Schwartz says Lions will use Bush the way the Saints used him


When Lions coach Jim Schwartz joined PFT Live this week, he noted that the Lions’ passing game will open things up for new running back Reggie Bush in a way that playing in another offense might not.

“His talent doesn’t stand alone. The combination of Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, the rest of our offense — Brandon Pettigrew at tight end, Nate Burleson at wide receiver, it’s a really unique opportunity for a dynamic running back,” Schwartz said.

But while playing with a receiver like Megatron is unique because of the way he draws the defense’s attention, playing in a high-powered passing offense isn’t unique for Bush. Schwartz told Jim Rome that his plan for Bush goes back to the way Bush was used early in his career as a Saint, rather than the way he was used in the last two seasons in Miami.

“Our plan for him is a little bit different than that, maybe going back to a little more the way he was used with the New Orleans Saints,” Schwartz. “We think he can have a greater impact on the game when we give him the ball on his terms, on our terms, rather than running the ball into hard 8 boxes.”

The difference between the role Bush has played in those two offenses is significant: In Bush’s two seasons in Miami he averaged 222 carries and 39 catches a season. In Bush’s five seasons in New Orleans he averaged 105 carries and 59 catches a season. Bush has proven in the last two seasons that he can be the primary every-down back in an NFL offense. But he proved before that that he can be a significant threat even when he’s not carrying the ball 200 times a season. And that may be the Reggie Bush we see in Detroit in 2013.