The Detroit Lions didn’t make a run at Reggie Bush just because they wanted to add a running back. They made a run, and landed, Reggie Bush because they had a specific role in mind and Bush happened to be the perfect fit.
The specialization of skill-sets suited for a particular role obviously has advantages as it allows the Lions to take advantages of particular weaknesses in a defense. However, the Lions’ use of personnel also has the potential to severely tip their hand to opposing defenses.
Reggie Bush and Mikel Leshoure are different players and won’t be used to do the same things. It’s an overly simplistic explanation but the Lions will look to get Bush free in space while Leshoure will be the more traditional between the tackles runner.
The Lions will have to flip the script just enough to keep defenses honest or punish defenses cheating towards a tendency, but can’t do it so often as to misuse their running backs. Jim Schwartz touched on another way the Lions can add a level of deception to their offensive attack:
During the NFC coaches breakfast this morning Jim Schwartz said we could see Leshoure or Bell and Reggie Bush on the field together in 2013.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) March 20, 2013
That likely means we’ll see a combination of two-back backfields and Bush split out wide. Having Bush line up on the outside accomplishes the goal of giving him opportunities to work in space while also having Leshoure in the backfield gives the defense something else to think about and another option for Matthew Stafford as he reads the defense before the snap.
The NFL is all about matchups and the different ways the Lions can use their running backs thanks to the addition of Reggie Bush helps to ensure they have more matchup advantages than they had in 2012.