Bush deserves credit

Dolphins running back Reggie Bush is tackled by Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee at Cowboys Stadium in...

Dolphins running back Reggie Bush is tackled by Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., Nov. 24, 2011. (MIKE STONE/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

TORONTO - We have beat up on running back Reggie Bush for being an overpaid bust in his days with the New Orleans Saints.

So, given his success this season with the Miami Dolphins, we applaud his determination to show that he can still be a quality running back in the NFL. Unlike his days with New Orleans, Bush has shown that he can run effectively between the tackles.

He knew his time was coming to and end in New Orleans and wanted to sign with a team that would give him an opportunity to be an every-down back.

Miami turned out to be the lone club willing to give him that opportunity.

“This was the one,” Bush said of Miami in a radio interview. “This was the only one. I’d love to say, ‘I had this option, I could have went to the 49ers, I could have went here, there.’ I would love to sit here and say that I had all these options, but this was really the only option that was out there because pretty much all the other teams had their running back, their guy.”

Bush added that the Saints wanted to keep him, but continue to use him in a revolving-door approach with a number of other backs. He said, no thanks and now is enjoying the best year of his career.

After 14 games, Bush has gained 973 yards on 194 carries for a 5.0 yard average. He has six rushing TDs and has also caught 41 passes for 270 yards and another touchdown.

IN THE DARK

It’s a bad pun but we’re going with it as investigators in San Francisco remain in the dark as to why the power went out on two occasions in Monday night’s game at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park that featured the 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, investigators from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. believe a downed power line was the cause of the first outage that happened just before kickoff. There was a second outage at the start of the second quarter but as to what the cause was, they have no clue.

The fact that they can’t come up with a legitimate reason has led to conspiracy theorists suggesting it may have been a plot to gain support for a new stadium for the franchise in Santa Clara.

“We’re still working on it,” spokesman Joe Molica said. “We’ll get to the bottom of it, but just don’t have any findings yet.”

The 49ers have said they hope to have answers soon. San Francisco is on the road for their final two regular-season games — against Seattle and St. Louis — but will be back in aging Candlestick Park for perhaps two playoff games.

They don’t want a second blackout.

McCOWN GETS HIS SHOT

Josh McCown will be the Chicago Bears starting quarterback Sunday night in their game against Green Bay and nobody on the planet is more stunned with that development than McCown.

The veteran pivot was out of football in 2010 and this season was coaching a high school football team when the Bears came calling after starter Jay Cutler was lost for the season after breaking his right thumb.

McCown will be replacing backup Caleb Hanie who has looked dreadful in the team’s last four games, all losses.

McCown hasn’t completed a pass in the NFL since 2009 and hasn’t started a game since 2007 when he was a member of the Oakland Raiders.

“From where I was sitting, it didn’t look like it was going to go down this road,” the 32-year-old McCown told Chicago reporters.

Nobody expects McCown will lead the Bears to an upset win on Sunday but that doesn’t dismiss the excitement that he is feeling.

“Just the excitement and the joy of being between the stripes again with the lights on, I think that first snap obviously will be exciting,” he said. “But after that, you have a job to do, and that’s to go play good football and help your team win. I don’t want to get too excited and too amped up.

“Absolutely it’s a cool story and cool moment. But at the same time, I’m a competitor. I want to win the game. I want to do right by the coaches and by the other 52 guys in the locker room. So it’ll be exciting for a little bit, but we’ve got to get down to business.”

It’s may be a tough spot for McCown but the truth is he could hardly play any worse than Hanie has the past four weeks.

Head coach Lovie Smith said the switch was made to try and spark the team.

“We just felt like we needed a boost,” Smith said. “Caleb had played four games. I felt like that was enough to prove who you are, and if you could help our team win. Josh has been around, knows our offence, has been working against our defence for a long period of time. He’s a veteran. We’re just trying to give ourselves the best chance to win the game, and we feel that’s the direction we need to go.”

HARRISON'S ONE TOUGH DUDE

James Harrison is one tough hombre and an unrepentant one as well.

Harrison is back practising with the Pittsburgh Steelers following his one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy. It was his fifth illegal hit against a quarterback in the past three seasons.

The suspension cost Harrison a $73,529 game cheque and McCoy remains out of action with concussion-like symptoms. But no apology was forthcoming.

“It happened, oh well,” Harrison said following practice. “Deal with it. Move on. When it came down to it, my helmet hit his. Oh, well.”

The thing about the hit that seemed to bother Harrison was the fact that two plays after it happened, the Browns sent McCoy back on to the field. The Browns have been heavily criticized for putting McCoy back into the game.

“If he was hurt so bad, I don’t know why they let him back in, what, two plays later?” Harrison said. “Something should be done to them, I think. I got a game. What should they get?”

Good question.

BARKLEY STAYING AT USC

The Indianapolis Colts are one more loss away from securing the No. 1 pick in next spring’s draft where it is expected they will take Stanford’s Andrew Luck.

The teams who will draft behind the Colts and are looking for a franchise quarterback of their own on Thursday had one major talent taken off the list when USC quarterback Matt Barkley declared that he is staying in college for his senior season.

“I know in my heart I have not yet finished my journey as a Trojan football player,” Barkley said. “The 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to and I intend to play a part in it.”

The player who figures to benefit the most from Barkley’s return to college is Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, who is expected to enter the draft. He should be the No. 2 quarterback taken in the draft.

SKELTON GOOD TO GO

The Arizona Cardinals have yet to announce a decision at quarterback but all signs point to John Skelton starting Saturday in Cincinnati. Kevin Kolb, the Cards No. 1 quarterback, was held out last week with a concussion and will likely be on the bench for a second consecutive week. According to the Arizona Republic, Skelton has received more reps in practice than Kolb. Kolb also isn’t talking as if he’s ready to start. He said he was “feeling all right. I wouldn’t say normal.” Translated that means he should be on the sidelines.

Skelton, meanwhile, has been a good-luck charm for the Cardinals, who still hold an outside shot at making the playoffs as a wild-card entry if they can win out and the Detroit Lions lose their final two games.

When Skelton starts or plays the majority of the time, the Cardinals have gone 5-1. He has also, like the more highly publicized Tim Tebow, been terrific in leading them to victories in the fourth quarter.


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