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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.


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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see my 11:02 post on tom jackson.
there has never been an nfl player by the name of chowder. channing crowder no longer plays with the fins and in his entire career with the fins he only had 2.5 sacks so crowder, even if he was still on the team, was hardly going to pressure brady. bunch of morons.

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.

Posted by: dm1dolphan | September

True that! Don't remember our Tony advertising the wildcat before he caught belichek with his pants down!

M.Florio and the PFT Crew have the Dolphins ranked as the 29th Team in the NFL????

Teams we are much better than

1) Carolina...Complete rebuilding mode
2) Tennessee..Rebuilding
3) Jacksonville..Rebuilding
4) Denver.......Soft D and NO run game
5) Oakland....J.Campbell is the Q.B..McFadden hurt..shaky OL and NO Nandi to shut down opposing big play WR
6) Cincinati..In flames Marvin Lewis on the HOT seat
7) Cleveland..Rebuilding
8) St. Louis..NO big playmaker for Bradford yet and leaky DB`s make for soft D

Teams we are a little better than or dead even with

1) Seattle....Outside of LT R.Okung huge ? across the OL and Tavaris Jackson is their starter.
2) Arizona....Lets see how the K.Kolb thing plays out or move them to we are much better than
3) Buffalo...Are much better but still haven`t passed us
4)K.C. ......Like us in 08 a very weak schedule and off year by S.D. helped them in 2010
5)Detroit....Lets see if M.Stafford can stay up right for a Season, to bad we didn`t play them on the road last year

Teams on the move down

N.Y. Jets...The Papper chumps, uhhhm I mean champs are not the squad from last season. They have the same problems we have on the right side of the OL, a geriatric group at WR our DB`s can run with and how much longer will LT be effective also X-Factor Brad Smith in Buffalo now. They will go with a couple of rookies in their interior DL as well, lots of ??

By my account were middle of the pack had we addressed the T.E. position and been a little smarter with the OL pieces while adding a plugger to compiment at RB then we might have finally made a move to the top half. The most frustrating thing is those moves could have been made but it is what it is. We are much better than the 29th team in the NFL though and if the "So called experts" are right and we fall that far no worries Andrew Luck will be sporting a Dolphin uni in 2012.

Anybody read NFL talk.com. On NFL team rankings??? Well the so called experts say we are 29th in the league..WOWWW REALLY! I wonder why???:(

maybe tom jackson is the head of NFLtalk.com

Can R.Bush carrie the ball 15-25 times and be a factor? YES.

At USC he ran the ball between the tackles very well until they found that not only can he run inside and out but he can catch as well and create mismatches for def's,this is when Reggie to the fualt of his skills became a situation type player and was lost has a RB.

The Saints made the same mistake of not giving him a chance to be a true RB but continue to design plays to get him out on the edge(nothing wrong with that) and never got the chance to just run the ball.

The Phins on the other hand seem to want Reggie to be the lead back and i think they will be pleased with results and they will draw up plays that will get Reggie in the open and Reggie will take advantage of those plays as well,,for those who don't believe, you will midway through the season,Reggie is every bit as good as he was at USC.

For Those Doubting Bush's "Feature Role" Ability. Consider How DuBoll "Feature Peyton Hillis:

Peyton Hillis 2010: 16 Games Played, 14 Starts

270 attpts 1,177yds 4.4ypc 11 TDs

= 17cpg, 73.5 Yds per game

61 recs 477yds 7.8ypc 2TDs

dm 1 dolphan
Yeah you probably right Tom is a PHINS hater! But in humble opinion the PHINS should be rank higher on defense alone!! But are there question to be answered on offense HELL YEAH!! But not to be ranked 29th that is reaching...

this article is too long

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.

PriceMaster | September 07, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Don`t forget about putting him in the slot running the underneath routes forcing the FS up, great point!!

For Those Doubting Bush's "Feature Role" Ability. Consider How DuBoll "Feature Peyton Hillis:

Peyton Hillis 2010: 16 Games Played, 14 Starts

270 attpts 1,177yds 4.4ypc 11 TDs

= 17cpg, 73.5 Yds per game

61 recs 477yds 7.8ypc 2TDs
= 3.8recs 30ypg

Only Difference is I dont exactly look to see Bush have 11 tds on the ground. But I do expect to see more than 2 tds recieving.

Also, I expect to see Bush run only 13-15 times per game while also seeing his pass catching numbrs higher than Hillis'.

Reggie Bush is just a name that the Dolphins picked up to ensure that the orange carpet keeps flowing with celebrities.

While he can be exciting and electric, to expect Bush to become some other player than we saw at USC & Narleans is ridiculous.

He's going to make us cheer, he's going to frustrate us and he's going to get hurt. That is his M.O., plain and simple.

I wouldnt be surprised at all to see Bush avg 13-15 rushes per game while accumulating 70-75 catches in 2011. The bluepring of how DuBoll features a rb in his offensive system is pretty much drwan up in how he used Peyton Hillis in Cleveland:


Of course Bush wont be featured the way a "traditional rb" if used in an offense.

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.

dm1dolphan | September 07, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Don`t sweat it Bro!! T.Jackson is a douche who road on Chris Berman`s coat tails on ESPN NFL Primetime, till it was cancelled when NBC got the Sunday night game. I still remember him ballng his eyes out on TV when that happened, think it had more to do with the fact he knew without Berman he had nothing to offer!

the phins are ranked 29th because there are 3000 tix left and still blacked out for the.
2.on a mon.nite show case
3.against a hated rival
4.1 of the best teams in the league
5.a division game.
6.did i mention it was a home game where the phins are 1-7.?

He can do that all game long.

PriceMaster | September 07, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Don`t forget about putting him in the slot running the underneath routes forcing the FS up, great point!!

Posted by: fin4life | September 07, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Henne's name is not spelled B-R-E-E-S.


Any rethinking of what the Dolphins might be doing with Bush and the run game is because they haven't truly been pleased with what they've seen from Thomas. I believe Thomas was drafted to be the top back this year and he's disappointed so far, in his inconsistentcy and failure to hit the hole hard. Can he change? Maybe....but the consistency is a concern. I still think they need another back. Not sure if someone like Kevin Smith might work (someone brought him up earlier). Don't know what happened to him, whether he's hurt or something but I do feel they still need someone.

Dolphins ranked 29th because of all of the offseason turmoil. Ross-Sparano, the Orton ordeal, and huge uncertain the outsiders have about Henne's ability based on pass performance. That's why we're ranked 29th.

Outsiders are seeing us as a total clusterfvck from the top of the organization down. They dont see Bush as an every down rb, thier headscratching how a OC whose offense ranked even lower than Henning's in points scored can improve ours.

Guys, there are so many different components in the mix that have them sour-eyed on us. But I see so many areas where they can truly also be wrong too.

But all in all I absolutely love it. In 2011, there will be a "Us Against The World" mentality amongst our guys. This brings a great intangible of total team unity! LOL...


He doesn`t need to be Brees to hit Reggie Bush in the 5 to 10 yard crossing patterns or air it out a few times a game when one of the Safeties is up around the line accounting for Bush in those routes everybody plays us will have to do it because there isn`t a LB in the game that can run with Reggie plain and simple. It`s the aspect of his game that I like and think can change our O production.

Reggie Bush = 2nd Coming of Roger Craig


I think your right that 29th ranking has more to do with the amatuer hour showing Ross and his band of green horn merry men put up in the off-season more than anything else.


As long as he doesn't throw into coverage, throw late, tipped passes, and avoid the ints.

Henne is the only 6'4 QB that plays like he is 5'7 LOL.


Thanks for the support everyone! Hope you are enjoy our Superbowl Season!




To outsiders the offseason debauchery equaled complete organizational mayhem. The outsiders dont closely follow the Dolphins but they do closely follow high profile public debauchery.

If I had to do a nfl power ranking. I would at least place us in the 15th position to begin the season on defensive strenth alone.

If you have a great defense there's no way youre not a solid "middle of the pack" team.


How do I know? We BEAT these teams fair-and-square in 3 of the last 4 weeks. So there is no way we are the 29th best team in football. In fact, Coach Sparano and I would like to think we are the SECOND BEST team in the NFL! We have Tampa Bay ranked #1 (since the beat us two weeks ago) and we rank ourselves #2. We are looking forward to perhaps getting a rematch with Tampa Bay in the Superbowl (if all goes according to plan).

Thank you for your support and enjoy the season!



if this team stays relatively healthy you're looking at a top five defense and a top ten offense.

belichek knows he is headed into the mouth of the BEAST on monday night. be afraid bill. be very afraid.

Jacory Harris to start againt OSU.

al,tell harris to go see bary bonds about bulking up.lol

COuld it be possible that the Saints under utilized this talented running back. Bush wants to prove he can carry the mail. I say, let him have a go at it. If he gets injured, he gets injured, but its what Bush wants.......a chance to prove he is not a bust. I say roll the dice with him. Perhaps it will be a gamble that will pay off in the end.

Hmmmm. How much did Marcus Allen weigh?

Fins 38
Patsies 10

Write it down, brother!

And now I will tell you the results from this season:

Division title
AFC title
Super Bowl Champion (beat Packers)
Henne league MVP (4300 30/8)
Bush 2,000 all purpose yards not counting kick returns
Bush Super Bowl MVP
Marshall monster year -- 2 TDs in superbowl
3 other receivers w/ big years, including one surprise in addition to Hartline and Bess
D rated #1 in points given up and yards per game
Cam Wake defensive player of the year
JT w/ 9 sacks and 3 caused fumbles even in part time role.

League: Whatcha gonna dooooooo, when Chad Henne, Reggie Bush, and the Miami Dolphins, run wild on yooooou??? Brother!!!

Is it Monday night yet? Cause I'm ready to watch the Miami Dolphins teach the Patsies a lesson in pain.

take away Fasano's errors and QB rating was 107

Assuming that the BOOBS that run this team know anything is a stretch.

You complain about bring in players with a history of injuries, but they didn't bring in Drew because the doctors said it would be a high risk with the shoulder, so what can we do, if Drew became a bust in NO we would say the coach was a genius, you win some, and lose some, stop the bitching. Bill

Bush is a player who succeeded in college by being the fastest player who could break tackles of the inferior players on second-to-third-tier teams that USC played. He was useless between the numbers at USC against quality opponents, he was useless between the numbers in New Orleans.

Bush is one of the highest priced committee running backs in NFL history and has done nothing to suggest that he will suddenly become an effective, every-down back. Even in his rookie year, it took him forever to get a conventional rushing touchdown. If Miami thinks that Bush is the solution to their running woes, then Ricky Williams has some Florida swampland that he'd like to sell you.

just justifying why I questioned not keeping Ricky around as a second back..mainly he stayed healthy...we will see, Im leaning more towards "it must be a smoke screen" otherwise its just plain stupidity to believe Bush can carry that kind of load and stay healthy..

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