The Miami Dolphins were the only team in the league that considered running back Reggie Bush as capable of being an every-down runner. With a game to go, Bush has rushed for 1,086 yards, nearly double his previous career single-season high. Now, Bush has stated he's looking for more.
"I feel like there's so much more," Bushsaid, speaking to NFL.com contributor, and former Dolphins beat writer, Jeff Darlington "This is just the tip of the iceberg."
Darlington asked Bush if "so much more" meant winning the NFL rushing title, despite it taking more than 1,500 yards most seasons.
"No disrespect to anyone," Bush answered, "but I've spent a lot of time studying different players, including Chris Johnson. I've watched a ton of his runs, especially during his 2,000-yard season. And yeah, I feel like I'm capable of a lot, but I'm not worrying about that yet. My mental focus is entirely on this next game. If I wasn't, my priorities would be backward, and I wouldn't be setting myself up to accomplish any of this."
Before Bush can start looking at next season, and what may be, he has one more game to prove what he is. Just getting to that game, however, may be a struggle. Bush hasn't practiced this week as he deals with a knee injury suffered late in the game last week against the New England Patriots.
In the first matchup between the two teams, Bush blew up for a 7.1 yards per carry average, carrying the ball 10 times. Leading up to the game, Bush had been averaging 4.0 yards per attempt, and was reeling among the worst starting tailbacks in the league. Since that game, Bush hasn't looked back.
Bush now has a 5.0 yards per carry average, best in the league for anyone over 200 carries, or any of the 1,000 yard rushers this season. He is ninth in the league in yardage, 17th in carries, and 18th in rushing touchdowns. His 76-yard touchdown against the Buffalo Bills ranks 5th in NFL in longest runs from scrimmage, and, having come in to the season with just one career 100-yard rushing day, Bush now has five on the year, including four straight and the 203 yard performance against the Bills in Week 15.
As for the future, and if Bush can really reach the goal of winning a rushing title, that really will come down to the Dolphins next coach. Former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano was the only one willing to give Bush the shot. Now, with a year of experience in the role, will a new coach still see Bush as a feature back, or will he return to his role in a platoon of runners?
"I knew it was just a matter of opportunity for me to get the chance to show that I can be an every-down back," Bush told Darlington.
Will that opportunity continue into the next season?