Reggie Bush says signing with the Detroit Lions "just made sense"

Posted Mar 13, 2013

The opportunity to play with Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford was too good to pass up for running back Reggie Bush

When Reggie Bush sat down with Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to talk football during his free agent visit, it all fell together.

"I think the No. 1 thing that stuck out was the way they wanted to use me and it just made sense. It felt right," Bush told after signing a new four-year deal with the team Wednesday afternoon.

"Everything we talked about, we were on the same page and the way we thought about football - and when I say 'we', I'm talking about Coach Schwartz and Coach Linehan - and it all just made sense."

The Lions targeted Reggie Bush very early in the free agent process as a player who could help them rebound from a disappointing 4-12 season.

Bush brings the big-play threat to the Lions' ground game they've been missing since Jahvid Best has been unable to get his clearance to return from concussions.

Bush had 966 yards rushing in 2012 and 1,086 in 2011 with the Dolphins. During those two seasons, he also had 78 catches for 588 yards and scored 15 touchdowns: 12 rushing and three on receptions.

The opportunity to play in last year's fourth-ranked offense with receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford was a factor, too.

"I felt like, with my addition, I can only help it be that much better and helping relieve some of the pressure off of Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford and adding that balanced attack to this offense," Bush said.

"I've watched the film and see how defenses play him and a lot of respect is demanded on his part. There's a lot of double coverages and it's really a running back's dream. When you get to run against six- and seven-man boxes, you should be able to run the ball against those types of looks. For me, I think, like I said, it was a no-brainer and an easy decision."

Reggie BushBush averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 2011 and 4.3 in 2012.

He proved the last two years in Miami that he could carry the load, even though he won't necessarily have to in Detroit.

"(This offense) reminded me a lot of what I did in New Orleans, which is another reason that I felt it made so much sense," he said.

"There's a lot of space and opportunity, as I like to say, in an offense like this. When you're getting the ball to your playmakers in space and you really give them an opportunity to succeed and putting them in a position to win constantly, it's a dream for a guy like myself and just getting the chance to play in such a high-powered offense. I just look forward to the things that are to come."

When it comes to that big-play threat, Bush had seven runs of 20-plus yards in 2011 and six in 2012. The Lions had a league-low four 20-plus runs as an entire team last year.

Bush had touchdown runs of 76 and 28 yards in 2011 and a 65-yard touchdown run in 2012.

That's his real impact for the Lions. With so many good looks they get in the run game because of the focus Calvin Johnson gets, the big-play opportunities are there. Bush's signing should also open up more opportunities for Johnson.

"The key to drafting and free agency and everything else that we do is having a job description in mind for a player and a player's skill set," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of the Bush.

"The thing that was important to us was not just the talents of Reggie Bush, but also the way those talents complement the other players we have on offense, notably Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford.

"We had a sore knee for explosive runs on offense. We were last in the NFL in explosive runs last year. With the boxes that we see with the way the dynamic with Calvin works, it provides opportunity for running backs to make dynamic plays in our offense."