San Francisco 49ers: How Reggie Bush Helps Offense


Even at 29 years young, Reggie Bush has truly seen it all. From a Heisman Trophy and National Championship game to the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions to now the San Francisco 49ers, Reggie Bush has been around football and football has been around Reggie Bush.

A lifetime 5,400-yard, 35-touchdown rusher, Bush has been known for his marvelous speed, dazzling moves and pass-catching abilities out of the backfield (466 receptions for 3,489 yards and 18 touchdowns). For a 49ers offense focused on the run, Bush gives the Niners an element of surprise and speed that Frank Fore could not. Bush, much like Gore, will be a presence in the run game as well as the receiving game considering he caught 40 passes for 253 yards in an injury-plagued 2014 season and 54 catches for 506 yards and three touchdowns in 2013.

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We know starting QB Colin Kaepernick loves to run the football as well as the read option which Bush isn’t the best at, but can probably adjust to. Bush thrives out of the shotgun which we could be seeing a lot of with new head coach Jim Tomsula. I think that Bush could be like Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte who is as much of a important piece in the receiving game as the running game because as it stands right now, only Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and Torrey Smith are all going to draw coverage, leaving Bush open in the middle of the field to wreak havoc on opposing pass offenses.

In terms of Bush’s competition, he’ll have to work with Carlos Hyde and as training camp rolls on, it doesn’t look like Bush is competing, but rather working with his fellow back to produce an unstoppable SF rushing attack.

Dec 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) being pursued by Chicago Bears inside linebacker Christian Jones (59) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Bush and Joique Bell worked well in Detroit until injuries to both backs cut the duo’s tenure short. This situation, albeit a different scheme, will work in Bush’s favor as the veteran among veterans.

I personally like Bush in this situation is because of his true play-making capabilities. He can be boom-or-bust depending on how he’s feeling, but I believe San Francisco will receive a boom more than a bust. And when Bush booms, he’ll be productive as usual. If not? The 49ers have Carlos Hyde who averaged 4.0 yards per carry in 2014.

The offensive line has the beef to test opposing defensive lines and could be even better with Joe Staley healthy in 2015. According to Pro Football Focus, the Niners rank 9th in the league and “are a bullying group of linemen who can impose themselves in the run game, but are susceptible to giving up quick pressure. No difference this year with free agent-to-be Mike Iupati epitomizing this.”

After injury last season, Bush’s health could be in question in 2015. In his career, Bush has only been healthy/played all 16 games in two of his nine seasons.

If he stays healthy (which I hope he does) and receives the healthy dose of carries he deserves, a playoff appearance and 1,000-yard season could be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Next: Could Dylan Thompson earn back-up role?

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