Bush Blossoming as Runner

Dolphins tailback Reggie Bush is well on his way to silencing some of his critics that believe he's more of a backfield gimmick than traditional NFL tailback. Bush has spent all season as the Dolphins' starter, and he's contributing more to the team on the ground (474 rushing yards) than he has through the air (168 receiving yards) heading into Sunday's home game against Buffalo.

Bush, who scored two rushing touchdowns in the Dolphins' 20-9 win over the Washington Redskins, is averaging 4.6 yards per carry. The 242 rushing yards Bush has accounted for in the last three games is the most he's ever produced in a three-game stretch.

The former USC standout needs 108 yards to eclipse his career-high rushing total of 581 yards, which he produced in his rookie season (2007).

"It's been a tough couple of years," said Bush, whom the Dolphins acquired in a trade with New Orleans this offseason for a conditional draft pick, and safety Jonathon Amaya.

"With my past team I wasn't able to run the ball much. I wasn't able to get a lot of opportunities," said Bush, who is averaging 11 carries a game. "It feels good to be able to come down here and achieve some of the success we're achieving. Not just me, but as a team. We're not where we want to be, but we're playing good football right now."

Bush is referring to a resurgent running attack, which is averaging 4.2 yards per carry.

Heading into Sunday's game against Buffalo, which allowed DeMarco Murray to rush for 135 yards in a 44-7 loss the Cowboys, the Dolphins have rushed for more than 100 yards in six of this season's nine games.

Bush, who says playing on grass regularly has helped him stay healthy, deserves plenty of the credit. But the Dolphins' offensive line has also gotten better at creating running lanes in the team's new zone blocking scheme.

But it's been Bush's breakaway speed that's terrifying opposing defenses. That's why Buffalo, which is allowing 125.4 rushing yards per game, and have given up 11 rushing touchdowns, will make it a priority to contain him.

"Something's gotten into him," right tackle Vernon Carey said of Bush. "He's running a little bit harder and doing a lot of big things for us. If he continues to do that we'll continue to have success on offense."


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