LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Bush says he’ll be better; Burleson wants in; Owens to IR and Tampa's defense

Posted Nov 19, 2013

Reggie Bush is coming off his worst performance of the season and vows to be better the rest of the way

Reggie Bush didn’t play well in rainy and muddy conditions in Pittsburgh on Sunday. He stood in front of his locker Tuesday afternoon and told media members as much.

Reggie BushRB Reggie Bush (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

"I didn’t do a good job running balanced, so to speak, and keeping my feet underneath me," Bush said. "I just didn’t handle the situation well."

It’s a little surprising, actually, considering Bush’s best career rushing day (203 yards) came in snowy Buffalo in Week 16 of the 2011 season and he best receiving performance (132) in a January playoff game at Soldier Field in Chicago.

"It makes me even more depressed," Bush said with a smile when reminded of that fact.

Bush had a rough time getting anything going in Pittsburgh and finished with just 31 yards on 12 carries (2.6 average). The NFL’s 10th-leading rusher slipped trying to cut a couple of times and fumbled twice. He lost one. The other was called down but replay showed he did fumble it.

"As a running back, that’s a cardinal sin to fumble the ball," Bush said. "I know that. I’ve been in this league long enough."

Backup Joique Bell got an increased role with Bush struggling and provided the offense with a spark (94 total yards).

"It’s very frustrating," Bush said of his performance. "I want to be out there making plays and I pride myself on being a competitor, and every time my number is called competing, and constantly putting my offense in positive situations.

"I didn’t do that this past Sunday and that’s frustrating. It’s been on my mind ever since. It should sting and still hurt. It shouldn’t feel good and that’s part of being a competitor."

The weather forecast for Sunday vs. Tampa Bay calls for clear skies and 72-degree temperatures inside Ford Field.

"I have to do a better job and it will get done," Bush said. "I’ve had my back against the wall before … I’ll be alright."

BURLESON WANTS IN

Receiver Nate Burleson has been bidding his time, waiting for his chance to make a play, ever since breaking his forearm Sept. 24.
He still has to meet with the doctors and get clearance this week to return, but he’s preparing like he’ll be on the field and in uniform on Sunday.

If that ends up being the case, the Lions can expect a fresh weapon to add to the fray.

"I joked about it with my guys that I’m going to feel extremely better than they will when I get back and it’s going to be funny because I’ll be flying around practice and they’ll be dragging," Burleson said.

"I feel really, really good and I plan to show that on game day."

TAMPA'S DEFENSE

Don’t let the 2-8 record fool you. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is legit.

In fact, Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and quarterback Matthew Stafford both think it’s the most talented they’ve played all year.

"This is probably the most talented defense from front, middle, back we’ve played all year," Linehan said.

The Bucs have first-round drafts picks littering their front four, led by Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy (four sacks in last two games).

Linebacker Lavonte David has been as productive as any linebacker they’ve faced this year with 87 tackles, five sacks and an interception.

Darrelle Revis is still one of the better cornerbacks the Lions will face this year and leads a physical secondary.

"They’re an extremely talented defense," Stafford said. "Probably the most talented defense we’ll be playing all year. You look at what they spent, resource-wise, draft pick-wise, I don’t know if there is anybody later than a third round draft pick starting on defense for them."

OWENS TO IR; DICKERSON BACK

Montell Owens’ 2013 season consisted of a grand total of four plays.

The veteran Pro Bowl special teamer missed the first eight games after injuring his knee in the third preseason game. After coming off short-term injured reserve at Chicago Nov. 10, Owens re-injured the same knee just four plays into the game. He was finally placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday.

"Things happen and sometimes the ball doesn’t roll the right way," Owens said. "There’s no regret and no frustration. More of anything I feel as though I’ve let my guys down and that’s just heartfelt."

The Lions re-signed tight end Dorin Dickerson, who was with the team for five days earlier this season but released when the team needed to promote Jeremy Ross from the practice squad before the Cincinnati game, to fill Owens’ roster spot.

Dickerson caught nine passes in 11 games with Buffalo last year.

EXTRA POINT

Bucs' safety Dashon Goldson had his suspension upheld by the NFL and will not play in Sunday's game vs. Detroit.