Not too long ago the Miami Dolphins were faced with the prospects of signing their running back and former 2005 first round pick, Ronnie Brown.
Forced to fill a void that was inevitable with the lack of productivity in Brown’s final season, the Dolphins got overly aggressive at the start of the offseason after the lockout with a trade for Reggie Bush. A name that would sell jerseys and someone that could be considered the face of the franchise.
Reggie Bush has been known for being an all-purpose back: a do it all back running the ball for yards and catching the ball to move the sticks. Not to mention, Bush’s value as a returner, has him sadly on Madden 13 as 99 rating as the best returner on the Dolphins in the video game.
However, this season Reggie Bush has followed up a season of 15 games started and 1086 yards rushed on 6 TDs with 575 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns through 10 games.
These numbers are quite deceiving in that even though Reggie Bush is tied for 21st in rushing, hardly evidence of feature back status, Reggie succumbed to a knee injury versus the Jets in week three.
When the Miami Dolphins front office and brass look to re-sign Reggie Bush there are compelling arguments as to why the Dolphins should either sign him or let him hit the market.
The argument for signing Bush:
Reggie Bush is a play maker on the Dolphins. He has shown signs of taking over games and leading the Dolphins in victories. When the Dolphins win, it’s because Reggie Bush has done work in those games. From the first win of 2011 season versus the Chiefs, Reggie Bush began to show that he is the force that most teams cannot stop in the open field. Reggie one on one is going to win most of the time. In Dolphins wins this season, Reggie Bush has rushed for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns. In losses, Reggie has rushed for 279 yards and one touchdown. With Reggie Bush, despite the setbacks, he has been out there contributing where he has been able to.
Bush should not be signed:
While Reggie Bush has been balanced, he has not been effective after failing to rush for over 100 yards since the game versus the Raiders where he rushed for 172 and 2 touchdowns. Reggie Bush, while he has shown glimpses of greatness as a feature back, has one major flaw: holding onto the football. The Dolphins are a team that is feast or famine this season when it comes to turnovers. The Dolphins have won 4 games when they have no turnovers and zero when they turn the ball over. Reggie Bush set the tone with a critical fumble versus a very bad team versus the run, the Tennessee Titans. When Bush fumbled, the team looked defeated after the defense allowed a red zone touchdown. In addition, Reggie Bush has run his mouth with the media in a negative fashion and has cast a negative pall on the Dolphins franchise from everything to accusing LaRon Landry of personally looking to injure him and the women of Buffalo. While, some of this banter is done in a playful manner, the commentary that surrounds Reggie Bush is enough to startle those who look up to Reggie Bush and those who want to give him a new contract. I don't believe some of the powers that be are laughing anymore. A player like Reggie Bush should be able to back up his trash talk with big time performances on the field. Bush has yet to do that and shown he can disappear into his pads and helmet on the sideline.
Bottom line, signing Reggie Bush is more of a negative at this point because he has failed to be the leader that he showed he is capable of being. While he has backed Ryan Tannehill as the rookie QB, he’s even done his best to take the criticism for losses and take the story lines another direction so the rookie doesn't’t have to feel the brunt of the South Florida media for Tannehill’s poor play.
Unfortunately, doing all the little things in practice are not translating on the field and Bush is starting to remove any optimism that Dolfans had in him and expected him to have a monster season!
As a fan and blogger, critical of the Miami Dolphins, one has to wonder who’s doghouse Bush is in: Is it Jeff Ireland’s or coach Joe Philbin’s? Even more startling is the fact that Bush is in a contract year. Which brings me back to the idea that his poor play seems to get worse as the season wears on as Bush has bounced around in yards per carry per game to level off at a 4.2 average yards for the season.
Signing Reggie Bush would be a mistake because the money could be used to lure other free agents to Miami, but one has to wonder if it’s the Dolphins who don’t want to sign Reggie Bush because he might be overpriced at this point. Or is it Reggie Bush himself who’d rather enjoy another town’s sunshine than Miami sunshine.
Let’s not forget what happened a couple of years ago with Ronnie Brown, working toward a bonus, the Dolphins refused to call his name in the huddle for a touchdown inside the 5. Maybe the same can be said about Reggie Bush, except someone on the Dolphins is refusing to play him so they don’t have to pay him.