MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins runs away from Casey Matthews #50 of the Philadelphia Eagles during a game at Sun Life Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The 2011 season was a career year for new Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, as he topped the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the first time in his six-year career. The oft-injured Bush played in 15 of the Dolphins' 16-games, and carried the ball over 200 times. But, Bush isn't stopping there.
"I want the rushing title," Bush told WSVN-TV yesterday. After last year, when Bush looked to put the "bust" tag behind him, maybe that goal is not too far off.
"This offseason, I've been working towards that goal," Bush explained. "Just being effective like I was this past season"
Since coming into the league as the second overall pick in 2006, Bush has been looked at as a home-run threat, never a feature back. That is, until last year, when Miami traded for him from the New Orleans Saints. Then head coach Tony Sparano envisioned Bush as the every-down guy for the Dolphins, and Bush did not disappoint.
Bush averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 2011, the highest average for any 1,000-yard rusher.
This year, Bush is changing his expectations every time he gets the ball. Rather than looking to break a huge run, Bush says, "Every time I rush the ball, I want 4 yards. I'm keeping my focus simple and small but at the same time helping my team progress."
Bush's role as a leader will be needed this year. As the Dolphins get younger, releasing veterans such as Yeremiah Bell and trading away wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Bush, and his well-documented work ethic, will be set a strong example in Miami. "I'm 27," Bush stated. "I'm one of those veterans. Sounds crazy!"
In the past 20-years, the lowest rushing title total was a 1,474 yard effort in 2007 by LaDainian Tomlinson. Bush's goal might just be the crazy thing. Then again, it was crazy last offseason to think Bush could be a feature back in the NFL.