In an interview with NFL Media's LaDainian Tomlinson which aired on Good Morning Football on Wednesday, Ryan sounded pretty excited about nabbing the former Heisman Trophy winner and planned to use him in special situations.
"First off, with Reggie Bush, he's such a talent but we want him to be almost like that Ferrari that we unleash and let people be like "Oh man, he's out there!" But I also don't want to run him into the ground," Ryan said.
As if it weren't obvious, Ryan loves big-name running backs. He signed Tomlinson prior to the team's AFC Championship Game run back in 2010 and traded for LeSean McCoy without hesitation during his first few months in Buffalo. In both of those instances, the plan was never to run either into the ground, but in a run-based offense, the hot hand is critical to success.
If Bush, who signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal, actually makes the team out of camp, does Ryan's comment help us read the tea leaves a little bit? Assuming the plan is for McCoy to return to his role as an every-down back, perhaps Bush can provide relief on third downs. The one thing Bush has done consistently well over the course of his career is catch the football. Before last year's injury-shortened season in San Francisco, Bush was averaging more than 40 catches and 330 receiving yards per season between 2011 and 2014.
Throughout his career, Bush has always been at or just below replacement level on the ground, with just two 1,000-plus seasons in his late twenties. But as we saw at USC, his true ability lies in shifting throughout the formation and helping create mismatches with the front seven.