For a while, I have been of the mind that the backlash on Reggie Bush had gone too far. No, he was not deserving of the No. 2 pick in the notoriously bust-packed top 10 of the 2006 draft. No, he’s never really even become a top-10 running back.
But the “bust” delineation is also going a bit too far, as Bush has provided value when placed in a very specific role during his career, something he may just have found with the Detroit Lions.
Matthew Stafford threw the ball an absurd NFL-record 720 times last season, which spilled over into 65 targets and 52 catches to last year’s primary third-down back in Joique Bell, a relatively unknown heading into the season. I think you can easily expect more than 65 and 52 from Bush if he can stay healthy, along with the 200-plus carries your featured back typically gets.
“I really didn’t get beat up early in my career,” Bush said, via the team website. “The last two years in Miami was the first time I really experienced that 20-to-25 carry range. I feel good. I’ve really played injury free both seasons (with Dolphins)… I still feel good. I still feel like I have a lot to prove and a lot of football left in me and I’m just getting started.”
Obviously, health’s a whole other issue that’s thrown on top. Bush missed 17 games between 2008 and 2011, but his promising spurts over the past two seasons — including a 2012 campaign where he didn’t miss a game — make it very possible for Bush to put together his productive season in 2013.