The Miami Dolphins came out with a win in their second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, a 25-10 drubbing in which the Dolphins controlled the game pretty much from the start.
The story of the game wasn’t Cam Newton, the NFL’s current number one overall pick, or how bad Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne may or may not have looked.
It wasn’t even about the defense or how many sacks, turnovers, or negative plays they were able to turn in, no the night belong to former New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush.
Bush finally made his debut in a Dolphin uniform, a hyped event as analysts were carefully watching to see if he could handle an increased workload, while Dolphins fans gazed at the teams new acquisition with hope the bite matched the bark.
His response to all the pressure — 48 rushing yards on eight carries, 33 receiving yards posted on three catches — let the controversy begin so to speak as it was a better the decent performance on his part.
In fact he is already being compared to Dolphins greats Mercury Morris and Tony Nathan, at least according to Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel.
This was the first time he wore a Dolphins uniform and he instantly became the most electric back in Dolphins history. No? Tony Nathan could catch like this. But didn’t have these moves. Mercury Morris could run like this. But never had these hands.
Saints fans know what the Dolphins fans are eventually going to find out — sure Bush will turn in some big, electric plays — but it happens far too inconsistently compared to the negative plays that will inevitably unfold. It’s only a matter of time.
Let’s be honest as well by admitting the Panthers rush defense is not the best in the world, and Reggie did exactly what he should of given the situation, but the performance shouldn’t garner such high praise so quickly given the level of competition.
Bush has yards of high light reel runs and catches that he left behind as a Saint, but equally there are miles of footage to the contrary of negative plays, dropped passes, and a host of backfield hi-jinks gone wrong.
I have heard comparisons of Reggie Bush to the great Barry Sanders, the point being made that Sanders too ran backwards quite often only to be dropped for negative yardage or no gain.
But what Sanders did that Bush has yet to in his pro career is simple — consistently deliver the big play — which in turn made everyone forget about those negative runs. Barry Sanders was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, not bad for a backwards runner.
Bush on the other hand has not done enough to make us overlook his short comings, but it’s possible he still can as his “book” is still being written, and a resurgence is possible as a member of the Dolphins.
If Saints fans could say anything to Dolphins fans it would probably be a warning: Be careful as he’ll keep you on the edge of your seat awaiting the next big play, but don’t get your hopes up — he likely run backwards.