Reggie Bush has never played with a zone-read option quarterback before. Not in Detroit. Not in Miami. Not in New Orleans. Not at USC. His high school quarterback? He was a dual-threat type at Helix High School, just outside of San Diego. But he didn't run much.
Yes, it was Alex Smith, the same guy Colin Kaepernick replaced with the San Francisco 49ers nearly three years ago.
With Bush on track to play for the first time since straining his left calf in the season opener on Sept. 14, Bush’s skill set might actually be the perfect complement to Kaepernick as he attempts to pull himself out of last week’s career-worst performance with the Green Bay Packers in town Sunday.
“Just by being where I need to be, being in his vision,” said Bush, who has just two carries for the Niners after signing as a free agent. “If he needs an outlet, just building that chemistry. Pass-blocking and making plays. Catching the ball or running the ball.
“It can be tough if you’re not focused and if you’re unsure, if you have that second of doubt in your mind and you’re not sure where you need to be.”
In five career games against the Packers, Bush has 246 rushing yards and two TDs on 56 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and has caught 26 passes for 218 yards without a score. He has also returned four punts for 36 yards.
“Reggie’s a playmaker,” said Niners receiver Torrey Smith. “And you put him out there and he can run routes like a receiver and he can turn a simple run into a huge one for us. So, looking forward to having him back and I think it’s going to take some pressure off Kap.
“You feel like you can check the ball down or something and Reggie can go 40, 50 yards downfield and that’s something that we could use.”
Of course, it all depends upon how his left calf responds.
“I mean, you never feel 100 percent,” he said. “There’s always little injuries here and there. But if I’m out there, then I’m playing. I’m giving it 110-percent effort.”
Paul Gutierrez | ESPN.com | October 4th