Some things puzzle me about the Dolphins. The defense's regression puzzles. The continued inability to win at home puzzles. And the team's use of Reggie Bush puzzles.
On several levels now.
It puzzles that the Dolphins look at Bush -- a 6-foot and 205-pounder -- and somehow believe him to be an inside running threat. Bush proved long ago in New Orleans he wasn't that. He's proven this year he isn't a dude that will run through 300-pound defensive linemen or create his own hole where there is no hole.
Yet the Dolphins have through three games repeatedly asked him to run between the tackles. They did it less last week as there were attempts to use Bush on pitches. But if this were my team, he would never be asked to stick his facemask in the A-gap.
The guy needs to be out in space. It is obvious to anyone with eyes. Yet, it hasn't happened enough.
Interestingly, the Dolphins agree Bush is better outside, in space, where he can use his speed and agility to escape defenders.
“Well, we got to get him in some space," coach Tony Sparano said. "I think that’s important. I think that trying to get Reggie touches early is important. We didn’t do … we did do a good job of getting him the ball early in the ball game the other day. Unfortunately, his first carry was the second play of the game and it was a penalty. He did catch a ball out of the backfield. But we got to get him involved a little bit earlier, try to get him going a little earlier that way. It’s just you’re trying to get him going, trying to get Brandon (Marshall) going, you’re trying to get some things going that way. You don’t want to get caught in that mode too many times where you’re trying to feed players particularly. That’s a bad thing for the quarterback...I get to yell at the quarterback go back there and play. If the read takes him then the read takes him there or any of those types of things. We can do a better job of getting Reggie in space. I think that’s important.”
Yes, it is important. I think it is also important to use Bush in situations where his presence is a matchup problem for the defense. In that regard, it's puzzles me why the Dolphins don't use Bush is a base formation and then motion him out wide to the slot or elsewhere.
This forces the defense to cover Bush with a linebacker or strong safety out in space. That is a mismatch problem for the defense. It makes sense to use. And the Dolphins practiced this tons in the preseason. It was evident to anyone who attended the open practices.
They apparently continue to practice it since workouts have closed to all outside eyes. But the puzzling thing is they don't use it in games.
And that puzzles Bush as well.
“We do it a lot at practice," Bush said. "It just hasn’t been called in the game. It’s going to come."
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is in charge of calling the plays. He is scheduled to speak to the media today and my guess is he'll be asked why he's not calling those plays.
"I know he’s going to make those calls, I will be spread out wide there. I’ve done a little bit, but as much as obviously in my past so like I said, we do it all the time in practice, it just hasn’t shown in the game yet.”
Like I said: Puzzling.