Reggie Bush, Joique Bell Suited for Similar Roles in Detroit Lions Backfield

By Thomas Emerick
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

After a brief tryst with trying to make the whole running between-the-tackles thing work with the Miami Dolphins, Reggie Bush fans — and intrepid PPR fantasy owners — became overjoyed at the prospect of the lightning-quick back receiving dump-offs and carries out of shotgun in the Detroit Lions‘ pass-happy attack.

This would allow Bush to do what he did so well when the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl: operate in space.

The Dolphins severely limited his usage in this manner, especially last season. While Bush was averaging 4.33 receptions per game in his final year in New Orleans, he managed just 3.0 receptions per game in his final year with the Dolphins.

Miami did feed him the ball via ground early in the season to some good results, but Bush eventually regressed in that realm and saw his role phased down in the offense overall. It’s hard to recall that Bush has produced quite well at times over the past two years.

This potential would ostensibly be most maximized in the type of role Joique Bell — who recorded 52 catches for 485 receiving yards out of the backfield — held in the Lions offense in 2012. It’s really incredible how often Matthew Stafford would realize that Calvin Johnson wasn’t open, fall under pressure and dump off to his halfback outlet.

The only dilemma for Bush fans and fantasy owners alike is that Bell is still on the team, and did a pretty good job in the prototypical Bush role last season. It will be interesting to see how Detroit allocates backfield touches come preseason.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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