By Ashley Dunkak
As he drove to the airport in preparation for a bye week trip home to California, Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush was not thinking playoffs – not yet, anyway.
“We are what our record says,” Bush told Stoney and Bill of 97.1 The Ticket. “We’re 5-3. We’re still kind of in the middle of the pack. Obviously we’re leading our division right now, but at the same time, we still have a whole half of the season to play. There’s a lot of football left.”
“This is kind of where those contender teams start to separate themselves from the pretenders, so they like to say,” Bush added.
Bush and the rest of the Lions have a great deal of confidence in quarterback Matthew Stafford. A week after the offense failed to complete a long final drive against the Cincinnati Bengals, Stafford steered the Lions 80 yards with laser passes to the likes of Kris Durham and – of course – Calvin Johnson. Of course, he also scored the game-winning touchdown.
Often Stafford is crediting for doing little more than throwing to the greatest receiver in the game – perhaps one of the greatest in the history of the game – but Bush believes Stafford deserves more accolades than he receives.
“Matt made some great throws, some throws that I don’t know if any other quarterback in this league can make,” Bush said. “On one throw he’s running the opposite direction and throwing it back across the field to the left and hits Durham on the strike. That’s hard to do.”
The abilities of Johnson, of course, are much more widely appreciated. Overstating his significance to the offense is hard to do. Bush called Johnson the best player he has ever had as a teammate – not surprising considering Johnson’s career and the 329-yard receiving game he had Sunday. No one is really even a close second to Johnson, but a name did come to mind.
“I got a chance to play with Brandon Marshall in Miami, and I think he’s a really, really good receiver, and just getting a chance to play with him and seeing how he affects the game a lot like Calvin, but obviously Calvin is a different caliber of receiver,” Bush said. “He’s just in a league of his own, but I would say he would probably be second that I’ve gotten a chance to play with that would be anywhere even close to Calvin.”
Bush will spend his bye week like most players – going home, getting away from football, healing up and relaxing.
Part of that relaxing will include Halloween on Thursday. Bush agreed with the 97.1 The Ticket hosts that sometimes it is hard to resist eating the candy intended for trick-or-treaters instead of handing it out. The bite-size Snickers are his favorite.
As far as normal fare, Bush has something at least a little healthier in mind. Wide receiver Nate Burleson got coupons for a year’s worth of DiGiorno frozen pizza after breaking his arm in a car wreck trying to save pizza from falling off the seat. Bush said if he could have any food free for a year, it would have to be Chipotle, a response helpfully provided by his better half.
“I had to ask my fiancée because she’s right next to me – she knows me too well,” Bush said with a laugh. “I usually get a chicken burrito with rice, guacamole, cheese and sour cream. Bag of chips.”
For all the ways the life of the average person is different from that of a multi-millionaire athlete, a love of Chipotle might be one aspect that is similar – that, and of course the Halloween candy.