When the Panthers head to Miami on Friday, Cam Newton will be making his debut as a starter. More significant for the fans of the home team is that Reggie Bush will be making his debut with the Dolphins.
“We are gonna use him,” coach Tony Sparano said Wednesday regarding Bush, who dressed but didn’t play in Miami’s preseason opener against the Falcons (the photo is from pregame warmups). “We are gonna use him some. Get him some time in there. Again, I gotta give five backs a look right here so we’re gonna play Reggie [Bush], play Daniel [Thomas] early in this game and then you know see how we fall with the rest of it.”
Sparano isn’t talking about how much he plans to use Bush, and he’s not telling Bush. “I have a pretty good feel, you know, he don’t know that yet so I’m not going to share it, but I have a pretty good idea what I like to do out there,” Sparano said. “Now, the touches can come in a bunch of ways and I don’t know if we’re going to have opportunities that way you know, but we need to try to get him involved a little bit here and get his hand on the football and let him, you know, take some of those hits and get behind that line and do some of the those things.”
Sparano also applauded Bush for putting in extra time as he prepares to get more touches than he received in New Orleans.
“I’m not asking him to do anything, you know, anything like that,” Sparano said. “I just know that from the first day he was out here on the practice field I seen him doing extra out here. And he hasn’t stopped there he usually ends up back in the weight room doing something even if it’s a non-lift day for him he’s doing somethin’ in there.”
Bush hopes to do more in Miami than he did in New Orleans, where he often served more as a decoy. The question is whether he’ll get be able to withstand the extra pounding that comes from extra touches.