ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Reggie Bush has gone from Hollywood to the French Quarter to South Beach to … Greenfield Village?
This new job with the Detroit Lions is providing quite a change in scenery and nightlife opportunities for Bush.
He played in college at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, spent the first five years of his NFL career in New Orleans and then played the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
It’s going to be a lot different now. Bush goes to practice and works out in Allen Park, where the Lions have their headquarters.
The top landmark? Try that historical museum, Greenfield Village, in nearby Dearborn. Asked if there’s going to be enough excitement around here considering what he’s used to, Bush said, “I came here to work, I didn’t come here to vacation. I came here to win championships and win football games. That’s what I look forward to doing.”
Others, even teammates, remain curious about his past stops.
“Some of the guys on the team asked me, ‘How’s Miami, South Beach, how was it playing down there?’” Bush said Wednesday following the Lions’ second practice of the off-season.
“I say, ‘It’s nice but if football isn’t right, it doesn’t matter where you’re at. If your work isn’t right then you’re not going to be happy no matter what.’
“As long as we take care of business here, this can be an amazing place. I think it is a great place. I think it has a lot to offer. I look forward to getting into that stadium (Ford Field in Detroit) as soon as possible and hearing those fans.”
Bush became a father a couple weeks ago when his fiancé, Lilit Avagyan, gave birth to an 8-pound, 9-ounce girl, Briseis.
For now, Bush plans to travel back and forth between Detroit and Los Angeles on weekends to be with them.
“They’ll be here with me during the season,” he said.
Bush said he’s appreciated the warm welcome he’s received so far from Lions’ fans, who are hoping he will provide the much-needed big-play threat at running back this coming season.
“The reception here has been second to none,” he said.
A restaurant in Birmingham, Mich., even named a steak after him, the 22-ounce “Reggie Bush Ribeye.”
“It definitely showed the type of impact I can have on the community here,” Bush said
The passion he’s already sensing from Detroit fans for a winner reminds him of what he saw when he first got to New Orleans in 2006.
“I definitely see some parallels,” he said.
Both fan bases have gone through periods where their team was the laughingstock of the league.
The Saints, however, went from 3-13 in 2005 to 10 wins in 2006, Bush’s rookie year, and finally to their first Super Bowl appearance and NFL championship in 2009.
The Lions, who signed Bush to a four-year, $16-million free-agent contract in March, are coming off a 4-12 season. They’ve never been to a Super Bowl.
NATE IS BACK Receiver Nate Burleson, who missed the final 10 games last season because of a broken leg, looks like he’ll be at full strength for training camp.
He’s surprisingly close right now.
“I did 7-on-7 (drills),” Burleson said of Wednesday’s non-contact practice. “That’s pretty much 100 percent when you’re out there running routes and catching balls. I’m doing everything.
“I wasn’t supposed to go. I was told not to go. But I don’t like watching. I feel good enough to go out there and catch the ball, make some plays. I’m feeling good.”
Burleson said his recent workouts were “basically like two-a-days.”
“I wanted to surprise everybody,” he said. “I wanted to come back and run three months ahead of schedule.
“It was either sit on the sideline and watch these young guys try to take my position or come back and prove I’m still one of the best complements to Calvin (Johnson). I’m trying to do that every day.”
NO DELMAS Safety Louis Delmas, who was re-signed to an incentive-laden free-agent contract, didn’t attend the voluntary practice. It’s believed he’s back home in Florida rehabilitating a knee injury.
“We’re in communication with Lou,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “There’s nothing he can get out of this because he can’t physically do the stuff we’re doing right now.
“The biggest thing with Lou is going to be his health. That’s what he’s working on right now.”