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Reggie Bush can catch 80 passes, Jim Schwartz says

With the Detroit Lions, Reggie Bush has a chance to be a central part of the offense -- both as a rusher and a receiver.

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Lions coach Jim Schwartz made that clear Tuesday, when he said the dynamic running back can finish with 60 to 80 receptions in 2013, according to Tim Twentyman of the Lions' team site.

Bush always has been a player whose perceived value tends to fall short of actual production, but he has a shot to match Schwartz's expectations on the Lions. After all, Bush had 88 catches as a rookie with the New Orleans Saints in 2006.

Bush's production as a receiver tailed off in recent seasons, but we wouldn't put that on a depreciation of his skill set. Put it this way: If the immortal Joique Bell can manage 52 catches last season, we feel comfortable setting that as a baseline for Bush.

The question goes back to durability. Schwartz has talked Bush up as someone who can run the ball, catch the ball and even do damage on special teams.

It's easy to get excited about a player with the versatile talents of Bush. Knowing how to properly deploy him is part of the trick.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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