Reggie Bush spent his first season in Miami finally getting a chance to be somewhat of a feature back in the Dolphins’ offense. He responded with the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career, a year in which he averaged 5.0 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns on the ground.
Bush felt he silenced some of the doubters who thought he couldn’t be an every-down back at the NFL level, but now is setting out to back that up while hoping to bolster a Dolphins team under first-year coach Joe Philbin. It’ll be interesting to see how Bush performs, particularly because he’s now in a contract year.
Reggie Bush joined WQAM in Miami with Jorge Sedano to discuss silencing the doubters last year, what motivates him now, playing for Joe Philbin, if the contract year means anything, if he wants to stay in Miami, how the team has been portrayed on Hard Knocks, whether a rookie quarterback can win a Super Bowl and where he ranks himself among NFL running backs.
How satisfying was last year when people were doubting you being a full-time guy and you accomplished that?:
“I feel like I’ve always known what I was capable of doing and putting out there if given the opportunity. It’s amazing how life works and how things work out. It is true, the quote that patience is a virtue. I feel like I had the opportunity last year to show that I could be an every-down back. Obviously if you had asked me before I was drafted what kind of career I was going to have, I would’ve said, ‘I was going to be in Pro Bowls every year, top running back every year, Super Bowls every year.’ That’s what’s funny about this game is it’ll humble you extremely fast.”
Where does the motivation come from now that you’ve had such a successful year?:
“I think it’s just to continue the success and continue trying to change around the direction of this organization and this team. I think that’s something that begins one day at a time. It starts with the offseason to training camps to the week of practice. … It’s just the motivation just to be better on the daily basis, just to progress. Hopefully, the final goal is to bring a Super Bowl here to Miami.”
What is Joe Philbin like? He always seems so serious:
“I think it’s everything you see on Hard Knocks. He’s straightforward. He has a dry personality, dry sense of humor. But he’s straightforward and if there’s one thing that I do respect about him the most it’s that he does a great job of taking into account keeping his players healthy and keeping us fresh. … Usually a first-year head coach, you get a guy that comes in and he wants to immediately change around the attitude and mentality of the program and kind of beats you into the ground. You always hear horror stories of that and I was actually a part of that horror story with Sean Payton’s first year. With Joe Philbin coming in, he re-did the whole facility, the locker rooms, put a player’s lounge in here. … Usually you don’t get that in a first-year head coach.”
You’re in a contract year now. Do guys really try harder in a contract year?:
“No. I mean, I don’t know. I can’t really speak for other guys; I can only speak for myself. Obviously, I’m at the end of my contract, last year, final year, but for me, it’s the last thing on my mind. I’m focusing on being a leader on this team, being effective when I’m in the game, helping out the younger guys, getting better and helping this team progress on a weekly basis, on a daily basis and making a push in this division and in the playoffs. … There will come a time and a place for that to handle that, but right now it’s football time.”
Would you like to stay here?:
“I would love to stay here. I don’t want to keep bouncing around from city to city and team to team. I love the city of Miami. I think there’s a great tradition of winning here and the organization has had some great players come through here. … That’s something I would love to be a part of until I retire.”
How do you think the team has been portrayed on Hard Knocks?:
“I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve caught an episode and a half. That’s about it. But from what I’ve seen, I think they do a good job at capturing the amount of hard work that we put in on a daily basis. With that hard work, there’s still so much to be done. … We’re an extremely young team, but at the same time, a hard-working team.”
Do you think a rookie quarterback can win the Super Bowl?:
“I do. Anything’s possible. I definitely believe in that and believe Ryan Tannehill has a great opportunity to come in here and be a leader in an organization that’s been looking for a guy for a while at the quarterback position. He has a great opportunity to come in here and be a great player. … I think Ryan has tremendous upside and I look forward to working with him. … He’s poised. That’s the first thing I think about. He’s extremely poised to be a rookie. I remember when I was a rookie and my head was swimming and it just felt like everything was moving so fast. … He just seems tremendously poised and that’s something that you like to see out of a rookie quarterback.”
Where do you rank yourself among NFL running backs right now?:
“I hate answering questions like that because I feel like that’s something you should leave up to the media, the fans. … I always felt like, in my heart of hearts, I’m one of the best. I don’t want to say the best. … There are some really good running backs out there, some great running backs. Adrian Peterson’s a great running back, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew. The running back we’re about to play against this week down in Houston’s not too shabby. There’s some great running backs in this league and I’m just happy to be a part of an era of great running backs. There’s good company out there and always good competition.”
How do you deal with all the tabloid nonsense?:
“You don’t read it, that’s how you do it. It’s that simple. You don’t read it and don’t pay attention to it. … At the end of the day, people are going to say what they want, whether it’s true or not. It should not determine or have any profound effect on who I am as a person.”