In two games this season, Reggie Bush has touched the ball on the offensive end at least 20 times. In the first of these games, the opening game of the season, a 24-20 victory against the Bucs, Bush had a total of 163 yards, including the game-winning touchdown.
In the second game in which he received more than 20 touches, Bush had 150 yards and scored two touchdowns in a close 34-32 loss to the Broncos.
In the season's next game, Bush had 19 touches offensively for 93 yards, but ended up putting on one of the most electrifying performances in Monday Night Football history. He broke two punt returns for touchdowns and slipped on a third that he looked ready to break.
But throughout the rest of the season, Bush has had games in which he's touched the ball 17, 15, 17, 10, eight, 13, and eight times.
And the types of touches are even more telling. Rarely did Coach Sean Payton call a rush up the middle. Instead, when Bush was in the game, the call would be sweep left, sweep right, swing pass left, swing pass right. Defenses were ready. Bush would get creamed and then get blamed for not breaking a few tackles and making "something out of nothing." A good number of the plays lost yards.
In week 14 against Atlanta, Sean Payton decided to change things up a bit. Instead of the Bush toss left, Bush toss right, he ran Reggie between the tackles. The results? 10 rushes for 80 yards.
People want to call Reggie Bush a bust. He's far from it. He's who has been pigeonholed by the media and by his coach as a player who can't run between the tackles. He gets criticized for trying to make the big plays constantly, and then gets criticized for making a run that should've been a loss into something that went two yards.
Does he get hurt often? Yeah. He's a high injury-risk player—anyone who can cut like Bush and tries to jump over players will definitely be high-risk.
Is he a 25 carry per game guy? No. But that's not why the Saints drafted him. They drafted him to run the ball 10-15 times per game, but make 5-10 receptions per. He is in the top two of career receptions for a third year player. They drafted him to return punts, which he's best in the league at at this point in his career.
But the illusion that he's a "bust" won't disappear until he's out of New Orleans. Until he plays for a coach that trusts him and treats him like any multi-purpose running back, he won't be successful.
So for his sake, I hope the Saints trade him. Trade him to Seattle or Cincinatti. Get back a high draft pick. Then watch those teams thrive, while the Saints flounder.