Reggie Bush to 49ers makes sense ... as long as they use him properly

Apparently the San Francisco 49ers are changing the way they play offense under new coach Jim Tomsula and offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach.

And Colin Kaepernick is also going to work on his touch passes, rather than firing 90 mph fastballs on just about every throw.

Otherwise, why would Reggie Bush choose to come to Santa Clara, California, and try to turn the clock back to 2006 when the Niners, had they dropped the 2005 season finale to the Houston Texans instead of winning in overtime, would have had the No. 1 pick and might have selected the Heisman Trophy winner from USC?

Bush’s skills as a pass-catching running back do not jibe with the disjointed product the Niners displayed on offense last year. Not even close.

And yet, Bush, who was also being pursued by the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, decided to come home to California nine years later. He spent five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, who made him the No. 2 pick in 2006, two seasons with the Miami Dolphins and the past two seasons with the Detroit Lions.

Or, as Bush tweeted Saturday:

Bush is joining the Niners not as the lead back, but as part of a diverse, three-headed attack with second-year running back Carlos Hyde and Kendall Hunter, who missed last season with an ACL injury.

It's more than intriguing -- but again, as long as the Niners use him properly. And how many times did we say that about dual-threat quarterback Kaepernick last year?

Consider: Bush caught 40 passes last season; all the Niners running backs combined had 44 receptions.

And Bush, who turned 30 on March 2, is coming off an ankle injury-plagued season in Detroit in which he played 11 games and had just 76 carries for 297 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions released him last month, saving $1.7 million in salary-cap space.

But when he’s healthy, Bush is still one of the most electric playmakers in the game.

In the first season in each of his past two stops -- Miami in 2011 and Detroit in 2013 -- Bush gained more than 1,400 total yards.

He had 1,086 rushing yards with six TDs, 43 receptions for 296 yards and a TD and six punt returns for 52 yards in 15 games for the 2011 Dolphins. He had 1,006 rushing yards with four TDs and caught 54 passes for 506 yards and three TDs in 14 games for the 2013 Lions.

The 49ers, obviously, are hoping for a similar rejuvenation project. Bush just needs to stay healthy -- who doesn’t? -- and to be put in a position to succeed by a Niners offense trying to right itself.