Bush showing he deserves more carries as a 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."
LINEUP WATCH: H-back Charles Clay continues to
have his workload increased. The rookie out of Tulsa the Dolphins
selected in the sixth round is serving as both a tight end and
fullback, and is getting more put on his plate each week. He's caught
at least one pass in each of the past four games, and is averaging 16.6
yards on his eight receptions.
BY THE NUMBERS: After a slow start this season,
the Dolphins have piled on the sacks of late, nearly tripling the
team's sack total over the past four games. The three sacks the
Dolphins tallied against Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman brings the
team's total to 24. Pro Bowl pass rusher Cameron Wake has 5.5 sacks.
Jason Taylor, the NFL's active sacks leader, has contributed three, and
defensive end Jared Odrick, the team's 2010 first-round pick, is
steadily improving. He also has three sacks.
More Dolphins news at: Dolphin
AFC East: Dolphins' Bush Breaking Out
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