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ssmitty 11-06-2006 06:27 PM

good read about colston, bush................
Unheralded rookie has huge game for Saints

By Andrea Adelson | Sentinel Staff Writer

TAMPA -- The best rookie in the league plays for the New Orleans Saints, and he showed it again Sunday.

Reggie Bush? Nope. Meet wide receiver Marques Colston, taken No.252 overall, from Division I-AA Hofstra. Colston caught 11 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in a 31-14 victory over Tampa Bay.

Bush, meanwhile, spent most of the day picking the dirt out of his helmet, rushing for minus-5 yards on 11 carries against a defense that stacked the line of scrimmage. Bush did slightly better receiving, with four catches for 22 yards. He also had two punt returns for 20 yards.

"Of course I'm frustrated," Bush said. "I want to be out there running the ball, making plays and scoring touchdowns. But at the same time, I've got to be patient and let it come to me."

Bush was hailed as the savior for the Saints and the city of New Orleans after he was taken No.2 overall in April's draft. Colston was an afterthought, getting picked in the seventh round. Everyone expected the world of Bush. Nobody expected a thing of Colston.

"Getting drafted gave me an opportunity," Colston said. "That's all anyone can ever ask for. I was just able to take advantage of it."

Bush seemed to turn a corner a month ago against the Bucs. He scored his first pro touchdown, a 65-yard punt return in the fourth quarter, to rally the Saints to a 24-21 victory. He tallied 161 all-purpose yards, and a teammate called his performance "electrifying." Bush hasn't scored since.

Colston has seven touchdowns, which leads all rookies. He is the one who allowed Drew Brees to stretch the field Sunday with leading receiver Joe Horn out because of a groin injury. And he made many of his receptions after getting hit hard on his touchdown catch and slamming his head to the turf. Colston could not recall the hit after the game, saying, "A couple guys said they were looking at me and I was kind of spaced-out."

Still, Colston kept playing, and kept making big plays.

"Marques is doing a great job," Bush said. "He's really turning into a primary receiver for us."

Bush would love to turn into a primary player, too. Right now, he is fighting through defenses that are game-planning for him, stacking the box every week because any carry might be the one he finally breaks.

"He's been effective, but as far making the big plays and the runs and the touchdowns, it hasn't happened for him yet," fellow running back Deuce McAllister said. "We know it's coming. He's going to be fine as the season progresses."

Then maybe he can be as successful as Colston.

Andrea Adelson can be reached at

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