Dolphins' Bush proving worth as full-time back

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Dolphins' Bush proving worth as full-time back

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."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is Rob Gronkowski good to go?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is Rob Gronkowski good to go?

00:43 - Rob Gronkowski says he's ready to go against the Texans. Michael Holley, Tom Giles and Kayce Smith talk about this risks of him playing while injured.

05:47 - Phil A.Perry follows up the Gronk discussion with a deeper breakdown of Gronk’s decision to play this Sunday.

10:02 - David Price appears to be easing back into baseball after pitching Friday night. Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Price’s outing in Cincinnati. 

16:12 - The BST crew recaps the Red Sox win over Reds. Drellich returns to analyze how the pitchers performed and how that will impact the Red Sox postseason stretch.  

Danny Amendola embraces delayed follow-up to strong Week 1 performance

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Danny Amendola embraces delayed follow-up to strong Week 1 performance

This actually won’t be the first time that Danny Amendola had to wait to follow up a strong season-opener with the Pats. 

As the veteran receiver aims to return Sunday from a concussion and knee injury after leaving the Pats’ Week 1 loss early and missing Week 2 altogether, he’ll try to build a Week 1 performance that saw him lead the Pats with 100 yards on six receptions. 

The stop and start is somewhat reminiscent of Amendola’s first year with New England in 2013, when he had 10 receptions for 104 yards in the season-opener. He suffered a groin injury in that game, however, and didn’t play again until Week 5. At least the wait is shorter this time around. 

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“I mean, there’s going to be bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s football, right?” Amendola said Friday. “But I feel really good today, feel strong, so get ready tomorrow and just continue to prepare.”

In that first game back in 2013, Amendola again led the Pats in receiving yards, but it was in a terrible offensive showing for New England. All it took was four receptions for 55 yards to be the Patriots’ best receiver in a 13-6 loss to Cincinnati in which Tom Brady had a rare scoreless game. 

If Amendola can pick up where he left off in Week 1, the Pats will be in good shape. They’re also expected to have Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan ready to go, but Amendola was Tom Brady’s most reliable weapon in the Chiefs game, even though Brandin Cooks made a bigger impact with two pass interference penalties drawn in the red zone. 

Not known for his durability towards the end of his time in St. Louis, this will be the fourth of Amendola’s five regular seasons in New England in which he didn’t play in all 16 games. He played the full season in 2014, 14 games in 2015 and 12 games in 2013 and 2016. 

With Julian Edelman out, Brady could certainly use Amendola’s services as often as possible. That’s especially if he plays the way he did in Week 1. 

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