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Bill Polian doesn’t think Reggie Bush is worth much

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In Bill Polian’s years as an NFL general manager, he spent first-round draft picks on running backs five times: Edgerrin James, Joseph Addai and Donald Brown with the Colts, Tim Biakabutuka with the Panthers and Ronnie Harmon with the Bills. So Polian values a good running back.

But Polian doesn’t think there’s much value in this year’s best free agent running back, Reggie Bush.

Polian said today on Mike and Mike in the Morning that he doesn’t see any team paying big money to acquire Bush, saying that Bush is aging and not a complete player.

“I don’t think he’s going to have that big a market, and I think the market is going to be lower than people might anticipate,” Polian said. “He’s not a three-down back anymore. He’s got seven years in, that’s a lot of shelf life for a running back. He’s had injuries. He’s not a great blocker — although he tries hard, I’m not denigrating him in any way, his body isn’t built to do that. He’s really a specialized back at this stage.”

It’s true that Bush has been in the league seven years and that he’s had some injuries, but it’s also true that Bush is younger and has had less wear and tear than most running backs who have been in the league seven years. Bush is only 28 years old (he was 20 when he left USC to declare for the NFL draft), and he has had only 967 career carries.

And as for the part about Bush not being a great blocker, the reality is that a team that signs Reggie Bush won’t be signing him to block. If you’ve got Reggie Bush on the field on a pass play, he’ll be running a pass pattern, not protecting the quarterback. It’s also worth noting that while Bush may have limitations as a blocker, he also can return kicks, so he brings an element on special teams that most running backs don’t.

A team like Detroit, which could use a back who can run 10 or 15 times a game, catch passes out of the backfield or as a slot receiver, and return kicks, would see a lot of value in a player with Bush’s skill set. Even if his body isn’t built to block.

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30 Responses to “Bill Polian doesn’t think Reggie Bush is worth much”
  1. bigks77 says: Mar 11, 2013 9:53 AM

    He’s correct!

  2. thegrey7 says: Mar 11, 2013 9:59 AM

    Would love to see the Vikings bring him in for cheap to complement AP and make Harvin even more expendable.

  3. scrummymustard says: Mar 11, 2013 10:01 AM

    Bill Polian doesn’t have that great of a track record. He lived off Peyton Mannings legacy. Once you add in his time at KC, his résumé doesn’t really speak too much for itself, or it does, just not very well.

    Typical ESPN ‘analyst’

  4. 15starr says: Mar 11, 2013 10:07 AM

    So you named one team thats a good fit, Detroit. One team isnt a market, its one team.

  5. Obama's Ballsack says: Mar 11, 2013 10:07 AM

    Honestly, I agree. How much do people logically think this guy is worth?

  6. btowngetsdown says: Mar 11, 2013 10:10 AM

    When you say “values a good running back,” was that sarcastic? Maybe 2 of those 5 guys is any good, and/or lived up to a 1st round draft.

  7. musicman495 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:11 AM

    Not that big a fan of Reggie, but these comments by Polian make no sense. It’s like saying Falcons should not bring back Tony Gonzales because of his blocking.

    Reggie is a specialty talent, and for a team that does not need him to be a three down, between the tackles running back (which he strangely keeps trying to prove he can be), he can still be a productive back, and occasional home run threat.

  8. mrposey5 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:12 AM

    Bush will sign with the Lions and will have 50+ catches next year and might be around 1,000 yards. He fits the offense. He’s an instant upgrade from Leshoure, who doesn’t break tackles or present value out of the backfield in the passing game.

    A bigger reason why the market isn’t great for Bush is because there are plenty backs out there, obviously driving the market down for his position.

  9. ill42 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:16 AM

    “Bill Polian doesn’t have that great of a track record. He lived off Peyton Mannings legacy. Once you add in his time at KC, his résumé doesn’t really speak too much for itself, or it does, just not very well.”

    He was the GM of the Bills that went to the Superbowl four straight years, but I guess that doesn’t count.

  10. daburgher says: Mar 11, 2013 10:17 AM

    I’d like to see him in Pittsburgh.. makes sense to me as a compliment to Dwyer and with the departure of Rainy

  11. eatitfanboy says: Mar 11, 2013 10:18 AM

    While I hate to agree with Bill Polian, I am kind of scratching my head at all of the people thinking Bush is going to cash in with some huge deal.

    I even read Peter King today saying that that Bush would be “too rich” for the blood of some teams, namely Arizona.

    In an age where many teams are reluctant to spend big money on ANY running backs, do we really think some is going to break the bank for a back with a limited skill set who has a habit of disappearing for long stretches.

  12. hatesycophants says: Mar 11, 2013 10:23 AM

    Yours is a sound, reasonable and cogent argument. I would only add that each opinion posted from Polian should be accompanied by one fan who gives a damn what he has to say.

  13. truthfactory says: Mar 11, 2013 10:26 AM

    In a related story, I dont think Bill Polian is worth much.

  14. jcmeyer10 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:26 AM

    My real question is, what does Matt Millen think of this?!

  15. mack2x says: Mar 11, 2013 10:27 AM

    If it wasn’t Peyton, Polian would’ve become an analyst years ago.

  16. teedraper says: Mar 11, 2013 10:36 AM

    What does Polian know about RB’s?? He drafted a trillion of them in Indy & only Edge panned out

  17. warhawk137 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:36 AM

    While Bill is probably correct in his assessment of Bush’s limitations, the skill set Bush brings to the table is still something that would be very valuable to certain teams.

  18. daysend564 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:38 AM

    Of the list that he spent on 1st, only Edgerrin James was better than Bush. If I was a RB, I’d prefer to stay off Polians’s list.

  19. jtt183 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:39 AM

    You guys know Bill Polian was pretty damn good before Peyton came right? Lead the Bills to 3 SB’s, lead the Panthers to the NFCCG in their 2nd year of existence, and HE was the one that chose to go with Manning over Leaf. Can’t blame Polian for Manning’s poor playoff performances.

  20. azarkhan says: Mar 11, 2013 10:46 AM

    I never thought Reggie Bush was worth much, certainly not as much as he was paid by the Saints.

  21. davikes says: Mar 11, 2013 10:51 AM

    “So Polian values a good running back.” LOL. He just doesn’t know how to draft one. He used five first round picks on RB’s and got one RB that played like a first rounder. Any of us could do that.

  22. whitdog23 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:58 AM

    50 catches, 1, 000+ yards??? I spit out my breakfast reading that…ROFLMAO has this person watched reggie bush? he obviously never had him in fantasy football

  23. andrewfbrowne says: Mar 11, 2013 11:00 AM

    Polian is the best GM of his generation, for all the guys saying Manning made they are forgetting the four straight Super Bowls with Buffalo the NFC Champoinship team in Carolina as an expansion team and the run with the Colts where because of their success and Manning salary they were drafting at the bottom of every round and did not have money to use in free agency.

  24. blacknole08 says: Mar 11, 2013 11:03 AM

    @scrummymustard,

    Polian doesn’t know what he is talking about?

    – 4 straight SB appearances with the Bills
    – Panthers won 20 games (including a playoff game) in our first 2 years in existence
    – SB title with Colts, also made the correct decision to draft Peyton Mannning thus making them a perenial SB contender

    Give that man some respect.

  25. asimonetti88 says: Mar 11, 2013 11:11 AM

    whitdog23 says:Mar 11, 2013 10:58 AM

    50 catches, 1, 000+ yards??? I spit out my breakfast reading that…ROFLMAO has this person watched reggie bush? he obviously never had him in fantasy football
    ———————————————————-

    Well, he had 1000+ yards and 40 catches in 2011… and almost 1000 yards and 30+ catches in 2012. It’s not too far fetched to see him getting 1000 yards and close to 50 catches on a better offense than the one he’s played in the last two season.

  26. dioalice says: Mar 11, 2013 11:18 AM

    Bill Polian has been the architect of 13% (6 of 47) of all teams to compete in the Super Bowl. I’ll take his assessment of football personnel over the internet legend that is @scrummymustard.

  27. jcmeyer10 says: Mar 11, 2013 11:42 AM

    Anyone catch a theme with Bill Polian teams?

    They all had great quarterbacks and Polian inherited a team with Jim Kelly and Peyton Manning fell into his lap.

  28. lennydpocketqb says: Mar 11, 2013 11:53 AM

    Still upset that he lost to the Saints.

  29. blspears says: Mar 11, 2013 6:52 PM

    Bill Polian does not draft good running backs, so what does he know. Its like asking Don Nelson about defense in basketball.

  30. indycolt45 says: Mar 12, 2013 2:25 AM

    Please stop tagging Bill Polian stories with the Colts tag. Polian doesn’t work for the Colts any more, and this story has zero to do with the team. Why aren’t you tagging the Bills and Panthers too?

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