By the start of the 2011 NFL season, the book on Reggie Bush as both a player and a man had already been written. Coming out of college from noted super program USC, Reggie was hailed as a modern day version of Gale Sayers; a game warping athlete who could hurt defenses as a runner, receiver or return specialist. The results on the field however, were considerably less impressive. Although Bush had carved out a niche for himself as an (at times) explosive punt returner and an elite receiver out of the backfield; as a running back and former 2nd overall draft pick, he was essentially a bust. Five injury-riddled seasons in New Orleans had lead to questions about his size, durability and willingness to run the ball between the tackles with authority. At that point Bush had missed 20 out of a possible 80 regular season games with the Saints and rushed for a paltry 2090 yards combined over five seasons. Although Bush had turned up his performance in the 2009 playoffs, the general consensus was that he was just another passenger on the Drew Brees/Sean Peyton Superbowl train. Off the field Bush's image wasn't much better. To the casual fan, Reggie was more famous for returning his Heisman trophy and his often tumultuous relationship with reality TV star Kim Kardashian than anything he had accomplished in football. During that off season the cash-strapped Saints thought so highly of Bush that they traded him to Miami for a backup safety and the right to swap 6th round picks in the draft. The story went that Reggie Bush was all sizzle and no steak; just another college glamor boy who got knocked on his over-hyped ass when it came time to compete with grown men in "The League."
not popular amongst the Miami faithful and even Dolphins coach Joe Philbin had nothing but positive things to say about Bush after he was signed by the Lions this offseason. Management in Miami is said to be very high on Lamar Miller and after a free agent spending spree it's clear the Dolphins were planning to get younger (and cheaper) at running back this year; regardless of Bush's 2012 performance. As the saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure"; on March 13th the Lions signed Reggie Bush to a very reasonable 4 year, $16 million contract that just might be the team's single biggest coup in the Free Agency era.
injury, ineffectiveness or insanity this plan worked out poorly; the Lions lost their final 8 games and finished 4-12. While Schwartz and Mayhew would never admit it publicly, they have to know that 2012 was a savage blow to the psyche of a young, rebuilding team. Enter Bush, who knows a thing or two about answering the bell when virtually everyone is expecting you to fail. At this point in his career there isn't an ounce of fear left in Reggie's body; when someone punches him in the mouth Bush knows full well to punch right back. The Lions will benefit from his work ethic, experience and his swagger before Bush ever plays a down in Detroit. He's already told reporters that the Lions can win a Super Bowl and while those outside of Allen Park may groan; there's no question his young teammates heard the message loud and clear. Reggie Bush believes in the Lions and that gives the Lions another excuse to believe in themselves; for a team that hit the canvas crying "no mas" halfway through 2012 that belief is a priceless commodity.
- Sportsball Chic