Bush trying to repair a BUST-ed reputation

The expectations were high for Reggie Bush in New Orleans. The Saints drafted the electrifying Heisman Trophy winner to be just that, and his rookie season showed flashes. By year two, production was decreasing and the “bust” tag was elevating. He failed to complete his sophomore NFL season, finally sidelined with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament, an injury he continued to compete with for a month before calling it quits. Still, that wasn’t good enough for the public. Injury or not, the build up had been so high that Reggie was supposed to put on his cape each weekend and take flight.

Now in his third season, Bush has found the end zone in each game played in the first three weeks, and in a variety of ways. Being on the running, receiving, and returning end of scores, he resembles that all purpose player drafted second overall by the Saints in 2006. He’s among the league leaders in receptions, and has become a focal point in the Saints offensive production. What about running between the tackles? Every back in New Orleans averages less than 4 yards per carry. That would say there is no “between” the tackles. After watching the Saints fail to push the ball into the end zone from just inches away, eventually turning the ball over on downs to the Broncos on Sunday, I’ve concluded that either the run blocking stinks in New Orleans or Payton’s ground game is too predictable. It also makes me wonder what Bush’s production would be like behind some of the greater gap creating lines in the NFL, such as the one in Dallas. My vision is Reggie Bush running wild. Hell, my vision even shows me running wild behind those men with stars on their helmets, despite the fact that the refs have a better 40-time than my own.

When you’ve performed as a superstar in college, it’s an open invitation for criticism in the NFL. Lendale White was being called a bust in his rookie season, and now all he does is sniff out the end zone. Bush was given the tag in his second season, and now plays every game with a chip on his shoulder. What I don’t understand is why that 3rd overall selection down in Tennessee was given 3 years before people started using the “B” word. Maybe they give quarterbacks more time. Who knows? But for Reggie Bush, 2008 is make or break. And so far, he’s making the most of it.

~ by Anthony on September 22, 2008.

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