once a player has a track record. Lions or Tigers or whatever those cats are don't change their stripes. (I hate strongly dislike cats). (Dog man myself). (Great Danes). (Bulldogs).

But I digress.

Do the Dolphins know something about Reggie Bush that tells them he can carry the load of Miami's running game while staying healthy? Do they know something the Saints didn't?

As coach said, no one has a crystal ball.

But we all have a guess.

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2 watt, there are to many holes in your comment that neither you or I can prove either way. But they NEED to be considered.

Henne's line was bottom of the barrel last year with giving him consistant time. To throw a pass of 20 yards or more, you need to have time for the play to develop. If you are forced to throw early the entire timing of the play is off increasing the odds of an incomplete pass dramatically.

I know it seems like a stat you can hang your dislike for Henne on, but 20+ yard passes are a teamfunction not a "QB and receiver" function only.

Excellent article Armando. Dead on. I think if the Dolphins try to make Bush a workhorse, he may not be healthy very long. He is just not built for it.

SpOrano being less than forthright doesn't bother me in the least.

Have you ever watched a Bellicheat presser?

He doesn't give up shyt.

SpOrano is being held accountable to Ross, Ireland and his players, that's it. When it comes to the press and the fans, he has to do a balancing act.

He doesn't owe us, Armando or patriot spies ANYTHING.

Well, except for a bunch of victories, he does OWE us a WHOLE BUNCH of victories!

Actually dbmfins, I want to wait until game day to figure out if Sparano has figured out how to win a home game.

All this misdirection and smokescreens crap has gone on for years and where has it gotten them?

Did it help them beat Detroit, Cleveland or Buffalo at home? I was there. The smokescreens are a bunch of crap.

These people think keeping it a secret if Bush is going to carry 15 times or 20 times is going to win them games?

How about they figure out how to find a Franchise QB? That will win them games. That will win championships.

Until then, everything else is a waste of time.

all reggie bush has to do is touch the ball enough to keep the defense honest. then that opens up opportunities for miami to go to marshall and for gates to go deep. if bush can catch some screens and turn them into "chunk yardage plays" and get a good run in the mix it will help in other ways. dabol looks like he is going to use multiple weapons this year and, if that is the case, reggie just needs to touch the ball a few times a game and make something out of those touches. if he can do that guys like marshall, bess, rosario, hartline, clay and gates will be the beneficiaries because bush can also be used as a decoy because of how dangerous he is. you know darn well they aren't going to be handing him the ball on consecutive running plays and have him running between the tackles. that's just not going to happen. but, i would tend to believe he will be in a lot whether he is going to get the ball or not just because he has to be accounted for. no brainer there.

odin,
some interesting posts. i watched the nfl fantasy football show on nfl network last night and they have chad henne ranked as the second best prospect at qb this year in the fantasy league and one commentator said, "henne is going to do really well this year." he believes that henne can take advantage of the teams the fins are playing this year and said the fins schedule favors henne as a qb.

cocoajoe, I heard the same thing on Mike & Mike. But really, who cares what the pundits say? They are rarely correct. Who said we were going to win the division in '08? Who said Chiefs would win theirs last year? That's why they play the games, as they say.

But if I was a pundit, and not specifically focused on the Dolphins, I'd probably put them in the lower half of the league too. They've been mediocre for so long what's to say anything changed this year (same QB, same Coach, younger players).

Since we're all fans of this team, we know better. We've seen important changes. But that still doesn't mean we'll be better than 7-9. Many of us think we will, but the team needs to execute it on the field for it to be reality. I won't say the FO did EVERYTHING I wanted to see in order to get better, but I do say they did a lot. I'm impressed with many if not most of the changes made. I'm more excited and optimistic than I thought I would be before the Preseason. They've done their part getting fans excited. Now the product on the field needs to follow through and bring results.

Odinseye, you are free to have your opinion, but as a fan who USED to get seasons tickets, I say Sparano does owe the fans something.

He doesn't have to give us the strategy and the game plan. But he should NEVER lie to us. He should be accessable to us. Tony Dungy was and he won a Super Bowl. Rex Ryan is loved by fans and media in New York because he speaks his mind all the time. That doesn't keep them from winning.

Fans pay Sparano's salary. We pay Irleand's salary. Yet Sparano lies to us and Ireland hides. That is wrong. And a lot of people agree with me because they have stopped going to the games. When it continues watch how Ross reacts. Heads will roll.

Also, for you to compare Belichick and Sparano and utterly moronic. Please tell me the last time Sparano won one Super Bowl, let alone three Super Bowls?

When he does that, then you can compare. Otherwise, you sound idiotic.

I assume you own the Bulldogs and Great Danes to compensate for something? As symbols that you truly are a "man"? Pretty pathetic

What about Clay? Do we even have any evidence that he's on the team?

FLPD, you on right on the money!
Nobody knows what the heck Sparano is doing until he does it.

As far as everyone talking about NFL rankings, if you’re not a Dolphins fan why would you rank the Dolphins high? No good team was ever ranked highly until they... became good. If the Dolphins win games they will improve their status amongst the national media.
The way I see it, this year is in sense a WIN WIN year. If the light comes on for Henne and the Dolphins win games, GREAT. If Henne fails, Sparano fails. Then there will be a change with the coach, QB and possibly the GM.
WIN WIN

GO DOLPHINS!
30-24 upset victory of the Patriots!
11-5 season record
PLAYOFFS!

Sometimes, I wonder about this team's ability to evaluate talent. For every Reggie Bush, there's a Marc Colombo. Same in the draft picks.
It would have been nice, in my opinion, to have Reggie AND DeAngelo Williams in the backfield. Now, you can really run the ball whenever you want to.
If Garrard is brought in (doubtful) it should be with the understanding that he's the backup. No team in its right mind would give him the starting job this close to the season opener.
I think we're still going to see some roster churnning before the Monday night game.
GO FINS! Beat the Pats and get you some respect!!!

I've said this in here for years: just read the depth chart.
There are only 3 rb's.
There are 6 wr's and 4 te's.
Dolphins are going to run the Run N Shoot (think Jim Kelly 80s/90s.
Henne will break the record for pass attempts this season.

the trifecta came in and made the dolphins their team to do what they pleased. decisions were always cloaked in secrecy;no one ever knew who was responsible for a decision/mistake. fans werent welcomed into their team business and nothing was explained to anyone. it wasnt our team,it was their team. players werent allowed to talk to media etc. now, bush was brought in to "fill the seats" and sparano finally says "fans are needed". ireland only speaks if he's under contract to speak(unapproachable for the most part). alot of fans are "fed up" with this FO. fans are smarter than the regime gives them credit for. and the fans will decide when to broom these guys.

Posted by: odinseye | September 07, 2011 at 09:04 AM

I'll be called a troll, moron and a Jet's fan, but I posted this very same thing before. Many fans here accept with open arms all positive critiques from the outside and claim anyone who gives a negative critique is a loser, idiot, know nothing biased media analyst.

Only two weeks ago Simms was in town and critical of Henne's lack of development in certain areas. When I posted that, several, including odinseye, jumped in to say Simms doesn't know squat blah blah blah.

Lo and behold, a two short weeks later, all of a sudden Simms opinion counts because he came out with an opinion in a positive light.

Just sayin......

Bush is here to move the MLB or FS whoever is spying him.
Picture this: Phins line up. Henne shifts Bush. The spy shifts also. Henne audibles to the opening.
8 yard gain.
He can do that all game long.

Simms is a good speaker, but can not stand his play by play or opinions... useless

aaron brown is still out there. released by the lions. fins could use a fourth back and he would be good to bring in to take a look at. has that quick first step on screen just like bush; capable of turning it into good yardage.

did Kevin Smith get picked up yet? What is the deal with him... good prospect when drafted and no one wants him... Has he been hurt?

Hey, I understand the "Smoke and Mirrors" secrecy issue with what the team is doing or going to do in the game. We are in a division known for industrial espionage and spying, lying, and cheating (Pats, Jets). But, still it would be nice to get a straight answer every once in a while instead of a lot of "ers...you know...like...uh!" If only the FO spent as much energy into winning as they do into trying to put square pegs in round holes and trying to convince us that they are Football Genuises! It just makes them look dumb, stupid, and clueless!

DC, I agree whole heartedly. No fan (not to be confused with trolls) has been more critical of this regime than me. I myself say 5-11 if things go bad, 7-9 if they go right.

But to rank us 29th? I'd like to think we're better than that.

Remember when we had Ricky and Ronnie. We were not much of a running team, i.e. the Wildcat concept. What makes everyone think we going to be better running the ball with new offensive lineman. Fist Pump knows this and you don't score a lot of points running the ball. Another indicator is letting Polite walk. We will be a passing offense and run only to maintain balance in the attack. Our strong side, of course, will be to the left of Pouncey and out to Long. "That's whats up".

1-7 at the joe,until that changes,being 29th is a compliment.lol,and from the looks of things,that ain’t gonna change in the next 2.5 weeks neither.

.

tom jackson was asked if miami had a chance to beat the patriots on monday night and he laughed for 21 seconds, showing total disrespect for the dolphins. then he was asked if the dolphins can do anything to win the game and he responded by saying, "they need to put pressure on tom brady with guys like cam wake and CHOWDER." the icing on the cake.

Wait a minute, wait a minute here, how does Sparano "lie" to us? When has he "lied" to the fans. Is there an example in a previous post?

We will be a better running team. Just not at first. Before, we really had no passing attack so everyone stacked the box to stop the run. We added B Marsh and they just double teamed him. Now, with a more potent air attack, the running game will improve over time.

aaron brown is still out there. released by the lions.

Posted by: dm1dolphan | September 07, 2011 at 10:45 AM

More of the same. The moves to make were to pick up DeAngelo or Bradshaw. Or one of the premiere TE's available. Seems like they splurged for Marshall and Dansby and our now bargain hunting for everyone elses low end performers.

I welcome Reggie, but he is a rare hybrid player, a weapon, but not a true RB. We have no true RB unless DT really develops.

Wait a minute, wait a minute here, how does Sparano "lie" to us? When has he "lied" to the fans. Is there an example in a previous post?

Posted by: LouD | September 07, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Sparano is totally FOS and its beyond me why anyone takes his word for anything. A week after praising Gibril Wilson and saying how he expected a big season for him, he was cut. A week after saying Polite is one of the true FB's in the league and couldn't foresee him not making the team, he gets whacked.

Now he obviously just wants to get other teams as worried about Bush as possible to distract them. Bush won't be the #1 RB on the team, maybe the #1 screen pass catcher, not the #1 guy taking handoffs.

There is a difference between concealing your plan and flat out lying. TS lies flat out.

deangelo williams coming to miami was not going to happen. he got a $43 million contract from the panthers and there was no way miami was going to give him that kind of money. besides his numbers have been sliding over the last two years and he missed 3 games in '09 and only played 6 games in '10 due to injuries. he had one great year with the panthers and one really good year surrounded by a bunch of ronnie like years. is that worth $43 million to this team?

I'm on edge today :)

It just irks me that we have by far the dumbest HC in the NFL. Nice guy, dumb as a rock. TS couldn't outsmart a mouse in a coma.

Daniel Thomas will be the workshorse. You'll see.

Reggie Bush is really fun to use in the new Madden. But I injuried him twice already. :(

Whoever is not being doubled must make the play. And we are all very dangerous one on one.

hey, if sparano is lying about how he is going to use his weapons on offense, more power to him. why would you disclose that info? let him lie all he wants.

Whoever is not being doubled must make the play. And we are all very dangerous one on one.

dm1

No, he wasn't worth that much I agree. But I don't see any magic in any of these 2nd rate RB's coming available. Maybe Bradshaw was more realistic but they low balled him as well. I'm just concerned they overestimated Thomas, but let's give the guy a fair chance.

Sparano's concern is 31 other teams, not you having the latest info or being inside his head. His responsibility is to win games, not give us insight.

Remember guys, AJ Epps return this year is as good as getting a free draft pick this year! Oh wait, I cut him. Damn! Scratch that. Hope he doesn't give the defensive playbook to Bill... we forgot to get it back from him. Does anyone have AJ's phone #? Perhaps I can send him a message on twitter?

Thanks,

Jeff

I can guarantee we won't be 29th in the league. At the very least, we're a middle of the road mediocre team. At the very best, we're maybe 8-10th ranked. So, I'm guessing we'll end up somewhere between 10-15 when all is said and done.

2watt, we were 29th or worse exactly ONCE ('07). No way you think we're that bad this year. On defense alone (which will be a top 5-10 defense) we can't be that bad. Yes, we have a tough schedule, but right about now, Giants don't look so menacing, 'Skins at home should be a win, even the Eagles late in the season might not have Vick (if he gets injured), so 29th best team is being EXTREMELY pessimistic.

I don't mind pessimism, but there should be some semblance of reality. We're probably not as good as the most optimistic fans think we are, and we're definitely not as bad as the most pessimistic fans think we are.

We're no worse than last year, I can guarantee that.

Patriots signed Edds this morning.

It just irks me that we have by far the dumbest HC in the NFL. Nice guy, dumb as a rock. TS couldn't outsmart a mouse in a coma.

Posted by: Rocko | September 07, 2011 at 11:15 AM

It is impossible to be as dumb as a rock. Rocks don't have brains! Therefore they can't think! I should know!

I promise you our HC is smarter then a rock. (Unsure about Mouse in a coma. What if it is Mickey Mouse? He's a pretty smart mouse!)

Love,

Jeff

rocko,
i'm not going to hide the fact that i'm a little worried about thomas myself, based on what we have all seen of him thus far. i wasn't against taking him in the draft and was kind of excited to see what he could do but until he starts producing in games i'm concerned about his ability to hit the hole like he did in college. big back, can break tackles and move the chains. has that potential but like everyone says; we haven't seen it yet. hopefully, monday night he will shine.

For the record, we offered DeAngelo more money then Carolina. He just simply didn't want to play for us. I really don't understand why...

Thanks for the support!


Jeff

C'mon Armando, you are way over estimating how many touches Bush will get per game. He is not going to carry the ball 20 -25 games as you assert, nor will he even get 20 - 25 touches per game. We have other offensive players you know.

EVERY DOWN back means he will be on the field for every down, or just about every down, cause Bush always has to be accounted for. That fact opens things up for the offense and every other player.

Let's do some math to see why Bush will only get 15 touches per game, 20 at max.

50 offensive snaps on average every game.

13 runs by Thomas

7 runs by Bush

9 passes to Marshall (throws not completions)

6 to Bess and 5 to Hartline

That's 40 snaps so 10 are left to throw to Bush, Gates, Fasano, Clay or others.

So just how is Bush going to get 20 - 25 touches per game? Not gonna happen.

I'm stickin with 15 touches per game and up to 20 depending on how many check downs Henne throws to Bush in any given game.

Bradshaw was the guy to go after. Then if not, bring back Ronnie or Ricky. But to think Thomas and Bush will carry the load is a huge miscalculation. Bush is a change of pace guy who has been injury prone.

Thomas, i hope works out, but I said it on draft night and I'll say it again: I just dont see it. not explosive, doesnt make guys miss, doesnt break tackles. Gonna end up being another wasted 2nd rounder. A couple much more talented backs went much later in the draft

I agree with you 100% TFF. No one should post what he said in a positive light just like you shouldn't have posted what he said in a negative light. And here's the reason. Because even though Simms is a former player he is not and never has been paid to evaluate talent. He is a dude with an opinion. And that opinion isn't worth jack squat because he isn't around the team AT ALL. When you're a tv personality or so called "analyst" you do drop bys on training camps. They drop into camp for two hours, look around and then make an assessment on what they believe is going on because that's what they get paid to do. They also read the local papers to get a feel for how the local media feels about a team. But mostly they are projecting (good or bad) from years past which completely disallows adjustments for player growth, off season acquisitions, team philosophy changes, coaching changes and so on.

So both sides are wrong to use anything that these guys say as fuel to ignite the flames of what you believe to be true.

edds will have a pix six on mon.nite,watch.lol

TFF, now with that being said, and you seem to have a pretty good memory of what went on in here weeks ago which is good for my question. When you posted your copied analysis did you then give your opinion about that in the post? Because as far as I can see odinseye just copied and pasted something that someone else said or wrote. That could be where the difference is no?

Look fellas.... It's all a lot of mambo jambo
On rather Reggie can carry it 25 or. WHAT ever times... If stupid TS saids he can because he is in great shape and he looks like he-man, Than let's give stupid TS the benefit of the doubt, Now the most important thing is who replaces Reggie if he gets hurt!! WTF!!! no one talks about that one hah!!!

dm1

One thing about Thomas, he really does have great hands. I see him getting a fair share of passes thrown his way.

Rocko

"A week after praising Gibril Wilson and saying how he expected a big season for him, he was cut. A week after saying Polite is one of the true FB's in the league and couldn't foresee him not making the team, he gets whacked."

These aren't lies. If he said "Gibril Wilson will have a big season for the Dolphins" it would be a lie only if he knew at the time they were going to cut him. Tough decisions have to be made and the NFL is a minute to minute business. One minute you're fine with a players role on the team and the next minute he becomes expendable because someone gets injured and you need to make room for a different player at a different position. Once again these aren't lies and if people are going to accuse someone of being a liar they should actually have some real lies to use as an example.

how can we keep john jerry and cut edds when praising him for his play after injury??????? we gave up on him too quick but we do that alot. we are waiting for dallas cast-offs that we are familiar with.

Hey Jeff Ireland you stupid idiot of a GM why would you worry about Bellichick having our defensive plays when we have Yeatmen and have already been aware of their offensive strategies and plays for a week. Maybe you are as dumb as some people in here say.

LouD
Great point! That's why I call stupid..,
But now I call him stupid little liar!! LMAO!

So both sides are wrong to use anything that these guys say as fuel to ignite the flames of what you believe to be true.

Posted by: LouD | September 07, 2011 at 11:27 AM


Well, it seems bloggers get touchy quite easily. It wasn't my intention to add fuel to the fire, just showing how everyone was highlighting all the positive media comments and bashing any contrary point of view. Thats all.


Now from your post one would conclude nobody's opinion means anything. That might be true. All GM's and coaches are wrong all the time. Each one of us gives different values to different opinions. I half agree with you though. You can find 5 ex QB's with 5 different opinions on any given QB, but I would still listen a little closer to their opinions. They may not live and breathe at camp, but neither do we. I believe anyone who has played this game for several years can glean more from some tape and a 2 hour practice than any of us bloggers. Us bloggers than side with the opinion that coincides most with our own personal logic. Who is right or wrong is never known until the fat lady sings.

LOUD..................GOOD POINTS @ 11;27 AM .

guys; don't drink the kool aid! the FO is clueless. daboll and nolan are the real deal however and they may eventually save TS and jeff.

Fair enough TFF

jeff ANd lOUD ARE 2 SMART ABOVE AVERAGE POSTERS LIKE OSCAR .

spazano can give rb the ball 25 x's and will against the pats,if he wants a chance at winning,but with that, he"rb", won't be able to play against the texans 6 days later.lol

the one thing i have to say that is definitely different from last year to this year is that i could watch a game and pretty much tell what miami was going to do on offense in certain situations. if you recall there were players on opposing defenses who said they knew the plays before they were called. so, it was a very predictable offense.
that seems to have change because dabol has mixed it up pretty good during the preseason. the predictability is gone. the offense surprised me plenty of times with the plays that were called when i watched games during the preseason. not that i am a defensive genius but i am just saying there is a major difference between this year and last year. wildcat, rest in peace.

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