If you had told me when the New Orleans Saints selected All-American RB Reggie Bush with the second overall pick in 2006 that it would take him six years to reach the 1,000-yard mark, I would have called an insane asylum.
But here we are, 2nd-and-7 in the second quarter. Bush, now with the Miami Dolphins, had an eight-yard carry that put him at 1,002 rushing yards—and over 1,000 rushing yards in his career.
Sure, you can blame it on Bush playing in a competitive backfield in New Orleans. Or that the Saints didn't know how to maximize his potential. Or that the Saints gun-slinging offense didn't give Bush enough chances.
Or maybe the former "sure-thing" wasn't a sure thing after all. Don't get me wrong. Bush isn't a Ki-Jana Carter, but he isn't exactly Emmitt Smith, either.
Don't get me wrong. Bush is a phenomenal athlete and an explosive player. But it takes more than pure athleticism to make a good football player.
And not to take anything away from Bush's accomplishment, but rushing for 1,000 yards really isn't that impressive anymore. It's just a nice, even number.
In order to reach the 1,000-yard mark, a player needs to record a minimum of 62.5 yards per game
Since the NFL expanded to a 16-game season in 1978, the NFL has averaged almost 13 1,000-yard rushers per season, excluding the 1982 strike year. The NFL's averaged 18 1,000-yard rushers since 2000—including 23 in 2000 and 2006.
The average during the 14-game schedule from 1960-78? Four.
O.J. Simpson rushed for over 2,000 yards in 14 games in 1973. Call me when you accomplish that, Reggie. Even the last 2,000-yard rusher, Chris Johnson, had 36 carries in his last game of 2009 to try and push over the mark, finishing with 2,006 yards.
If the NFL had played only 14 games this season, only eight players would have made it to the 1,000-yard plateau: Maurice Jones-Drew, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Michael Turner, Frank Gore, Ray Rice, Ryan Mathews and Marshawn Lynch.
Bush, Steven Jackson, Willis McGahee, Beanie Wells and Cedric Benson all reached the mark in 15 games. There are still six other players within 80 yards of 1,000 that could get it in 16 games.
While reaching 1,000 is still an amazing feat (I could never do it...), it doesn't exactly have the mystique that it used to. But when players are rushing for 1,600-plus yards a season, that is something to get excited about.
Unless Bush racks up 534 rushing yards against the New York Jets next weekend, it will be yet another disappointing year for him—despite having the best year of his career.
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