Bush might play final game for Dolphins on Sunday


Bush might play final game for Dolphins on Sunday

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) With an underwhelming offense that needs upgrades to become playoff-worthy, the Miami Dolphins this winter could be eager to reach a deal with a 1,000-yard rusher who can also catch passes and score from anywhere on the field.

Or perhaps they'll deem Reggie Bush too expensive to keep.

On Sunday, Bush might play his final game for the Dolphins (7-8) when they close their season at New England. His two-year contract for nearly $10 million expires after the season, and the team hasn't offered him a new deal.

``I would definitely love to be back,'' Bush said Wednesday. ``There's definitely some unfinished business here, some things we want to accomplish, some things I would love to accomplish.''

Bush needs 40 yards rushing to reach the 1,000 milestone for the second year in a row since joining the Dolphins. He has been their primary playmaker, but he has yet to lead them to the playoffs - or even a winning season.

Because he's 27 at a position where youth is preferred, and because the recent market demand for free-agent running backs has been modest, Bush faces a likely pay cut wherever he plays next year.

And it's unclear how eager the Dolphins will be to join the bidding. They'll have more than $40 million in cap space, but they also have rookie running back Lamar Miller poised to assume a bigger role in 2013. And they have pressing needs at receiver, tight end, cornerback and defensive end.

A seven-year veteran, Bush has never made the Pro Bowl. But he has averaged 4.7 yards per carry with Miami, and he showed Sunday he wouldn't be easy to replace, scoring three touchdowns - two on receptions - in a win over Buffalo.

``He's always a factor in the game,'' Bills coach Chan Gailey said. ``He makes things happen.''

There were doubts about Bush's durability when he joined the Dolphins after five years with New Orleans. But he has missed only one game with Miami while exceeding 250 touches each of the past two seasons.

``He has certainly shown over the last couple years that he can be an every-down back,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ``He can carry the ball or catch it as much as you want to give it to him. Inside, outside, short passes, long passes, blitz pickup - whatever you want, he can do it all. He's a tough guy to match up against.''

Miami's offensive line is rooting for Bush to reach the 1,000-yard mark again, center Mike Pouncey said.

``It means a lot to us - we'll get presents,'' Pouncey said with a laugh. ``Reggie had a lot of doubters when he came to Miami. But he's everything for this team.''

Bush is the lone quick-strike threat on an offense that lacks speed at receiver and is still evolving with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. This year Bush has runs of 65 and 53 yards, and more touchdown catches - two - than either of the Dolphins' starting wideouts.

``Reggie's just a versatile player,'' Tannehill said. ``When you have a guy like that, he's a real weapon.''

Bush said he would like to remain with the Dolphins because he doesn't want to keep bouncing from city to city, and because he likes Miami and is eager to help restore the franchise's winning tradition that dates to the days of Don Shula.

``I want to be able to bring back the passion about Miami football in the city and build a winning franchise here,'' he said.

The genial Bush has become the most popular player on a team battling fan apathy after making the playoffs just once since 2001. On Wednesday he and guard Richie Incognito were chosen co-winners of the annual Good Guy Award for being consistently helpful to the media.

Bush was then informed that the winner of the honor each of the past four years has gone on to play elsewhere the next season. Might that be an omen?

Bush laughed and looked at Incognito.

``One of us has to stay, at least,'' Bush said.


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Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Associated Press

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Even though it was a bright, warm Wednesday in Ashburn the Redskins held their OTA session in the practice bubble because recent rains have left their outdoor fields to soggy to use. Here are my observations from the practice:

—A few Redskins were not present and a few who were there were not participating in the drills. Jay Gruden said that OT Trent Williams is rehabbing in Texas and that LB Zach Brown is in the process of relocating to the Washington area. RB Chris Thompson and OT Morgan Moses were present, but both were spectators. 

— It should be noted that even though Moses didn’t practice and is still rehabbing after ankle surgery, he still participated in the sideline-to-sideline running the team does at the end of practice.

—At rookie camp, RB Derrius Guice was first in line to do every drill. Today, he gave way to the veterans to all take their reps and then he went first among the rookies. 

— “Fat Rob” Kelley never really was fat but he is now lean and mean. He also seems to be a half step quicker than he was in the past. Added competition in the form of second- and fourth-round picks being added at your position will do that to a player. 

—The “starting” offensive line from left to right was Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and John Kling. The interior could well start the season; the tackle position awaits the returns of Williams, Scherff, and Ty Nsekhe. 

—RB Byron Marshall, who was on the team briefly last year before getting injured, looked very quick with good acceleration.

—CB Josh Norman was back with the group fielding punts. I seriously doubt that he will handle any kicks in games, even preseason games, but perhaps with DeAngelo Hall being gone he wants to be available as an emergency option. Also back with the punt returners were CB Danny Johnson, CB Greg Stroman, WR Maurice Harris, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, and, of course, WR Jamison Crowder.

—S D.J. Swearinger spent most of the special teams practice on the sideline working on catching passes with his hands extended away from his body. A little while later, he had a chance to make an interception with his arms extended. Of course, he dropped it. 

—It seems like QB Alex Smith and Crowder have some good rapport built already. Once on the right sideline and a few minutes later on the left, Smith threw a well-placed ball into Crowder, who was well covered on both occasions. 

—Eventually, CB Orlando Scandrick caught on and he swatted down a quick out to Crowder. 

—With Brown out, Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the first unit at inside linebacker. He’s still skinny but less so than he was last year. The second-year player was impressive in coverage, staying with Crowder step for step on a deep pass down the middle.

—The play of the day was a deep pass down the right side from Smith to WR Paul Richardson. Stroman was with the receiver step for step on the 9 route but Smith laid the ball out perfectly and Richardson made a lunging catch. Even though it doesn’t have to under the new rule, the catch did survive the ground. 

—WR Cam Sims had a few impressive plays. On one, QB Colt McCoy lofted one high in the air down the right side. Sims kept his focus on the ball while two defenders lost it and made the catch. 

—WR Trey Quinn had his moments. He made a good grab while being bumped by Scandrick. But a while later he dropped a fairly easy one. 

—The running backs all looked good but Guice looked the best of all of them. He had an ability to cut and maintain his speed that not many have. With the warning that they were playing with no pads with no contact and not at full speed, Guice’s vision appeared to be outstanding. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy


NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.