Reggie Bush Pushing Harder
The Sports Xchange
--Reggie Bush has established a
reputation as one of the hardest
working players on the Miami Dolphins' roster, and he's building on it
In only his second year on the team, Bush has
turned into one of the players his teammates look to when searching for
leadership. His emergence as a leader and role model in the Dolphins'
locker room is one of the prime examples of how a person's perception,
and image can get distorted by the national media.
nothing close to what the gossip tabloids portray him to be. But Bush
is confident, and has reason to be after putting together a career year
in 2011, rushing for 1,086 yards in 15 games, catching 43 passes for
296 yards, and scoring a team-leading seven touchdowns.
There's a possibility Bush can contribute even more for the Dolphins
this upcoming season if he stays healthy because the west coast offense
Miami's installing fits his skill set. He's more effective running
behind a zone blocking scheme, and he's a threat catching passes out
New head coach Joe Philbin is excited about
the tools in Bush's arsenal, and has a vision of how to better utilize
his skill set, hinting that Bush might line up as a receiver more
often. That might explain why Bush told a South Florida television
station his goal is to lead the NFL in rushing in 2012.
want the rushing title," said Bush, who finished 11th in rushing last
season. "This offseason I've been working towards that goal. Just being
effective like I was this past season."
Bush's goal isn't out
of the realm of possibility considering two tailbacks with comparable
size - Jacksonville's Maurice Jones Drew (1,606 rushing yards) and
Baltimore's Ray Rice (1,364) - were the NFL's leading rushers last
And the fourth leading rusher, Philadelphia's
LeSean McCoy, plays in a west coast offense.
"Every time I rush the ball I want four yards," said Bush, who averaged
5.0 yards per carry in 2011. "I'm keeping my focus simple and small,
but at the same time helping my team progress."
But Bush will
have competition for carries. Daniel Thomas, a second-round pick in
2011, gained 581 yards on 165 carries last season, a year that was
hindered by hamstring and leg issues.
Thomas has spent this
offseason getting stronger with the goal of becoming the physical,
one-cut rusher that perfectly complements Bush. The Dolphins also
drafted former Miami standout Lamar Miller in the fourth round, and
general manager Jeff Ireland envisions the team "sprinkling in" carries
for Miller, who has legit 4.3 speed.
Bush not only intends to
lead the team in rushing, but he's also looking to teach the youngsters
how to become a professional, just as Deuce McAllister taught him
during his early New Orleans days.
"I'm 27, I'm one of those
veterans," Bush said, referring to his status as one of the aged vets
on the Dolphins' roster. "Sounds crazy!"
Dolphins owner expects Moore to start at quarterback
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told NFL Network that
he expects veteran incumbent Matt Moore to start at quarterback in the
That might come as an upset to some, considering
Ross voiced his support for Ryan Tannehill to be drafted in the first
"I don't think they're going to rush (Ryan
Tannehill) into anything," Ross said. "He's going to have to win the
starting job. I think Matt Moore will probably be the starter, and I
wish him the best."
But Ross said he wants a franchise quarterback,
and if that turns out to be Moore, so be it. Ross tempered expectations
for Tannehill, drafted eighth overall in April, last weekend. He told
the Palm Beach Post the Dolphins wanted Tannehill to be brought along
only at the pace the rookie could handle.
While Tannehill began the offseason with a slight
edge over Moore and David Garrard in terms of his grasp of the
Dolphins' offense because it's very similar to the one employed at
Texas A&M, where he played for current Dolphins coordinator
Dolphins offense will feature tight ends
--Tight ends have been a big point of emphasis in
coach Joe Philbin's offenses during his tenure as Green Bay's offensive
coordinator, and it appears the Dolphins' new coach will continue to
use that position as the main outlet on checkdown routes.
That approach was one of the driving forces behind
Miami's selection of Missouri tight end Michael Egnew in the third
round of the 2012 draft. The Dolphins feel that Egnew, who caught 140
passes for 1,285 yards and scored eight touchdowns during his two
seasons as a starter for the Tigers, would be able to threaten seam
The Dolphins intend to blend Egnew with the skills
veteran starter Anthony Fasano and second-year H-back Charles Clay
bring to the table, lining them all up in multiple spots, creating
"We like his size, and we like his ability to
attack the middle of the field. In the NFL you sometimes get
linebackers that are 6-0 and 6-1, and now we have a guy at 6-5 with
good length. Even if the linebacker matches him down the field
sometimes you can get a back-shoulder throw you can get the ball,"
Philbin said. "Those guys (like Egnew) have a big catching radius where
they are big targets. So I think that hopefully in the red zone or
other area of the field he can be a threat."
However, Egnew is a product of the same Tigers
offense that produced drafted tight ends Martin Rucker and Chase
Coffman. The Dolphins are hopeful that Egnew's career starts out better
than those two.
Coffman's caught three NFL passes since joining
the league in 2009, and is on his second team. Rucker has caught two
passes in his four seasons and is on his fifth team since entering the
league in 2008.
Bush Set To Lead Miami
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