Bush Should Add Excitement to 49ers Offense

Tomsula says veteran running back, who had 1,500 yards from scrimmage just two seasons ago, is great "in space"

It was just two seasons ago that Reggie Bush was one of the NFL’s most dynamic running backs.

With the Detroit Lions in 2013, Bush rushed for 1,006 yards and caught 54 passes for 506 yards. It was a career-high 1,512 yards from scrimmage for Bush in his eighth season in the NFL.

Now Bush, who just turned 30, will be in a 49ers uniform in 2015. Thirty is the age many running backs begin to go downhill. But the 49ers believe Bush is still an incredibly dangerous and exciting player who can be especially effective as part of a three-headed running back corps with Kendall Hunter and Carlos Hyde.

New 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula told reporters at the NFL Meetings in Arizona this week that he believes Bush can still “be an every-down back” and can be used in a number of ways. Tomsula dismissed the notion that Bush is simply “a gadget guy” who only will be used on third downs when his pass-catching abilities come into play.

Tomsula noted that the 49ers will try to play to Bush’s strengths, getting him the ball in positions where he can make use of his quickness.

“Reggie’s a very good space player,” said Tomsula.

Bush had a down year in 2014 because of injuries, playing in just 11 games – a big change from the previous three seasons when Bush missed only three games total. But even in a subpar year he was effective for Detroit, catching 40 passes and averaging 3.9 yards per carry. The previous three seasons, Bush has averaged 4.5, 4.3 and 5.0 yards per rush.

Playing to the strengths of Bush, Hunter and Hyde will be one of the prime tasks given to new offensive coordinator Geep Chryst. Instead of having Frank Gore as the team’s primary ballcarrier, the 49ers will have a trio they can keep fresh.

Said Tomsula: “They’re all just a little bit different. So as we get rolling here and we throw the ball out on the field, let’s take a look at what each guy does and build off that.”

Bush, too, seems excited to be back in his home state, ready for the next chapter of his career.

Tweeted Bush, upon agreeing with the 49ers: “The best is yet to come #49ers.”

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