In 2011, the Lions won their first five games with running back Jahvid Best providing an explosive run-pass dynamic from the backfield. Since Best suffered his most recent concussion, the Lions had gone 9-19.
Today, the Lions went to 1-0, thanks in large part to the arrival of running back Reggie Bush.
Bush, who had 101 yards receiving and 90 yards rushing, touched the ball 25 times in his Detroit debut, a 34-24 win over Minnesota.
“We just scratched the surface today,” Bush told PFT by phone after the game. He was referring to the team, but the sentiment also applies to Bush himself.
Bush said that, even though it’s his eighth NFL season, “I’m not banged up.” He didn’t start getting 20-plus touches per game until he was traded to Miami from New Orleans, and he now feels a sense of gratitude that he had more limited touches early in his career.
“I’m glad I stayed positive,” Bush said of his time in New Orleans, when he was used far more sparingly. “Everything happens for a reason.”
Even more could have happened today. Bush said the Lions hurt themselves in the first half with penalties and turnovers.
They helped themselves in the second half, with among other things a 77-yard catch and run by Bush. Did he benefit from the defensive obsession with stopping Calvin Johnson?
“A lot of it goes to the fact that they’re rolling coverages to him,” Bush said of the extra attention given to the man known as Megatron. “When that’s happening someone else has to take advantage.”
Bush did, and he thinks his new team is well positioned to thrive. He said that, in his view, the 2013 Lions stack up well with the 2009 Saints — and that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford belongs with the top quarterbacks in the league.
Reggie Bush also ranks among some other Lions greats. For the first time since fans chanted “Bar-ry! . . . Bar-ry!,” Lions fans were loudly chanting the name of a man who could make a huge difference for a team that could be a lot better than many thought they would be.
I told Reggie before hanging up that I’ve picked the Lions to get to the NFC title game. I told him that many think I’m crazy for doing it.
“I don’t think you’re crazy at all,” Bush said. “I think you’re a smart man. Brilliant, actually.”