Dolphins Don't Want Bush Returning Punts

Miami playing it safe with its new toy

When the Dolphins acquired RB Reggie Bush last month, it seemed at least somewhat likely that the team would try to utilize the speedy back in the return game.

But head coach Tony Sparano played down Bush's potential on special teams Wednesday, telling the Miami Herald he won't likely return punts any time soon.

"He may do it at some point down the road," Sparano said, "but right now it's not something we're concentrating on."

Indeed, as the Herald notes, incumbent punt returner Davone Bess actually has a better track record over the past two seasons than Bush. Bess averaged 7.5 and 11.4 yards per return in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Bush, meanwhile, averaged 4.8 yards and 6.6 yards per return over the same periods.

Bess also has a career average, but has never scored on a punt return. Bush has four punt return touchdowns in his career, as well as a return touchdown in the 2010 playoffs.

But while Bess might look better on paper, it is more than a little curious that the Dolphins are not even going to give Bush a try in the return game. Sure there is the added risk of injury on punt returns, but why not give one of the best athletes on the team a few extra chances a game to hit paydirt?

Bush is not even listed on the return team depth chart, meaning Dolfans might only get a glimpse of him returning punts if some of his teammates get injured or the Dolphins get desparate.

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