- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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DETROIT -- He touched the ball for the first time in a regular-season game as a Detroit Lion and the loving of Reggie Bush started. All of Ford Field coalesced.
“Reggie ... Reggie.”
They chanted this multiple times Sunday -- after his first run, a 12-yard gain -- and again later on, when Bush showed exactly why Detroit brought him in this offseason. When everyone else saw how dangerous he could be and what the Lions management sold him on when they recruited him to come here.
He caught a screen from Matthew Stafford in the third quarter, turned upfield, had some blocks and he was gone, 77 yards for a touchdown. After all the preseason talk about being a good fit and the missing piece to the Detroit offense, one game in, it was all proven correct.
Every piece of it.
“Yeah, this is the stuff we were looking at,” Bush said. “They were just showing me, and they didn’t have to show me much.”
Bush saw how teams double-covered Calvin Johnson and realized with Johnson able to stretch the field, teams won’t focus solely on him. That would leave room for him to run, for him to be able to create like he did at USC.
He did Sunday, accounting for 191 total yards (101 receiving, 90 rushing) and being the offensive catalyst everyone in the Lions organization had hoped for. This is what Johnson remembered seeing of Bush in college at USC, of what so many had thought he would bring when he reached the NFL.
Crazy thing is this -- his day could have been even better. Twice he thought he scored touchdowns. Twice the touchdown was reviewed and was then overturned. Teammates scored.
Bush still did the setting up.
“I grew up watching the guy, you know,” said rookie tight end Joseph Fauria, who grew up in Encino, Calif. “It’s an amazing sight to see and I see it every day. When it gets put into the game and it is not against our own defense, man, that makes me happy.”
Bush’s ability leaves his offensive line wanting to block harder because they know he can make small spaces into something special. It has his receivers wanting to block for him because they know if they give him a crease, he can outrun almost every defender.
“That’s Reggie, he’s a playmaker, man,” right guard Larry Warford said. “He can extend plays and make plays, make something out of nothing, really.”
He did that a lot Sunday -- both in wide-open spaces and when there were tight areas to wiggle through. And it makes everyone else on the Detroit offense look better -- and play better.
“It’s definitely what we talked about,” Bush said. “We talked about just getting me in space in situations where I’m mismatched on a linebacker, or safety, or cornerback or somebody man covers and while they’re worried about Calvin and some of those guys, just taking advantage of it.
“I think we were able to do that today. I think you saw a little bit of what’s to come in the future.”