ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions plan to put Reggie Bush in the backfield to take toss sweeps around the outside and to hit holes between the tackles.
They also want him to line up at times as a wide receiver and to send him in motion, hoping to keep defenses guessing about how Matthew Stafford might get him the ball.
Bush can't wait.
"I definitely want to show I can be an every-down back," he said before the Lions closed their three-day minicamp Thursday. "I wanted to prove to myself and to people that I could do it all and I wasn't a utility back."
The Lions certainly aren't paying Bush big bucks just to be on the field for a down once in a while.
Detroit signed Bush to a $16 million, four-year contract in March, counting on him becoming the big-play running back it hasn't had since concussions took Jahvid Best off the field.
"I could've signed back with Miami, Arizona," Bush said. "Seattle was kind of after me early on and Atlanta was a possibility, too."
He has run for 4,162 yards and 29 touchdowns and caught 372 passes for 2,730 yards and 15 scores in two seasons with the Dolphins and five with New Orleans, which drafted him No. 2 overall out of USC in 2006.
Bush said his role will look like the one he had with the Saints, and not much like his job description in Miami. It will also be similar to what Best did for Detroit until early in the fourth quarter on Oct. 16, 2011, when he lost a yard on a run and was tackled by San Francisco's NaVorro Bowman.
In Best's first five games that season, he combined to average more than 100 yards rushing and receiving per game during the team's 5-0 start. Since then, the Lions have lost 19 of 28 games.
"I definitely see the opportunity to be able to make an impact on this offense right away," Bush said. "What they were able to do with Jahvid Best, they were able to do something special. But it's not just about me. Hopefully, we can all be effective on this offense because it's going to take more than one running back."
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