Thursday, November 24, 2011
Big Decision: Containing Reggie Bush
By Jean-Jacques Taylor
ARLNGTON, Texas - He was supposed to be Gayle Sayers, but he's clearly never going to reach that level of production. Heck, Reggie Bush might not even be as valuable as Darren Sproles, the man who replaced him on the New Orleans Saints.
But he remains a dangerous player, one Rob Ryan must make sure doesn't beat the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
Of course, that's easier said than done, in part, because Bush is showing skills as a runner he never did in New Orleans.
Bush still struggles between the tackles, but he's having his most productive year ever as a runner. With 117 carries and 506 yards rushing, he'll establish career highs in both categories.
He's also caught 32 passes for 202 yards.
The question is how does Ryan handle him as a runner and receiver without compromising the defense. After all, Sean Lee is the best coverage linebacker, but he can't handle Bush.
Does Ryan use an extra cornerback or safety? Does rookie linebacker Bruce Carter, who excelled at coverage in college, get a crack at Bush?
It's hard because the Dolphins will use motion to create favorable matchups for Bush, and even when he doesn't get the ball, he's a wonderful decoy.
When he does run the ball, Anthony Spencer must be especially strong at the point of attack because Bush obviously wants to attack the perimeter and get outside.