Reggie Bush: Will the Miami Dolphins Take the Shackles Off?

Neil TillmanContributor IIIJuly 30, 2011

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 16:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints runs for a 46-yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 45-14.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Reggie Bush is taking his talents to South Beach!

Reggie Bush wants to be a feature back with the Miami Dolphins.

Why are there people that snicker when they hear this? Because haters want to hate!

Haters claim Bush is too injury prone and can’t handle a full load. Haters want to claim that Bush is a bust.

Really? He’s only 26.

According to Eric Weddle supporters, Weddle, who turned 26 before Bush, has not even scratched his potential yet.

Bush had one injury last season. That was in the second game when San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks jumped on Bush after he muffed a punt. Luckily, Brooks's name was not “James Harrison,” otherwise he would have been fined heavily.

My question is, "Will the shackles come off of Reggie Bush?"

I am implying that Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints, kept his best weapon from handling the ball.

The only excuse for this is provided by those claiming that Bush is too injury prone.

Many thought that Ricky Williams was injury prone when he was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Both of these Heisman Trophy winners grew up in San Diego where playing in a dome was ridiculous. It’s like 70 degrees always in San Diego.

Naturally, everyone expects Bush to score every time he touches the ball.

Who doesn’t?

Amazingly enough Bush does not score every time, but to be fair, nobody in history has scored every time he's touched the ball.

Anyone who claims that Payton designed plays for Bush must think that a quick screen to the slot is a genius play call. Payton designed plays for Bush to be a decoy. What’s genius is Bush going in motion and faking the end around only to hand the ball off to a running back up the middle.

Bush had his touches taken away little by little since he was a rookie.

As a rookie against the Chicago Bears in the playoffs, Bush made one of the best plays a rookie running back has ever made in the postseason. Bush caught a pass on the sideline and raced 90 yards for a touchdown to close the score to 14-16.

He would not touch the ball again that game until the score was 32-14, but he would fake as if he were getting the ball several times.

It’s difficult to score touchdowns on the bench.

Bush has only one 100-yard performance in his 60 regular season games. However, he also has only two 20-carry games to his credit.

Bush’s rookie year, 2006, against the Giants, he rushed 20 times for 126 yards and a touchdown.

The following season, Bush had 21 carries for 67 yards against Carolina and nine catches for another 52 yards. The next game Bush rushed 19 times for 97 yards against the Seahawks.

Bush would has yet to run the ball that many times in a game again.

Injuries aside, the 2006 No. 2-overall draft pick and the league's highest-paid running back was not getting called on to carry the ball.

Five measly carries in a playoff loss to Seattle.

With “PT cruiser” and Chris Ivory injured.

That’s a good way to lose to the worse playoff team in history, not giving the ball to your only play-making running back.

Julius Jones, however, carried the ball 15 times and had six receptions. Those that know Jones know that he wasn't even good with Seattle.

When it comes to playoffs, Reggie shows up.

In Bush’s five-year career, the Saints have made the playoffs three times, and Bush has played in all six post season games.

In Bush’s first five postseason games, the Saints were 4-1, including a Super Bowl victory. Bush rushed 33 times for 188 yards and two touchdowns, had 20 receptions for 249 yards and two touchdowns, and also returned 11 punts for 144 yards and a touchdown.

That’s five touchdowns in five games.

Running back Pierre Thomas was signed by New Orleans in March of 2011 for significantly less money than Bush received from Miami.

Why did the Saints pay Reggie so much money to watch other running backs handle the ball?

The fact is that Bush was the highest paid decoy in NFL history.

Nobody has ever been paid so much money to just fake hand-offs, run swing passes, and fake screen passes.

Only Darren Sproles, previously with the Chargers has been paid so handsomely not to carry the ball. San Diego paid Sproles nearly $14 million for the past two seasons. It’s fitting the Saints have now signed him too.

Sproles was signed probably to watch Thomas and Ingram run the ball for less money.

The Dolphins should let Reggie run.

What’s the worse that can happen? He gets hurt? Oh well, at least the Dolphins have young Daniel Thomas, who can run hard.

The funny thing is that nobody yet knows how good Bush can be.


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