Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached and NFL free agency begins; the Miami Dolphins are expected to look for some talent at running back to help rookie Daniel Thomas and may bring in a former number 2 overall pick.
According to NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, the Dolphins have decided that the running back they need to help them get to the next level is Reggie Bush. The Saints are expected to release Bush as soon as they can to avoid paying him $12 million for the upcoming season.
When Bush entered the NFL six years ago, he was expected to be a dominant running back due to his speed and cutting ability. But Bush has seen his numbers dropped to just 150 yards gained last season.
Part of Bush’s problems has been injuries he’s suffered while playing for the Saints. Bush blamed much of the problems on playing on the turf in New Orleans. He played on grass at USC where he helped win a national championship that was later taken away because Bush accepted money while at USC.
When Bush was at USC, his career was dominating. The most notable game of his career at USC was when he racked up 513 all-purpose yards in a 50-42 win over Fresno State.
Bush’s best season in the pros was in 2006 when he gained 565 yards on the ground and 742 receiving yards.
But where he’s been especially lethal has been in the kick return game which the Dolphins desperately need to improve. Bush is a threat to take a kick back every single time and could help reverse the poor field position the Dolphins’ offense typically starts with on a drive.
There is another back who would fit a similar mold is Darren Sproles. The diminutive former Charger has speed to burn, is a dangerous return man, but can’t be counted on as an every down back. He could become a fall-back position if the Dolphins do target Bush first.
After the Fins settle on a running back, the next most important position of need is quarterback. While the dreams of bringing Carson Palmer in are just that (as the Bengals won’t trade him), there is the possibility of acquiring former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young.
The career of Vince Young may not look spectacular from a pure statistical point of view, but he’s proven that overall he can help a team win games. The question is whether he has the mental ability to deal with being an NFL quarterback for the long-term.
Young brought down well-respected former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher for his antics, and it remains to be seen whether the Dolphins want to invest what Young will probably ask for in a contract. So far, most pundits believe the answer is no.
Past Young, there is Matt Hasselback, Chris Simms, Rex Grossman, and a few other quarterbacks who could come in and provide veteran back-up to likely Dolphins starter Chad Henne.