Bush eager to set example in Miami
Another sweltering Miami Dolphins practice had ended, and the
big field was deserted aside from tackling dummies, stray helmets
and Reggie Bush running sprints.
The Dolphins newcomer was the last one off the field Friday. He
sought to set a good example and make up for lost time after
missing the first six practices of training camp because of NFL
”When I chose to come here, I said I was going to be one of the
hardest workers, if not the hardest, on this team,” Bush said.
”I’m going to stand by that and do my part and be a leader.”
Miami last week completed a trade with New Orleans for the
former Heisman Trophy winner by negotiating a new two-year contract
with him worth nearly $10 million. He gives the Dolphins the
big-play threat they’ve long lacked.
The offense will look different with him at running back, and
his new teammates are learning it will sound different, too.
”I never knew Reggie, but he’s very vocal,” new backup
quarterback Matt Moore said. ”He shows great leadership. He’s a
big-time talker and motivator, and that’s good to see.”
Bush and Moore were among the veterans held out of practice
until Thursday because they had signed new contracts. Also joining
workouts belatedly were linebackers Jason Taylor and Kevin
”It’s good to get the whole squad out there,” Taylor said,
”and have a chance to run around and see Reggie do his thing and
get to see some of the guys and play with them a little bit.”
Bush is the most celebrated veteran newcomer by virtue of his
success at Southern California and occasional bursts of brilliance
with New Orleans. He helped the Saints win the Super Bowl in 2010,
but he was plagued by injuries, never made the Pro Bowl and became
Further tainting Bush’s image was an NCAA investigation that
determined he and his family accepted improper benefits from
would-be sports agents while he played for USC. The Heisman Trust
no longer recognizes Bush as the winner of its award, and the Bowl
Championship Series vacated the Trojans’ 2004 national title.
While he embraces the fresh start in Miami, Bush said he doesn’t
need to change perceptions about him. But he then nodded toward the
practice field and added: ”This is my sanctuary. This is where I
get a chance to escape from all the things outside of the football
He won’t be able to hide, though, because defenses are certain
to focus on Bush. He’ll share time at running back with
second-round draft choice Daniel Thomas, and even in non-tackling
drills, it was evident the Dolphins will be creative in getting the
ball to Bush to take advantage of his speed and elusiveness.
”He’s gold,” Moore said. ”He creates tons of mismatches, and
even when defenses are spying on him, a guy like Reggie is so
talented, you get the ball in his hands and he can turn a bad play
into a huge play. He’s going to be huge for this team.”
That’s what the Dolphins hope. They finished next to last in the
AFC in points last year, when they went 7-9.
Bush figures he can make life easier for much-maligned
quarterback Chad Henne while distracting defenders from receivers
Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess.
”One of the reasons I came here was because of the opportunity
to bring versatility to this offense out of the backfield,” Bush
said. ”The Dolphins may be one or two pieces away from being a
constant contender, and that’s why I came here. I felt like I could
be that piece. We have the guys to be a top offense and be a
Two practices into his Dolphins career, Bush may already be
their most acclaimed player. When he finally stopped running Friday
and started toward the locker room, patient fans hollered at him
from behind a fence, and he peeled off to head their way. They
wanted autographs; soon enough they’ll be clamoring for