Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns yesterday, including one on a 65-yard run that saw him leap over the goal line as defenders converged on him, as the Dolphins knocked off the Oakland Raiders by the score of 35-13.
Bush once again proved his critics wrong–the ones who said he would never be more than a glorified slot receiver or scatback and who eventually led to his departure from the New Orleans Saints–and ran with the determination and decisiveness of a stud running back. He looked like a player deserving of being selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft.
Since Bush took his talents to South Beach prior to the 2011 season, he has looked like an elite player at his position. He’s been effective running both between the tackles and outside the numbers and, most importantly, he’s been durable. Bush rushed for 1,086 yards last season, nearly double his best output during the five years he was a member of the Saints. Through two games this season, he’s rushed for 241 yards and is on pace for a career-best 1,928 yards.
And he’s doing it on a team that everyone would agree is far less talented than the teams Bush was a part of in New Orleans.
So, what changed for Bush? The answer might not have anything to do with X’s and O’s or Bush’s physical health. It might have everything to do with his state of mind.
In 2010, Bush ended his three-year relationship with Kim Kardashian. At the time, a source said that her fame was “a little too much for him to handle.”
Without Kardashian’s hectic lifestyle weighing him down, Bush has showed renewed focus on the finer details of his game. No longer having to worry about how he comes across on her reality show and on gossip websites, Bush has been able to do the work necessary to turn his career around. Once regarded as a bit of a bust, he’s now well on track to proving himself to be one of the game’s best pure rushers. It looks like a classic case of addition by subtraction.