Lions add Bush to offense

Dangerous back to complement Stafford, Johnson

Reggie Bush rushed for more than 2,000 yards in two seasons with the Dolphins. The Lions struggled last year with their running game.
Reggie Bush rushed for more than 2,000 yards in two seasons with the Dolphins. The Lions struggled last year with their running game.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Reggie Bush has watched film of the Detroit Lions, and he has seen the opposing safeties playing deep and paying extra attention to Calvin Johnson.

"It's a running back's dream," Bush said. "We have to be able to run the ball in that situation. One of the reasons I wanted to come here is to be able to bring a balanced attack."

Bush was introduced Wednesday, part of a big day for the Lions, who also landed free agents Glover Quin and Jason Jones and retained Chris Houston.

Those moves should help the defense, and the Lions are hoping Bush can give a boost to an offense that already includes Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

The Lions did not disclose financial terms of Bush's four-year contract, but it is reportedly worth around $16 million. Detroit also agreed to deals with Quin, a safety, Jones, a defensive end, and Houston, a cornerback.

Bush certainly adds more speed to Detroit's backfield, which already includes 233-pound running back Mikel Leshoure. Bush rushed for 986 yards for Miami last season after a 1,086-yard output for the Dolphins in 2011.

Detroit went 4-12 in 2012 despite Johnson's record-setting season at wide receiver. The running game was never all that consistent — the Lions had only four runs of 20 or more yards, which tied them for the fewest in the league.

"The thing that was important to us was not just the talent of Reggie Bush, but also the way those talents complemented the other players we have on offense," coach Jim Schwartz said. "That was really the basis of our interest in Reggie."

Detroit lacked a big-play running back because Jahvid Best, a first-round draft pick in 2010, didn't play at all last season. His future is in doubt because of concussion problems.

Bush was a change-of-pace and third-down back in his five years with New Orleans before being traded to Miami following the 2011 lockout. Detroit is still building around Stafford and Johnson, and Bush is looking forward to fitting in.

"Having a quarterback like Matthew makes all the difference," Bush said. "This offense doesn't work without him."

Stafford said he helped recruit Bush during Detroit's push to sign him.

"It's clear to me he is all about winning," Stafford said. "Football is about matchups, and this gives our offense some tremendous options. It's exciting for me personally and it's exciting for our entire team. Reggie is a proven commodity. He has made plays at every level of his career."

The Lions have other needs besides running back, of course. Jones, who is from the Detroit area, played 12 games with the Seattle Seahawks last season. He was not a starter, but the 6-foot-5, 276-pound Jones could play a bigger role with the Lions, who released veteran defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch last month.

"No words to describe how excited I am to come back," said Jones, who is from Southfield.

Jones signed a three-year deal. Quin's is five years.

Houston started 42 games for the Lions over the last three seasons. Prior to that, he played his first three years with the Atlanta Falcons. He had five interceptions in 2011, when Detroit made the playoffs.

Houston missed two games last season because of a sprained left ankle, but that was in September. He started every game the rest of the way, finishing with two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Quin has played four years for the Houston Texans. He started 16 games in each of the last three seasons.

"In this league, it's all about if you can play on Sundays," Quin said. "Obviously, being healthy ... and not missing games, obviously, that plays a part in a team's decision."