Reggie Bush Interview with IGN.com
The Heisman Trophy winner talks New Orleans and going No. 2.
by Jonathan Miller
May 1, 2006 - Reggie Bush was visibly disappointed when he walked into the EA Party in New York Friday night. Even though the Heisman Trophy winner was about to be announced as the featured athlete on the cover of the upcoming NCAA Football 07 and giant posters of him adorned the room, Bush had just found out that Mario Williams would be selected as the first pick in the NFL Draft.
But Bush, he's all class. He wished nothing but support for Williams, and he clearly meant it too. We caught up with Bush at the press conference in Radio City Music Hall after he was selected No. 2 overall by the New Orleans Saints.
Q: What are your impressions right now?
Reggie Bush: I'm just excited to be back on a football team. It's been a long time coming for all of us, everybody that was invited to this draft, we should all be appreciative I think for being in this position. There's a lot of guys that would kill to be in our shoes right now and this is a blessing to be here and for our families to be here to share this experience with us.
Q: Obviously, you're going to be very well off but does it seem a little strange that a team from Texas does not take a star player whose last name is "Bush?"
Bush: Maybe, but, you know, there was obviously a lot of speculation going on. Everybody thought I was going to Houston. For me, I just came into this process with an open mind. At the end of the day, it's still a business. We've done our part up to this point. We've done the Pro Days and the film and the tapes and we've done everything we can. At the end of the day, it's up to the teams. We have no control over this thing. It's up to the teams to choose who they feel is going to best suit their program.
Reggie makes his move in Madden NFL 07.
Q: Basically, how do you feel playing for New Orleans after all they have been through?
Bush: I feel like I could help possibly bring some smiles back to the faces of New Orleans. But, like you said, they have been through a lot, and you know, hopefully we can help turn this program around. Like I said, just bring some happiness back to the city and compete in the playoffs. I think we have a great chance of competing this year. They have got some great receivers, Deuce McAllister; Drew Brees they just added, so they have some weapons. I think we should be able to compete next year.
Q: Someone else was just being drafted and it was not your teammate, Matt Leinart. Did you have any conversations about not being drafted as high as you expected?
Bush: Well, I talked to Matt and I told him, he's still a great player. I told him just because you're not a top pick or the first pick, doesn't mean you're not a great player.
Q: You spoke a couple of days ago about how much you love New York and after what happened last night, there was a lot of talk about the Jets trying to move up to get you. How disappointed are you that that did not work out?
Bush: Well, obviously I would love to play in New York. I could have made a lot of money in the marketing in New York. But I think at the same time, you know, it's just a blessing to be in this position and to be the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. I'm happy, my family is happy. I'm grateful that they are able to share this experience with me. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I'm going to go down to New Orleans with an open mind, and we're ready to win some football games.
That's my family over there, if you don't notice.
Q: Is there any disappointment that you did not go to Houston as the No. 1 overall pick?
Bush: No, I wasn't disappointed at all. Obviously I would have liked to have been the No. 1 pick, but I'm the No. 2 pick and I'm going to New Orleans. Like I said, I'm just ready to win some football games. For me, I feel like, you know, Mario Williams is a great player. He's worked his behind off to get to this point like we all have. He's very deserving of being the No. 1 pick. I wish him the best and I hope he succeeds, and that's it.
Q: You said that it comes down to a business decision for these teams. How much do you think signability played a factor in Houston's decision?
Bush: I'm not sure. I wasn't the one negotiating, obviously, the contract and everything. I was going along with me being signed to Houston. I'm not too sure. Only the Houston Texans can answer that. Obviously we were not just going to settle for anything. That's a part of negotiating is you try to get the best contract, especially when you're the No. 1 pick.
Q: In going No. 2, will you use that to sort of fire you up and motivate you throughout your career to prove that they did make a mistake?
Bush: Not any more than I'm already fired up, to just be a part of the team, be in the NFL, be the No. 2 pick. I'm not going to take anything person from the Houston Texans and go out and try to run for 5,000 yards or whatever in a game. That's the way it is, that's the nature of the beast and it's part of the game. I'm just happy, like I said, to me, this is a special time for us.
Q: Have the Saints informed you how they are planning on utilizing you in the backfield with Deuce McAllister?
Bush: They said, you know, just in the similar ways that I was used at USC and they felt that was the best way, as do I. I feel that's a great way for me to showcase my versatility and my talent and pose mismatches to defense. Obviously with Drew Brees, he's a great quarterback, and Deuce McAllister, we can make some things happen this year.
Q: After the controversy this past week, what do you feel you've learned after going through what you've gone through this week?
Bush: No more than I already knew. Just to stay focused, don't let distractions get you out of your focus and just enjoy this.
This is a special time for me and my family and a lot of people would kill to be in our shoes. It's a blessing to be here and that's really it.
Q: You spoke with (Coach) Sean Payton, what did he tell you, and did Drew Brees also talk to you on the phone and what did he say?
Bush: I did talk to Drew Brees last night. He called me and for me that was probably one of the biggest compliments that anybody could -- without actually saying it -- for anybody to give me. For him to call me and just to take the time out of his day to give me a call and tell me he's excited meant a lot to me.
I talked to Coach Payton and he said that, you know, when they found out I wasn't going to Houston, they threw all the draft cards in the air and they were doing backflips and handstands and all that. Any organization that's pumped up about me makes me feel good and want to go there and play.
Q: You've been compared by some prominent NFL people, general managers, so far, to Gale Sayers. How do you feel about that comparison and could you possibly live up to that kind of comparison?
Bush: Obviously those are big shoes to fill. Gale Sayers is a great player, really a guy before his time, and he's done a lot for the game of football itself. For me to be compared to a guy like that is obviously big shoes to fill, but it's an honor at the same time because he was such a great player. You know, hopefully I can live up to expectations.
Q: You're almost exactly the same size as Tiki Barber and Marshall Faulk and Walter Payton; people keep expressing concerns about your size.
Q: What qualities do you possess that are going to allow you to be durable and have a long and successful career?
Bush: Like you said, a lot of people have speculated, well, is he big enough, is he strong enough, but honestly, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is right here, you know, what's in your heart and how big your heart is. You know, Marshall Faulk wasn't the biggest guy, but he had the heart of a lion and a champion and that's what made them so special. I feel the same way about myself, I'm not the biggest guy on the field, but you're going to have to do everything in your power to stop me.
Q: What was your reaction yesterday when you found out the Texans were going with Mario Williams and not yourself?
Bush: I was happy for him. I was a little surprised, but I wasn't shocked. Like I say, we've done our part up to this point. We've gone through the Pro Days, they have seen the film studies of us. So really, it's up to your organizations, the programs to make their decisions on who they feel is going to best fit their program.
RE: Reggie Bush Interview with IGN.com
Good read, thanks Pak
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