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Cardinals Prepare To Defend Bush

Posted Sep 11, 2013

Notebook: Palmer likes extra receivers; Fitzgerald limited in practice

Linebacker Sam Acho pulls down then-Dolphins running back Reggie Bush last season. Bush now plays for the Lions, who visit Sunday.

The man who leads the Detroit Lions, who visit University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday, in rushing is Reggie Bush, who had 90 yards in the opener.

The man who leads the Lions in receiving yards is Reggie Bush, who had 101 yards in the opener.

The Cardinals will have their hands full with quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who are the anchors of the Detroit offense. But it is Bush, who signed as a free agent this offseason, who changes the complexion of the Lions’ attack

“He gives them an element they haven’t had,” Dansby said. “He’s a dynamic player, man. Always has been. They are finding ways to use him to their benefit.”

Dansby knows Bush. The two were teammates in Miami the past two seasons, when Bush was having the best two rushing seasons of his career. The Cardinals know Bush too, because the organization considered him as a free-agent target at the beginning of the offseason, before he chose a big-money deal with Detroit and the Cardinals got Bruce Arians pupil Rashard Mendenhall.

Arians said he likes Bush because he is “three-dimensional,” able to run, catch and pass protect. (That’s a reason Arians liked Mendenhall as well.)

“(Bush) means a lot,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “He can take a short pass and go the distance. … He’s also a tough runner. Some people underestimate Reggie’s toughness.

“It’s hard to sack the quarterback if the quarterback is getting rid of the ball before those guys get there. He’s an outstanding player, but he also complements the rest of the talent we have on offense.”

Playing for the Dolphins last year, Bush ran for just 67 yards on 17 carries and did not catch a pass, targeted by Miami rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill just once.

The Cardinals are hoping to limit Bush again Sunday.

“It’s part of the business, because every back in this league is dangerous,” Dansby said. “They can break one tackle and take it to the house. He’s dynamic, and they use him well.”

FITZGERALD LIMITED, HOUSLER SITS OUT

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was limited in practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury, one of the new injuries to crop up after the opener. Tight end Rob Housler, who Arians already said would likely sit out Sunday, did not practice.

Mendenhall (hamstring), wide receiver Andre Roberts (quad) and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (biceps) also were limited. For the Lions, defensive tackle Nick Fairley (shoulder), tackle Jason Fox (groin) and safety Don Carey (hamstring) sat out. Safety Louis Delmas (knee), defensive tackle Jason Jones (knee) and safety John Wendling (ankle) were limited.

PROTECTING PALMER

Quarterback Carson Palmer was blunt when talking about his protection up front and if he had to choose between getting maximum protection and fewer receivers out in patterns or the other way around.

“More options, less time,” Palmer said.

That fits well with Arians’ philosophy, after the coach said long ago he realized more players out to catch the ball can only help. It doesn’t mean the quarterback will be untouched, but as long as a blocker doesn’t whiff, Arians said, the offense should come out ahead. Palmer agreed.

“If we are going to try and spread it out and they are going to try and pressure us, you have to try and find the guy that is open from the blitzers,” Palmer said. “You might take some more hits, but you shouldn’t get sacked more. It’s football, you’re going to get sacked every once in a while. It’s your job as quarterback to get rid of the ball and take the hit but make sure you get the ball out.”

MASSIE RIGHT SIDE ONLY

Newcomer Bradley Sowell is officially listed as the backup left tackle and he can play right tackle as well, Arians said. Nate Potter, who had been the backup left tackle, is now working at guard. Bobby Massie remains backup on the right side – and while Arians said he likes Massie’s future, it’s on the right side.

“I think Bobby has all the talent in the word and continues to improve,” Arians said. “When the time comes, I’m sure he’ll be ready to step up and do well.”

Asked if Massie could play the left side, however, Arians simply said, “No.”

 

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