I’ve heard many Eagles fans wonder aloud why the Eagles would be interested in Saints free agent running back Reggie Bush, who hasn’t been the perennial Pro Bowler, which everybody thought he would be when he was drafted number two out of USC.
It’s very easy to figure it out why the running back looks so appealing to the Birds. Like Westbrook, Bush has better speed and receiving skills than Birds starting running back LeSean McCoy. Westbrook had the speed and wide receiver skills, which allowed the Eagles to move him outside and match him up against cornerbacks and safeties.
McCoy is great at running screens and short routes, but he doesn’t have the wide receiver skills of Westbrook and Bush. Last year, I remember hearing Marty Mornhinweg saying they wouldn’t shift McCoy outside as a wide receiver like they did with Westbrook.
There’s no doubt that Bush fits into the offensive thinking of Andy Reid, Mornhinweg and the Philadelphia Eagles. They would be able to dust off those old game plans which took advantage of Brian Westbrook’s versatility and pass receiving skills.
The Birds offensive coaches love to utilize the unique skills of their players to create matchup problems for the defense. Bush’s speed, along with his route running and pass catching ability would be a match-up nightmare for NFL defensive coordinators. New Orleans head coach Sean Payton has been utilizing Bush’s skills and versatility to create mismatches and open opportunities for his teammates.
If Bush became an Eagle, you could put the former number two pick in the draft in the same lineup as DeSean Jackson, and put the opposing defensive coordinator in a bind. Both of them have game-breaking speed, so defenses normally double team them when they’re on the field. Their mere presence in the lineup helps to open of the field for their teammates.
Should a defensive coordinator double team Jackson or double team Bush? Can he trust a cornerback one-on-one on Jackson or a linebacker or safety one-on-one on Bush? He’s got to ask his free safety to help one of his defenders, which one should it be. They can’t double team everybody.
Bush would add speed to their backfield in the passing game and he would be a great substitute for Jackson on punt returns. He would be a change up back and punt returner.
Reid and Mornhinweg would put together a ten-to-twenty play package each week for Bush. It would consist of run plays, pass plays with plenty of screens and draws. The package would include quite a few down field throws.
Early in each game, Reid would send Bush into the game for starting running back LeSean McCoy and line him up in the backfield. He would then shift Bush outside to a wide receiver position and watch how the defense would adjust. They could send an extra cornerback into the game to matchup with Bush, or move a linebacker or safety out there to cover him.
Once the opposing defense showed their hand, the Eagles would make an adjustment to take advantage of the weakness in the defensive coverage.