He has contributed a career-high 1,382 total yards this season, and Bush is one game away from starting every NFL game in a season for the first time. But his biggest achievement probably has been silencing his critics, of which there were many, most of whom thought he was too fragile to be an every-down back or too Hollywood to be a team leader.
"I know what I'm capable of doing if given the opportunity. That's something that's always been inside me," said Bush, whom the Dolphins acquired last summer from the Saints for safety Jonathon Amaya and an undisclosed swap of draft choices. "I knew it was just a matter of opportunity for me to get the chance to show that I can be an every-down back."
According to Bush, the Dolphins were the only team aggressively pursuing him. If Miami didn't come forward, he probably would have re-signed with New Orleans, but Bush was seeking an opportunity to serve as a featured back, and coach Tony Sparano promised him that opportunity.
"It's not something that's surprising to me. I'm not surprised about anything that happens," said Bush, whose previous season high was 581 rushing yards in 2007. "If anything, I always set the highest standards, the highest goals for myself. That's something that I expect of myself. I've always been my biggest critic. I feel like there's still a lot, even more that I can do."
At least Bush, who is under contract for next season at $4.5 million, is off to a good start.
He'll have an opportunity to produce a strong finish in Sunday's season finale against the Jets, a team that is limiting opponents to 4.0 yards per carry and 120 rushing yards per game this season. But the New York defense has allowed 19 rushing touchdowns.
Bush produced the 12th 1,000-yard rushing season in Dolphins history.
He has gained 1,086 rushing yards on 216 carries, and he and receiver Brandon Marshall (1,177 receiving yards) became the first duo in team history to go over 1,000 yards in rushing and receiving in the same year.
"It really doesn't mean much to me right now, to be honest with you," Bush said. "I'm more focused on winning games. It really doesn't mean anything without the wins."