2011 NFL Trade Grades: How Is Reggie Bush Fitting in with Miami Dolphins?
The Dolphins did not re-sign Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams, and for good reason – the Dolphins want to be more of a passing threat than a smash-mouth football team.
The instantaneous change in offensive philosophies has Miami fans wondering what the identity of the football team is. Yes, they'll pass the ball until quarterback Chad Henne's arm falls off, but who will carry the load?
Bush has never been a feature back, averaging a meager 13 carries a game, and his best season rushing was in 2007 when he rushed for 581 yards and four touchdowns.
The former Heisman winner and number two overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft can be utilized elsewhere.
Did the Dolphins make a mistake trading for Bush or will he be the missing ingredient to push the team into the playoffs and save head coach Tony Sparano's job?
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
The one facet of Bush's game that's always considered dangerous is his ability to take a punt return to the house at anytime.
The Dolphins averaged 10.5 yards a return, which ranked No. 22 in the NFL last season.
Bush averaged 13.5 yards a punt return with three touchdowns in 2008. He broke 20-plus yards four times and 40-plus yards three.
It's a nice weapon to have in the chamber, especially when trying to develop a young quarterback like Henne who is still trying to learn to be a more consistent player.
Injuries plagued Bush the last couple of seasons, but if he can return to his 2008 form then the Dolphins have a great weapon on their punt return team.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
This is where Bush will make his money – receiving balls either out of the backfield or in the slot.
During Bush's rookie season in 2006, he caught 88 balls for 742 yards with two touchdowns, and broke 20-yard plus gains seven times. That's alleviating your quarterback in pressure situations.
The down side to Bush's presence in the passing game is his inability to block pass rushers. Bush isn't the biggest nor is he the strongest running back, and defensive ends plus linebackers should blow right through him in passing situations, which will get Henne is trouble.
Understandably, Bush isn't going to be asked to stay and protect Henne; however, this is a major flaw in Miami's offense. If Bush is in the backfield on third and long, defenses will send the house or directly read the draw.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Dolphins are in desperate need of a bigger, bruising running back. Daniel Thomas hasn't played well throughout the preseason and Larry Johnson has too much mileage on him, plus he's way past his prime.
Asking Bush to be the main runner is an impossible task considering he has never seen a 600-yard season, let alone 1,000.
Therein lies the problem. No runner. No pressure off of Henne.
Bush has never been a "feature back" and his small stature can't handle the rigors of being an every down back in the NFL.
Injuries have kept him sidelined in recent seasons and if the Dolphins expect the fragile Bush to lead the team in rushing, they're begging.
He might have been a superstar at Southern Cal where he out-athleted everyone behind an All-American offensive line, but Bush still dances to the hole and relies too much on his speed to cut the play to the outside.
The opposition knows this and Henne's in serious trouble.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Dolphins made a mistake by trading for Bush and not re-signing either Brown or Williams.
The passing game may get better with the speedy Bush, but throwing the ball 50 times a game against the brutal AFC East spells trouble.
Unless the Dolphin's organization picks a notable back up via free agency or trade, this may go down as the worst trade of the season.
Final Trade Grade: C-