The 2012 off-season was a time of change for the Miami Dolphins. The off-season produced numerous changes to management and the roster. Things started slowly with very little positives to take from preseason. A week 1 beat-down at the hands of the Houston Texans was expected, but an impressive home victory vs the Oakland Raiders had ‘Phins phans excited. A massive reason for the optimism was the recent play of running back Reggie Bush. He had one career 100+ yards games in his career, but he started stacking them like crazy to end 2011 and to begin 2012. He even began the important game vs the Jets by playing well (10 carries for 61 yards).
Then, it happened.
Down goes Bush…Down goes Bush…Down goes Bush…
That collective “OH NO” you heard at about 2:45 p.m. on Sunday was when Bush went down and was injured just before halftime, when the Dolphins were leading 10-3 and life was good. Bush was slow to rejoin the team out of halftime, but when he did, he was using the stationary-bike, and he was engaging in blocking etc drills. We hoped it was a matter of time before he re-entered the game. We know now that was a pipe dream.
Monday has produced some good news for Bush as it looks like he escaped structural damage in his left knee. Word is he may even be available for this weeks game vs the Arizona Cardinals. We will monitor Bush very closely this week to see if he progresses. Clearly he is the key to the Dolphins 2012 offense, and as a side-note of interest, this is Bush’s contract season, so we know he is phenomenally motivated to return to the field where he has been on a roll.
The other RBs on this roster are second year man Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller. You know me, I love Miller, but his issues as a pass-protector are evident. He has been sloppy on blitz-pickups, which clearly puts the franchise (Ryan Tannehill) at risk. Because of this, I anticipate a heavy workload with a lot of playing time for Thomas until Bush returns, which is hopefully this week, but time will tell. Thomas’ running ability/potential is poor (although not as good as Miller), but he has more value than Miller as a pass-protector.
I think once word starts to spread about Bush being okay–if the rumors are true that he is okay–then I expect the `Phins phans to turn their attention and aim their venom right at head coach Joe Philbin. A legit question is why was Bush on the field with 23 seconds to play in the half? Was Miami threatening to score? No, they were on their own 20 with seconds left. Did they try to surprise the Jets with a home-run play? No. It was a very standard run up the middle. THAT is the play they ran?!?! With 20+ seconds left on their own 20?!?! Pardon?!?! Bush needed to be in on that play?!?! Philbin opened himself wiiiide open for criticism here.
Any chances for the Dolphins to be a surprise team in 2012 took a massive blow with this loss, but the season was this close to being a write-off by halftime of week 3. No Bush = no chance. He is that good, and the remaining options without Bush are that poor (currently anyway–Miller and Thomas may develop, but right-here-right-now they are light years away from Bush)
Thank you for the read! Get well Reggie!
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