I will go ahead and admit it; I was a big believer in the talents and future abilities of Reggie Bush when he declared for the 2006 NFL Draft. Being a Texans fan, and they had the rights to the #1 overall pick in said draft, obviously I was already preparing to order up my Texans Bush jersey. Ah, to be young and naive.
I realize that was only six years ago, but at the time I was still flash over substance guy. I always wanted to draft the “sexy” positions early like running back and wide receiver. Now, I’m all about the defense and if that scenario was happening again, I’d of been ecstatic with the selection of Mario Williams over Reggie Bush. But at the the time, that was the closest sports had come to making me cry since I was a kid.
But who could blame me? Bush was, and helped out largely by the big media monsters up north, the most electrifying prospect I’d seen in my lifetime. He was the next coming of Gale Sayers, with a ceiling of Barry Sanders. There was no doubt in my mind. But we all know how it worked out. Mario Williams became a pro bowl talent while Reggie was reduced to a specialist in New Orleans and eventually phased out before headed to Miami.
All the stories said that Reggie Bush had an agreement before the move that he would be the feature running back and get to carry the load. And for the first time in his six season career, he got over 200 carries on the way to breaking the 1,000 yard rushing mark. For a team that struggled as badly on offense as Miami did in 2011, that wasn’t anything to scoff at.
But was it a one year kind of thing?
If early indications are in play, the answer to that is no. He started off hot against arguably the best defense in the league in week 1, but blew up against the Raiders this past Sunday.
In two games, he has accumulated 241 and two touchdowns on just 40 carries, good for a staggering 6 yards per carry on the young season. And they haven’t been “gimme’s” either, as Bush is showing that he can run between the tackles, something he never really got a fair shake at in Sean Payton’s offense in New Orleans.
In the offseason, Bush caught a lot of skepticism and giggles when he said that his goal for 2012 was to lead the league in rushing. But based off of this fast start, is it really that crazy of a thought?
I’m not ready to declare Reggie as “back” to his form in college, but I will say maybe he has hit the part of his career where he realizes that he isn’t the best to ever play the game and he’s matured to a point where he now plays to his abilities at the next level.
There are more tests for Bush coming up against some tough defenses, so no need to declare him in the upper-elite of NFL running backs yet. But for the first time, he is starting to look like the kid from USC who most thought would set the league on fire.