Having won a Super Bowl with New Orleans in 2010, former Saints running back Reggie Bush knows what a championship team looks like. He said Tuesday that he sees similar promise in the Detroit Lions squad he joined this off-season.
“There’s no excuse for us to not be top three offense, even number one,” Bush said. “We have the guys here of that caliber to be a top-ranked offense in this league. It’s up to us now, putting in the work, the overtime, the film study, just everybody collectively being all in and being on the same page. There’s no reason why we can’t be a top offense in this league.”
Though the Lions offensive line is rebuilding, the team has big-name weapons between Bush, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Bush said Stafford reminds him of a young Drew Brees – talented and still learning with a long career ahead of him. Bush also mentioned commonalities between the New Orleans offense and the Detroit system.
“It’s very similar to the Saints offense, very spread open, we’ve got a lot of weapons, and we’ve got a really good quarterback back there who can throw the ball who’s a leader, so it’s very spread open and just a lot of firepower and a lot of diversity with [offensive coordinator Scott] Linehan and his play calling,” Bush said.
Though the tandem of Stafford and Johnson resulted in plenty of passing and receiving yards last season, the Lions want wins. In 2012 they came up just short a painful number of times – eight of their 12 losses came by a touchdown or less. The gap between potential and production is one Detroit has struggled to close.
The close losses could be discouraging, but they also provide hope and motivation.
“The balance in this off-season is not forgetting that we only won four games, but also combining that with realizing how close we were in the other games,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “It makes it more urgent for what we’re doing. It’s a lot easier to preach that to the players and to see the results of that when you know that one play is the difference.”
Bush plans on having the team ready for those difference-making moments.
“Right now we just have to think about doing the little things right and kind of coming together, building that chemistry that’s going to help us down into the season when we’re down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter with a minute to go and we’ve got to drive a whole football field,” Bush said. “Those little things right now are going to help us during the season.”