Cleveland Browns: Is Reggie Bush the Next Player on Pat Shurmur's Radar?

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IJuly 1, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints warms up against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Since the Cleveland Browns became a product of Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert two seasons ago, the team hasn't been shy about acquiring new talent and slightly controversial contracts. Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, and Sheldon Brown each came with hefty deals and all had their fair share of criticism from experts around the league.

As the Browns look toward moving forward with Pat Shurmur, a new topic of interest in the NFL has sprung up in the form of Reggie Bush.

Bush has been a member of the New Orleans Saints since he was selected with the second overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. In his short time with the Saints, Bush has accumulated over 2,000 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns.

However, with his limited success came plenty of trials and tribulations.

Bush has been plagued by several injuries in his first five seasons with New Orleans and played a major role in the NCAA probe against his alma mater (the University of Southern California). During the investigation, Bush was ruled ineligible for his record-setting 2005 season with the Trojans and eventually forfeited his Heisman Trophy from that same season.

So how could Bush be a good thing for the Cleveland Browns?

Cleveland enters the 2011 season with multiple questions at the running back position. Peyton Hillis is coming off one of the best seasons in recent Browns history, but struggled with injuries late in the 2010 campaign. Hillis also endured a tremendous workload as Monterio Hardesty recovered from a torn ACL, and Mike Bell seemed simply over-matched in every opportunity he was given.

The second-biggest issue surrounding Cleveland's running game will be Pat Shumur's switch to the West Coast offense.

In most West Coast game plans, runners are expected to be versatile in the backfield and run many routes to help stretch the defense.

Hillis did a very good job as a receiving option in 2010, but was simply not as quick or elusive as Bush has been during his time in the NFL.

Bush could be brought to Cleveland simply as a second option behind Hillis or a weapon out of the backfield in certain formations—many experts expect Cleveland to acquire some type of change-of-pace runner anyway in the event that Hardesty is unable to perform in 2011.

Many teams are rumored to be interested in Bush since his talents have become expendable in New Orleans, but Cleveland has not been mentioned in those conversations as of yet.