Dolphins Generations: Reggie Bush And Mercury Morris

Posted Jan 11, 2012

There is such a rich tradition associated with the Miami Dolphins that when the team’s current players are made aware they genuinely have a newfound respect for the logo on the side of their helmets.

In Dolphins Generations, we ask the same questions to both a current Dolphins player and an alumnus to see how their answers differ based on the era they played in. This week's Dolphins Generations features current Dolphins running back Reggie Bush and former running back Mercury Morris (1969-1975).

Who is/was the toughest linebacker or defensive player you have faced?

BUSH: “In the NFL there are a lot of tough guys so it’s hard to really just name one person. I’ll tell you the toughest guy I just played against recently was LaRon Landry (of the Washington Redskins). He’s a tough player, a hard-nosed tough guy and has the speed and strength to make it tough on a running back.”

MORRIS: “It’s a toss-up between Ted Hendricks and Mike Curtis because they were so relentless.”

Which running back did you look up to growing up?

BUSH: “Marshall Faulk, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Ricky Watters, Roger Craig, Eddie George, I looked up to them all. When I was growing up I was watching Eddie George in college and thought he was a great running back and then I used to love to watch Emmitt Smith in the NFL. We had similar knocks against us coming out of college and are similar in size.”

MORRIS: “Lenny Moore, Timmy Brown who was No. 22 with Philadelphia, Jim Brown obviously, but he was a fullback really and Gale Sayers. I remember telling Jim Brown in 1991 how honored I felt to be sandwiched in between Jim Brown and Gale Sayers as being the only three backs to manage a five yard-per-carry average over their career. And I said, ‘I know I’m there because I had a great line,’ and he said, ‘No, you’re there because you were a great runner, too. They’ve got them high-priced guys playing today and they gain 1,000 yards but they carry it 1,000 times.’ That was a great line.”

What is/was your favorite play to run?

BUSH: “I’d have to say a power rush because it allows me to showcase my speed and my strength and prove that I am not one dimensional.”

MORRIS: “It didn’t matter to me because I felt like I could score on any play. I scored on long runs around the end when they knew we were coming, up the middle and then out to the side. There’s a certain way in which things go on the field where people move and if you know that, that’s to your advantage to be able to get away from people where people think they have you trapped and the next thing you know you’re around the corner. We had guys that were so great that you ran through a hallway as opposed to a hole in the line.”

What is/was your best asset as a running back?

BUSH: “Speed hands down because speed kills in this league. You can’t coach it, you can’t really train it and you can’t teach it. It’s just you either have it or you don’t.”

MORRIS: “My team was my best asset, specifically my linemen.”

What was your most memorable play of your career?

BUSH: “I had some plays in the Super Bowl but none that really stick out so I would say the punt return that I had against the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs (83-yard return for a touchdown on January 16th, 2010). It was a huge play at the time so I would say that one.”

MORRIS: “Two plays stand out to me. My first one was my first kickoff and I returned it 105 yards for a touchdown (on September 14th, 1969 at the Cincinnati Bengals) and I wasn’t touched. I learned how to play the game from touch football and I never abandoned the principal of not getting touched. If they can’t touch you, they can’t tackle you. The other play was the last play of my career when I was in San Diego with the Chargers after being traded by the Dolphins. We were playing the 49ers and went into overtime, won the toss, marched down the field and 21 people thought it was a sweep to the right. I stutter stepped and ran 16 yards to the left for the touchdown – untouched. So my first time I touched the ball as a pro I went untouched into the end zone and my last time won the game and I was untouched.”
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