Wednesday, March 20, 2013
'Reggie Bush can clear the bases'
By Kevin Seifert
PHOENIX -- After spending about 25 minutes Wednesday morning with Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz, I can tell you at least one thing: Schwartz is just as excited as you are about the acquisition of running back Reggie Bush.
We've discussed the favorable run schemes the Lions routinely face when receiver Calvin Johnson is in the lineup, and we've noted the slam-dunk fit of Bush's skill set. Wednesday, Schwartz used an extended and self-deprecating baseball analogy -- utilizing the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, of course -- to further explain the potential we all see.
"If the Tigers had Cabrera and they had Schwartz batting behind Cabrera, how many intentional walks would Cabrera get?" Schwartz said. "A lot. A lot. I might be able to move the runner across. I might be able to hit behind the runner. I might be able to foul one off. I might be able to bloop one over the first baseman's head. But I can't clean the bases. That's my skill set.
"But Reggie Bush can clear the bases. … Calvin's the kid in little league that the other coach … intentionally walks four times in a row. Well, along with the other guys, we need to make more explosive plays when teams choose to play us that way. I think Reggie will be a big part of that."
In that analogy, 2012 tailbacks Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell were the guys batting behind Johnson. They combined for 1,212 yards, but only three of their 297 carries went for at least 20 yards. They rarely cleared the bases even when given consistent opportunities. If Bush doesn't capitalize on open space near the line of scrimmage -- er, the loaded bases -- then maybe it wasn't meant to be.