Detroit Lions 2013 Season Preview: Why Reggie Bush Will Be Key

Daniel WilliamsContributor IIIJuly 7, 2013

Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press
Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press

Reggie Bush is more than ready to get to work for the Detroit Lions in 2013.

After signing a four-year contract in March, Bush has put New Orleans and Miami behind him as he dons his new No. 21 in Honolulu-blue and silver.

Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is creative and intends on using Bush in multiple formations, looks and even positions. However, Bush has been officially listed on their roster as "RB".

“Well, I think Reggie’s definitely going to add a dynamic to our offense,” Linehan told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “First of all, he gives us a running back that has produced in this league and really, in the last two years, has done a really good job of just carrying the ball. He’s done it.”

The team’s receiving corps will certainly benefit from Bush’s presence.  Having the luxury of the league’s best receiver is nice, but adding a passing element out of the backfield gives the offense a new dimension.

In his time in New Orleans, Bush was a versatile weapon. He would line up in the backfield, as a wide receiver and in the slot, as well as returning kicks.

Detroit intends to use him similarly; especially the passing game made evident in the video to the right.

“I definitely see an opportunity to be able to make an impact on this offense right away,” Bush told Monarrez. “What they were able to do when they had Jahvid Best, they were able to do something special.”

Running back Mikel Leshoure is entering his third season with the Lions, but he missed his entire rookie season due to an Achilles injury. Leshoure is a physical, downhill runner. Bush’s change of pace will help lighten his workload.

The biggest improvement in Bush’s game is his ability to carry the football as a traditional tailback. At USC, Bush was a flashy runner and had a lot of cut-back, highlight-reel runs. In his two seasons in Miami, Bush totaled 2,072 yards and 12 touchdowns after settling in as the primary ball-carrier.

In Detroit, you can expect Bush to be the primary back, though he will often be spelled by Leshoure and Joique Bell in third-down or short-yardage situations. Red zone opportunities will be intriguing; Bush’s presence will allow Linehan to open the playbook.

The Lions needed to make an impact signing at the running back position after finishing last in the NFC North a year ago. Having to face the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings twice a year, the Lions needed another weapon.

Bush is that weapon. Not only will he provide a spark at an integral position, but he significantly alters the dynamic of their offense.

He is expected to catch 60 to 80 balls this season—an invaluable facet that the Lions offense has been missing. His attitude and energetic approach as a new member of the Lions are evident on his Twitter page:

Bush will be a tremendous key to Detroit’s success. The Lions have known commodities in Stafford, Megatron and Leshoure, but Bush offers that home run threat every time he touches the ball.

Lions fans haven’t seen a player like that since Barry Sanders.