Dolphins' Bush proving worth as full-time back

Dolphins' Bush proving worth as full-time back
December 21, 2011, 2:07 am

FOXBORO -- Reggie Bush has had three straight 100-yard rushing games. So far this season, he has rushed for 100-plus yards on four occasions.

His last 100-yard rushing game before this season? Dec. 24, 2006, when he rushed for 126 yards on 20 carries during his rookie season with the New Orleans Saints.

Bush has had other games in which he's gained more than 100 yards, but those were rushing yards combined with receiving yards.

Before this season, Bush had never been an every-down, put-it-on-the-ground running back. In New Orleans, he was used in all different ways. Most of the time, you'd find Bush receiving some type of dump-off pass.

Still, he's somehow always been linked to "the big play." But in each of his five seasons in New Orleans, those who watched him were left each season wanting more.

This year, in Miami, and more recently, in the last few weeks, Bush believes he's established himself as an every-down running back.

"Ya I think I've shown that, I think so," said Bush in a conference call on Tuesday. "I think I've tried to do my best at just, every time I touch the ball, running for four yards, and not trying to break the big run every time I touch the ball. More importantly, giving our offense a chance at the 2nd-and-shorts, the 3rd-and-shorts, and not putting them in long-down situations."

Bush and the Dolphins don't have to search too hard for motivation, entering Saturday's game with the division-champion Patriots. Bush says that, at this stage of the season, they're playing for their jobs, which may explain Bush's 406 rushing yards in the last three games.

"It's a division game, it's a big game," said Bush. "It's the New England Patriots. Any time you play a divisional opponent, it's always big. And we want to finish the season strong. And at the same time, we know that we're all still being evaluated, not matter what the record says."