LIONS INSIDER

Reggie Bush a proven commodity in new offense

Posted May 22, 2014

The new offense under coordinator Joe Lombardi is very similar to the one Reggie Bush spent the first five years of his NFL career running in New Orleans.

The assimilation to the new offense in Detroit, by most accounts, seems to be going well for the players.

For running back Reggie Bush, it’s especially been a piece of cake.

Reggie BushRB Reggie Bush (Photo: Detroit Lions)

The new offense under coordinator Joe Lombardi is very similar to the one Reggie Bush spent the first five years of his NFL career running in New Orleans.

“It’s exactly the same,” Bush said after Wednesday’s open OTA practice.

Bush was drafted by the Saints No. 2 overall in 2006 and became a versatile weapon in that offense, especially as a receiver out of the backfield.

He recorded 88 receptions for 742 yards as a rookie and added another 565 yards rushing. Bush followed that up with 73 more catches his second season in 2007.

Bush is a terrific receiver out of the backfield and a dangerous player in space, which is why he fits this offense so well.

Consider this, the Saints had two running backs last season catch at least 70 passes. Pierre Thomas had 77 and Darren Sproles 71.

Joique Bell, like Bush, is also a terrific receiver out of the backfield for Detroit.

The Lions are going to stretch the field vertically a lot more this season and the addition of Eric Ebron as a versatile tight end is only going to open more opportunities for Bush and the other Lions backs out of the backfield.

Ebron, in most cases, is going to occupy the slot cornerback, safety or best cover linebacker, meaning Bush should see a lot of matchups he should have the upper hand in.

“We definitely have the players here and the personnel to be an explosive team,” he said.

“The new system, like I said, I played in this system five years in New Orleans so all the terminology is pretty much the same for me. We definitely have what it takes to be an explosive offense.”

In the five years Reggie Bush spent in New Orleans running this offense, the Saints ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total points twice (2008 and 2009) and in the top five in 2006. They ranked no worse than sixth in total years in any of the five years.

The Lions ranked sixth in total yards per game last year (392.1), but just 13th in points scored (24.7 per game), which is the more important of the two stats.

Even with two running backs catching 70-plus passes a year ago, the Saints offense was No. 2 in the NFL last year with 15 passing plays of 40-plus yards. With Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and even Ebron testing the field vertically, Bush should find plenty of room to roam in the flat and across the middle of the field.

He caught 54 passes for 506 yards and three touchdowns last season for Detroit. Don’t be surprised if those numbers are significantly increased in 2014.