Well it's the offseason. We'll be getting Mark's insane draft mocks, Arif's positional grades, probably a sweet contest from Skol Girl or two. My shtick has of course always been to look at free agents and make ludicrous claims about why we should or should not go after them, and then let you all scream at me. You're welcome.
Anyways, one sir Reginald Bush of the Miami Dolphins is my target as of right now. If you don't know, Reggie Bush was a much ballyhooed running back coming out of USC, where he won the Heisman Trophy but then lost it because he was caught having received inappropriate gifts from recruiting agents. Drafted number two overall by the Saints*, Bush was expected to make something around an Adrian Peterson-level impact on the team, overshadowing even the coming of their actual savior and doubter-of-massive-piles-of-evidence-including-confessions Drew Brees.
While calling Bush a ‘draft bust' is probably going overboard, he really never did live up to his draft stock or expectations, and after a few so-so seasons with the Saints* was traded off to the Dolphins. His 2011 season there was probably his best yet, but injuries last season hampered his stated goal of rushing for 2,000 yards (which was a stretch anyways as 2011 was the first time he'd even rushed for 1K; the guy's not Adrian Peterson, you know).
Now that his contract is expiring, the Dolphins seem disinclined to retain the RB. They have two much younger guys- Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas- who they seem to want to ride with, and are facing a few salary cap issues that could cost them even blue chip players like Jake Long. For them, it makes sense to no longer utilize Bush's services, and I'm calling it that he's a goner.
So why in the heck would I want a semi-washed up, slightly injury prone, aging running back? We've got Adrian Peterson, and, short of a trade (which I actually don't expect, but it could happen), we've also got Toby Gerhart. We've also got Percy Harvin (I'm tellin' ya, he ain't goin' nowhere!), who is a beast from the line of scrimmage himself. If there's one position this team is absolutely set at, it's kicker.
Also running back. We're set at running back. But it was worth mentioning we're set at kicker.
So, why, again do I think Bush could be a fit? Well first off, he may be on the wrong side of Rick Spielman's youth movement philosophy (a philosophy that I whole-heartedly support), but I do think we've got 3-4 years more of Bush. And while I could be dead wrong here, I'm not ready to call him ‘injury-prone' (a tag often disliked around these parts anyways); I really think last year was just bad luck for the guy.
See, Bush may never be a great ‘pure' running back like Peterson, where every time he touches the ball a defensive player craps themselves and prays they don't turn their direction. But there is one thing Bush has always been very, very good at: catching the short passes. In the flat, behind the line of scrimmage, at the line, wherever- he's always been a decent threat in that phase of the game. And unlike both Peterson and Gerhart, Bush has most definitely not been the power back- he tries to be elusive and avoid tackles, rather than inflict suffering and sorrow upon whatever poor soul thinks it's a good idea to touch them.
To me, you combine these things and I see him being a valuable fit. While we definitely need that true #1 WR- whether it's a draft pick, FA pickup, or Greg Childs getting healthy- to stretch the field, I still believe that our bread-and-butter will be the short-to-medium pass game, and the rushing attack. (Quite obviously on the second.) Considering Bush's skill in the short passing game, I see him being a decent compliment to Harvin- don't get me wrong, I'm not by any means comparing the two, but with the obvious focus Harvin receives, I do see Bush flourishing. And as a very different runner from Peterson and Gerhart (and also Harvin, who is another smash-mouth runner), he does add a new dimension to our run game that teams will have to focus on.
Now I can hear the first thing people think of- "But Kyle you crazy sunuvagun, why bother adding dimensions to a part of our game that's already damn near perfect? Teams have to overly focus on it already, and they still can't stop AD!". This is true. But you see, in business, there's a common rule that is often overlooked by the enterprising small business owner: focus on what you do best. You sell widget #1 like a boss, you're the best widget #1 seller in town. You think to yourself "but store number two does pretty well selling widgets #1, #2, and #3, so I'm going to shift some focus to diversifying my selection and becoming the best at selling widgets #2 and #3". This seems like basic logic, but often times, it is a mistake. Because you stop focusing so much on what you are best at, and shift some of your effort to what you're not so great at, your sales actually start to drop. What you should have done is stock up even more on widget #1, focus more of your efforts on it, and increase your business even more so by utilizing the skills and knowledge you already have.
It can be the same for a football team, in my opinion. Again, yes, we do need to diversify our offense some with an improved passing game. It will compliment and assist the running game. But seeing as how our running game, the clear backbone of our offense even if we find Randy Moss 2.0 out there, can become even better with this addition... well, I think you see where I'm going with this. Adding a new wrinkle to that game plan with a guy whose skill set is not really represented on our team at this time, a guy I still feel has a bit left in the tank- and beyond just 1 or 2 years in my opinion- could actually improve the nigh unimprovable. (It's a word now.)
And plus, I don't think Bush will cost that much. I'm thinking somewhere around $8 million for 2 years at most. I know that might seem like a bit much, but I do think it's worth it.
For the record, I don't expect this move to happen. It seems a little too splashy for Spielman's style, and chances are we're going to be focusing on WRs in FA, not RBs. But I think there's a lot of potential for Reggie Bush in purple and gold... maybe you agree, maybe you disagree. That's what polls and comments for. So what say you, fellow Viking faithful? Has KJSegall gone off the deep end yet again, or is he possibly onto something this time?