One game into his tenure with the Dolphins, there’s already a lot of hand-wringing about what Reggie Bush’s proper role is in the offense. Is he a glorified receiver? Can he handle 20 touches a game? Is he just not built to be an every-down back?
For his part, Bush says he can’t promise he’ll be good for 20 touches a game, 16 games a year, but he thinks he’s fully capable of doing everything a running back has to do, including running up the middle.
“I really can’t say I have a crystal ball,” Bush said. “I try to make the most of my opportunities whether it’s inside the tackles or outside the tackles. I don’t think you can say that, you know, if you continue to run a guy between the tackles, he’s going to get hurt. You look at Walter Payton, he was only 200 pounds. I’m not saying I’m Walter Payton, but I’m just saying that I don’t have a crystal ball.”
Bush is right: Walter Payton was listed at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds. Bush is listed at 6 feet tall and 203 pounds. So they’re approximately the same size. But Bush is also right that he’s not Walter Payton.
Bush is talented and can be an important cog in a good offense. But if he’s capable of being an effective, consistent runner between the tackles, he hasn’t shown that so far, and he’s in his sixth NFL season.