CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Running back Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins runs by defensive back Sheldon Brown #24 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Yesterday, NFL Network and NFL.com featured the Miami Dolphins in their 32-in-32 series of looks at the teams around the league. To start their look at the Dolphins, running back Reggie Bush was brought in to talk about his first 1,000 yards season last year, as well as the future of the team.
Before the conversation turned to rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Bush was asked about his plan to win the NFL rushing title. Bush explained, "I said, I want to, there's a different. I didn't say that I will. People took it a little the wrong way, when I said that. It was just more of me saying what my goal is. I always set higher standards for myself, and I always want to accomplish the highest goals and achievements. That's something I look to do."
Of course, what is getting the most attention is Bush's comments on Tannehill. Bush spoke highly of the eighth overall draft pick from April, "Ryan Tannehill, he's a really good quarterback, he's very smart. Obviously he has the upper hand coming into an offensive system that he already knows basically. Now he really just gets to work on his skill set as a quarterback, improving and he has that advantage on his side."
Of course, the obvious quote out of that statement is that Tannehill has the "upper hand," which has already started being used by media outlets to draw attention to the story, and to imply that Bush wants Tannehill to be the stater. However, when read in its full context, obviously, Bush is not trying to claim Tannehill should be the starter, but is talking up the young rookie.
When directly asked if he believes Tannehill should be the starter this year, Bush answered, "It's not my decision. May the best man win. I always feel like competition is healthy on a team at every position. When your back is against a wall, when someone is breathing down your neck that's going to bring out the best in you. I feel like Ryan being here around David Garrard and Matt Moore - some veterans who have been in the game for awhile - it's only going to help him. It looks like they're all getting along well together and he's doing a good job so far. He's a smart kid."
Bush was then asked if he thinks the Dolphins have the pieces in place that would allow a rookie quarterback to lead the team to the playoffs. "When you think about a rookie quarterback, obviously there is that disadvantage of just not having the wisdom and knowledge of being in the NFL," Bush answered. "It's been done before, and I think he can do it. Like I said, with the amount of veteran leadership that we have on this team, he's already coming into an offense that he knows, Mike Sherman is a great coach and offensive coordinator who is really working with him day in and day out, I think he'll be fine. Obviously we're going to do some things to protect him as a young guy, but at the same time I feel like he can get the job done if he is called on. We look forward to having him out there."