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.