49ers Add Reggie Bush to Backfield
Out goes Frank Gore, in comes a new running back in San Francisco. After letting the long-time veteran back leave in free agency, the 49ers quickly replaced him by signing former Saints, Dolphins and Lions running back Reggie Bush on Saturday afternoon.
Bush had been released by the Lions after a two-year stint in Detroit. Hampered by injuries throughout the 2014 season, Bush gradually lost his hold on the Lions’ starting running back gig and appeared to regress slightly, as well.
San Francisco doesn’t seem too worried about Bush’s skills eroding anytime soon, though, as they signed the versatile back to a deal with the intention of using him sparingly behind new starter, Carlos Hyde.
Hyde sat patiently behind Gore during his rookie 2014 season, but was still able to amass 333 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 83 rushing attempts. With Gore out of the picture, early indications are that Hyde will be San Francisco’s new featured back in a run-balanced offense. Bush has been added to help in passing situations and to offer more versatility in San Francisco’s backfield.
Bush may not be the most ideal running mate at first glance, but the 30-year old back still has terrific speed and explosiveness to offer, while he’s never carried the ball more than 227 times in any season. That suggests he still has a good amount of tread left on his tires and could still be an impact player with the right role.
Thanks to his versatility and elite athleticism, Bush should also be able to potentially help in the return game, where he has excelled in the past. Due to his limited role behind Hyde, Bush will be able to stretch out his talents and be used in whatever way the Niners feel he’ll be useful.
Bush isn’t as young as he once was and he may have lost a little something over the past few seasons, but he still has the talent to dazzle. If the Niners use it correctly and he can stay somewhat healthy, he could be a key part of a turnaround that could help the 49ers get back to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
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