The Detroit Lions scored big free agent Reggie Bush during the NFL offseason. It appears the team is now getting greedy. Head coach Jim Schwartz won’t rule out the idea that Bush could return punts and kicks as a member of the Lions. This is a bad idea for several reasons.
Rumors are going to swirl around the internet thanks to Schwartz’s recent comments at the NFL League Meetings. When asked if he would consider having Bush return kicks and punts he said, “Yeah. I’m not a man of few words, but yes.” Schwartz then went further and said, “He can score points. He can change field position.”
Bush was signed to be an every down back in Detroit. Suggesting that Bush may return kicks would put more pressure on Mikel Leshoure as a running back. Bush is coming to Detroit to be a running back and a receiving option out of the backfield. Placing him in return situations would take a lot out of him and could lead to fatigue throughout the game.
Once a prominent punt returner, Bush has not returned a punt in the NFL since 2011, when he returned only six as a member of the Miami Dolphins. Bush has not been a prominent return man since his days a member of the New Orleans Saints. While he may have all preseason to work on his skills, it might be best to utilize Bush’s time to get used to a new offense.
Having a star player return kicks is always an injury risk. Why would the Lions put Bush in danger of taking free shots from special teams players that want nothing more than to get that one big hit in the game.
The Lions will use a new return man in 2013 after parting ways with Stefan Logan. Here’s hoping the team uses the 2013 NFL Draft to find that new role player. Otherwise the Lions should stick with Mike Thomas.