Reggie Bush's Cloudy Future

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IMarch 16, 2009

Every offseason, Saints fans from around the Who Dat Nation begin pondering on the Saints' chances of going all of the way in the next season, they also think about various other things like if Drew can keep it up, if our secondary will be a dumpster fire this year, and if Reggie Bush finally have his breakout year.

It seems as if Reggie is right on the borderline of being labeled as a bust. The Heisman trophy running back out of USC was called the best athlete prior to the 2006 NFL Draft and many mock drafts had the Houston Texans taking him with the first overall pick.

It was not to be however, as the Texans elected to take North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams and Reggie Bush dropped right into the laps of general manager Mickey Loomis and brand new head coach Sean Payton.

Bush performed alright in his rookie season while Williams looked to be suffering from the rookie's welcome to the NFL party. It looked as if the Texans had made a bad decision on draft day.

Then came 2007.

Saints' starting running back Deuce McAllister went down in Week Three with a season ending knee injury and Bush became the Saints' new starting running back.

Saints fans soon found out that their golden boy, Reggie Bush, would never be a decent substitute for the Deuce, while Deuce was a pounder, Reggie relied more on his speed and elusiveness.

Bush usually ran east to west instead of north and south which is a nice way of saying that he would run across the whole field and back just to gain two yards, if he was lucky enough not to get stopped for a loss.

Simply put, Bush was no starting NFL running back, or at least not the type that the Saints needed.

With the signings of Mike Bell and fullback Heath Evans, as well as the emergence of Pierre Thomas, Bush's role in the running game should decrease even more.

He refuses to switch to wide receiver, a role that he should excel in since he could burn most NFL defensive backs quite easily.

He is an adequate punt returner, of course he's no Devin Hester, but he is the next best thing.

One thing that many Saints' fans would like to see him do is to return kickoffs. With his amazing speed, Bush should also excel in that role.

So basically, the running back that the Saints drafted to replace Deuce McAllister is going to have to play receiver or become a great special teams returner to stay on this team for any long amount of time.

If Bush continues to switch to wide receiver, then the Saints may need to explore possible trade options while Bush still has some trade value.

Sure, he's a fan favorite, the No. 25 jerseys around the Superdome on gameday and the chants of "Reggie, Reggie," prove that but at this point, it would be better to lose a fan favorite and become a winning team than to retain Bush and continue to lose.

Joshua Joffrion writes Saints Scoop, a blog dedicated to the New Orleans Saints which can be found at http://www.saintsscoop.com. He also writes Tigers Town, a blog dedicated to the LSU Fighting Tigers and it can be found at http://www.tigerstown.com.


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