After sitting out Miami's first game of the preseason, Bush played the first half against Carolina and finished with 48 yards rushing on eight carries. He also caught two passes for 33 yards. The Dolphins' offense generated eight plays in the first half that gained at least 15 yards, and Bush was a part of three of those.
The Dolphins acquired Bush in a trade with New Orleans not long after the NFL lockout ended. Upon his arrival in South Florida, Bush said he desired the chance to play the role of a featured back. After his performance on Friday, he said he knew this was his first chance to make an impression.
"I wanted to make an impression with the fans right away and I thought that was important," he said. "I'm more about respect and I am about earning respect, too. ... This is a totally different team and I wanted to bring a different attitude to this team and hopefully lead by example."
Bush was impressive in the open field, when he took two short passes from Henne and turned them into big gains. What Dolphins coach Tony Sparano liked seeing even more, though, was the work Bush did grinding out yards on carries up the middle.
"He's an explosive player, (he) did a good job catching the ball out of the backfield but I thought the thing I was probably the most impressed with tonight was the way he ran the ball between the tackles," Sparano said. "You know, we did some power running in there with him and I thought he ran the ball well between the tackles."
Throughout training camp, Bush has often been the Dolphins' last man off the practice field. He has spent extra time - as much as 45 minutes after each practice - working on his pass-catching and also running various distances with a weight sled attached to his waist.
After that, he often signs autographs and then goes inside the Dolphins' facility for more work. He said on Friday he wanted to carry that mentality and intensity into his first preseason game.
"The main thing for me I wanted to do was just finish," Bush said. "Finish at the end of each run, each play, whatever it was, when I had the ball in my hands or even when I didn't have the ball in my hands. Finishing the play and that was really it."