The Miami Dolphins feel like they have the talent in the backfield to move forward without Reggie Bush, a thought evidenced by the lack a contract offer, and the rising number of shared carries with second year back Daniel Thomas, and rookie Lamar Miller. Thomas is supposed to be a heavier body capable of handling the heavy lifting, and Miller gives them a look similar to the one they get from Bush.
This sounds good in theory, but neither offers the same production Bush does. Bush averages more yards per carry than Thomas, is a better option as a blocker or receiver than Miller, and puts both backs to shame when it comes to big play potential. Over the last two seasons, Bush has had 12 plays of 20 yards or more, and two of 40 or better. Together, Thomas and Miller have five plays of 20 plus yards and none over 40.
One of the knocks against Bush has been over his supposed durability issues, yet he has missed just one game as Miami Dolphin due to injury, and that was the final game of last season. During this same stretch, Daniel Thomas has missed five games, and was forced to leave early in several others. Just this season he has been sidelined by two concussions. This does not sound like the type of guy a team would want as their number one option, but that seems to be just what the Dolphins are preparing to do.
If the Dolphins are expecting Miller to develop into a running back of Bush’s caliber, they aren’t planning on giving him much time to achieve that level. With this being his rookie season it is hard to gauge just how good, or disappointing, Miller may be. The Dolphins appear to be banking on Thomas staying healthy, and Miller being explosive, which then would theoretically would make up for not having Bush on the field.
Bush has publicly voiced his desire to stay with the Miami Dolphins, and he has also said that money is low on his list of priorities. It makes no sense for the Dolphins to turn the cold shoulder towards a guy that appears to be a coaches dream. He is respectful, a leader in the locker room, and active in the community. He is productive on the field, and carries himself like a true professional.
With all of the positives of having Bush on the team, it is hard to fathom why the Dolphins would choose an obvious downgrade in the offensive backfield, unless the powers that be are expecting 2013 to be another re-building season, in which case they are doing Bush a favor.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.