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Reggie Bush busts his butt

Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 19: Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins loses his helmet during a Preseason NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Sun Life Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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The impact of running back Reggie Bush on the Miami offense in 2011 remains to be seen. But there’s no dispute regarding Bush’s level of desire.

As David Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel explains it, Bush is working hard.

Very hard.

The effort includes regularly catching two trash cans full of football and running sprints and hitting the blocking sled after a two-hour practice has ended.

“I’m all about respect, about earning respect, and the way you do that is hard work,’' Bush said. “That’s one of the things I wanted to show [teammates] right from the start to make people realize, ‘Oh, he’s not just here for glitz and glamour. He’s the hardest worker out there.’ That’s what I always try to be.”

He has added motivation, now that he has gone from being a role player/decoy in New Orleans to being by all appearances the lead dog in the Dolphins’ backfield.

“I’ve been told what I can’t do for a while by many people,’' Bush said. “ ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ All that’s done is motivate me. I want to show what I can do.”

If he wants a little extra motivation, Reggie should listen to Saints play-by-play broadcaster Jim Henderson’s recent comments to 1560 the Game in Houston.

Asked to characterize Bush’s legacy in New Orleans, Henderson said, “Somewhat of a constant tease. . . . He’s one of the greatest practice-field players I ever saw. And so often -- and I saw every game he ever played for the Saints -- he’d get the ball in his hands and you’d go ‘Oooooooh’ and it’d be followed with a ‘Uhhhhhhhhh’. That’s usually the way that it went.

“Reggie was [a] very scintillating performer, had great star power. But if you really looked at his numbers, he was not a superstar. He really not even a star. He was below average in a lot of them. But he was a person that had marquee value, and I really expected that some team would overpay for him this year just for that. And I don’t know whether the Dolphins overpaid for him or not at $5.5 million a year but he was due to make nearly 12 [million] with the Saints this year.”

Of course, there’s a much bigger issue than desire. It’s durability. Reggie has had plenty of injuries, something he has blamed on the fact that he played his home games on FieldTurf.

Starting in 16 days, when the Fins host the Pats, we’ll find out if Reggie can stay any healthier on grass and infield.

Until then, there’s no denying the fact that he’s working hard as he awaits the official start of the next phase of his career. The only question is whether it will matter.