Greatest Detroit Lions By Number: No. 21

Detroit Lions No. 21

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Ranking the greatest Detroit Lions of all time is no easy task to accomplish. From No. 1 all the way up to No. 99, I will attempt to rank the greatest Lions players for each jersey number. This list continues with my selection for the best at No. 21.

The sixth Heisman Trophy winning running back to join the Lions, Reggie Bush signed with the team last season after spending his first five seasons with the New Orleans Saints and two more seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Bush was an instant upgrade in Detroit, giving the Lions some backfield speed that the team lacked in previous years.

In just his first season in Detroit, Bush amassed 1,500 all-purpose yards and scored seven total touchdowns. Bush got off to a tremendous start in his first game as a Lion against the Minnesota Vikings. He recorded 191 yards from scrimmage and scored a long touchdown, giving the city something to celebrate after a miserable 4-12 season the year before.

Unfortunately, Bush’s season from that point on was inconsistent. While the yards and touchdowns racked up, the fumbles did as well. Bush coughed it up five times last year, and in late-game situations, the Lions turned to undrafted free agent Joique Bell to run the ball. With that being said, under new coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who Bush worked with when the Saints won Super Bowl 44 against Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts, I would expect nothing but another 1,500-yard all-purpose season and at least double-digit touchdowns in 2014.

Bush joined past running backs Barry Sanders, Billy Sims, Steve Owens, Howard Cassady and Doak Walker as former Heisman Trophy winning running backs who played in the Motor City.

Other nominees: Eric Wright (2011), Reuben Droughns (2001).

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and connect with him on Google.

Previous article in series: No. 20.


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