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Bushrod aiming to cash in chips

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Bushrod ready for first NFL training camp BY TAFT COGHILL JR. When Jermon Bushrod wasn't invited to the NFL Combine in February, he turned the disappointment into a positive with stellar showings in individual workouts. The former King George High ...

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Old 07-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #1
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Cool Bushrod aiming to cash in chips

Bushrod ready for first NFL training camp

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

When Jermon Bushrod wasn't invited to the NFL Combine in February, he turned the disappointment into a positive with stellar showings in individual workouts.

The former King George High School and Towson University offensive lineman said that determination came from a "chip on my shoulder" about the combine snub.

Bushrod was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints and he signed a three-year, $1.5 million contract on June 20. As the Saints open training camp today at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., Bushrod has a new mission: making the team's active roster.

"I guess you could say I've got a different chip on my shoulder now," he said. "Ever since I got drafted, I could care less about the combine. Being on the active roster is my goal now."

Bushrod said he has no intentions of being on the Saints' practice squad when training camp is over.

He enters camp as the No. 3 left tackle on the Saints' roster behind veteran Jammal Brown and second-year player Zach Strief.

He participated in the team's rookie minicamp in May, and came away believing he'd impressed coaches.

Saints head coach Sean Payton told The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans that Bushrod appeared very "comfortable" in minicamp.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis expressed excitement about Bushrod's future with the team.

"Jermon is a talented young player. He is someone who will bring added depth to an area of our team that is already strong," Loomis told neworleanssaints.com. He will play a role in our success this season."

New Orleans had plenty of that in 2006. The Saints won the NFC South with an 10-6 record and reached the NFC championship game, where they lost to the Chicago Bears.

However, Bushrod isn't taken aback with the Saints' accomplishments last year. He said he's more impressed with the mock funeral the team held this summer to symbolically bury the 2006 season forever.

"That just proves to me the kind of people we have in this organization," Bushrod said. "They're not dwelling on last year."

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Bushrod has spent much of the summer traveling back and forth from his parents' home in King George to New Orleans for the rookie and team minicamps. He also attended the mandatory NFL rookie symposium in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in June.

The symposium introduces rookies to life in the NFL by advising them on how to stay out of trouble and how to handle their finances, among other things.

So far, Bushrod said he's been careful with his money. His only major expenditure is an apartment in New Orleans.

"He seems to be pretty excited about everything, but you can't tell with Jermon because he's so humble," his father, Jerry Bushrod said. "But I know him well, so I know he's excited."

Bushrod's family is excited, too.

His parents plan to attend a few days of training camp in the coming weeks, and they also want to be on hand for all five of the Saints' preseason games. The first one is against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 5.

"It's something we never really expected to happen," Jerry Bushrod said of his son's potential NFL career. "But as he got better and we heard the responses from coaches, it got pretty exciting."

For Jermon, the excitement is just beginning. He said the "up-tempo" nature of an NFL practice is his biggest adjustment.

He said playing for the Saints is "motivating me" because they're a team on the rise. He's also thrilled about the prospects of blocking for Saints quarterback Drew Brees and running back Reggie Bush.

But he added that if he's ever going to protect those guys in a meaningful game, it's going to start with a strong first training camp.

"I'm just trying to get mentally ready because I know it's going to be a grind day in and day out," he said. "It's not like college where you get a spot and just hold it. Every single day, every rep you take is going to determine whether you're going to be on the team."

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Old 08-01-2007, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Bushrod aiming to cash in chips

I love this team. In all the years I've been a fan, I never expected the Saints to field a team like this. Especially after living through the AB/Haz era. So many character guys. It's just amazing.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: Bushrod aiming to cash in chips

yea i think he'll make roster and may even contribute.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:27 AM   #4
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Re: Bushrod aiming to cash in chips

I really would like for this kid to make the team. He brings quality depth and when he finnaly gets to start I think he will be a monster.
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