- Dec 6, 2006
- Reaction score
Desean Jackson.......Or is Desean Jackson just better than bush?
I have never participated in the weekly Reggie Bush threads and plead guilty to starting yet another one. I do not see it as that complicated anymore. I have seen enough of Bush to draw a conclusion, a conclusion I think is supported by sufficient observation and facts.
What Bush is: Reggie Bush is an elite third down back who plays an important role in the Saints offense. He is at his best on quick screens and sprint draws. He can also be a very effective decoy, opening up other plays for his teammates because teams are reluctant to leave one linebacker on Bush. He is a role player, much like he was at USC. While he may "dance" too much on punt returns, he remains as big a threat as any other returner in the league to bring one back all the way. In a pinch, when your other backs are dinged up, Bush can be an every down back. That is not his forte.
Bush is also a team player and professional. His touches have diminished greatly and that must be hard for a superstar like Bush to handle. And yes, he is a superstar if not in terms of name recognition, in the fact that when he is on he can make your jaw drop like no other player can. Many NFL players in his position would long ago have become a distraction. Bush may yet. But so far he has been very professional about his more limited role.
Now that his role is more defined, we might see even bigger plays out of Reggie than we did yesterday. Bush's leap to the endzone and his moves in space are extraordinary. He can do some things other third down backs cannot. Before the season ends Bush will return a punt for a touchdown. Before the season ends he will take swing pass sixty yards for a score against a blitz that gambles on a linebacker covering Bush.
What Bush is not: He is not an every down back. Bush is not Adrian Peterson. He is not an inside runner. In his role he is probably not worth the overall number two pick of the draft, but he is hardly a bust as some proclaim. He is just not a player you give the ball to 25 times a game.
Pete Carroll figured that out long ago. Its not a matter of size, its more a matter of how he is wired. I used to think the holes just were not there. After watching Pierre Thomas last year and Thomas and Bell this year, it is pretty clear now. They have found seams time and time again that have eluded Bush. Reggie's instincts are to bounce out and I do not think he can overcome that consistently enough to be an every down back.
I do not think its a matter of toughness. Bush will put his head down. Bush will pass on a fair catch knowing he might get plowed. Its more instincts and wiring for me, if that makes any sense. Bush is not wired to be an inside runner. Bell and Thomas are.
He is a valuable weapon in a rather vast armory the Saints have. Now that his role is more defined, my guess (hope?) is that he and the Saints get even better at using his skills. With Sean Payton at the helm I have a feeling as the season progresses Payton will find more and more ways to punish teams who focus on stopping other cogs in the Saints offense and forget about Reggie Bush.