Ever since Reggie Bush was a Heisman winning stud coming out of USC he had the ability to be a game changer with his versatility allowing him to provide as a runner, pass catcher, or kick returner. But despite this immense talent things have not always worked out in the NFL for Bush, as it took him nearly five seasons to adapt to the brutal nature of the league. Now it appears that he is the perfect man for the Detroit Lions.
On Sunday Bush rushed for 139 yards and picked up another 34 yards receiving, in the process bringing his totals in these categories to read 254 rushing yards, 179 receiving yards and three touchdowns over three games. While these statistics are not mind blowing by any means, the Lions are not expecting Bush to be a 2000-yard running back, and he is not expecting to be that either.
When they signed Bush all the Lions were looking for was an improvement on the 798 yards they got from their top rusher in 2012 and someone that had the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. After all, with Matthew Stafford having the ability to sling the ball all over the field game after game, it is apparent that the Lions are a pass first team and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
Bush was a perfect fit to come into a side that relied on passing the ball first and loved to spread the field, as he is one of the best pass catchers out of the backfield in the NFL. On top of the ability to catch balls, though, Bush has the ability to break open big plays out of the backfield, a trait that allows Stafford the ability to keep teams honest with the play action fake. The importance of this can not be overstated for a pass first team, as effectively running forces opposing defenses to not put as much pressure on the quarterback and therefore give him more time to find open receivers.
In the end Reggie Bush is not a 30 rush per game running back, but with the Detroit Lions he is not asked to be one. Furthermore, the Lions have been able to complement Bush’s ability by integrating into the passing game, and in the process they have made their offense more threatening. Considering the fact that they are only a fourth of the way through the year it is extremely likely that the Lions offense will only to continue to improve. That’s a scary thought considering they have scored 30.5 points per game so far.