Reggie Bush Should Absolutely Return Punts for the Detroit Lions

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints in action against the Minnesota Vikings at the Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

This week, head coach Jim Schwartz talked about a lot of things—from his family's displeasure with the 2012 season to Jason Jones' role in the defense.

One thing which definitely caught people's attention was when he said new running back Reggie Bush could find himself returning punts this coming season (via

There should be no "could," "might," "maybe" or "possibly" in that sentence. It should contain words like "definitely," "quite often" and "for sure."

Last year's Lions return game was a disaster, so much so that they might need to invent a new word for it. There were fumbles, there were dropped balls, there were players colliding with each other—there were combinations of all of the above and more.

Bush hasn't seen any return duties since 2011, but that's no reason to think he wouldn't be an instant upgrade for this unit.

Field position is terribly important in today's NFL, especially for the Lions, who struggled to run the ball last year and were down to one weapon in the passing game by year's end.

To consistently start not only in their own end, but deep in their own end, is to consistently put themselves at a competitive disadvantage with every drive—not just on offense but on defense as well, if the offense can't move the ball.

It shouldn't interfere with Bush's play at running back either—this isn't Devin Hester. Bush already comes to the Lions knowing how to do both. The biggest concern is injury, but you have that worry anyway given how many ways the Lions will use Bush—this won't really expose him to a ton more.

Of course, it's not just about changing who is on returns—the entire punt (and return) unit needs to improve its play. The difference will be, with Bush returning punts, he'll see the teammate about to run into him and move out of the way.


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