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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Titans QB Vince Young and Saints RB Reggie Bush get ready for Act II of their friendly rivalry on Monday night at the Superdome Jimmy Smith The last time Reggie Bush and Vince Young shared a football field in a ...

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Old 09-21-2007, 06:28 PM   #1
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Cool Stars Realign

Titans QB Vince Young and Saints RB Reggie Bush get ready for Act II of their friendly rivalry on Monday night at the Superdome

Jimmy Smith

The last time Reggie Bush and Vince Young shared a football field in a game that counted, Young accumulated 467 yards, including 200 yards rushing, and scored the winning points in the waning seconds of the 2006 Rose Bowl on an 8-yard run to give Texas the BCS national championship over Southern California.

Bush, who had 177 yards on 13 rushes and six catches, knelt on the sideline at the end and watched as the Longhorns won 41-38, snapping a 35-game USC winning streak.

Tennessee Titans Coach Jeff Fisher figures Bush will be heavily involved in the Saints' game plan for Monday night's game at the Superdome, and Fisher was preparing his team on Wednesday for the threat of Bush's diversity.

"He's someone I think defenses have to build game plans around," Fisher said. "And there's very few of those types in the league. There's one in San Diego (reigning league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson). But he is somebody you have to know where he's at and what his potential is each and every play. There's no question in our mind he's going to be a great pro.

"Again, we were a little surprised, as were the Saints, that he lasted. But he's done some things on the field as a pro that you just don't see done. As a result of that you really have to be concerned about where he is and what he's doing and be smart about it. He can turn a game very, very quickly."

The same, though, can be said of Young, who was selected right behind Bush with the third overall choice of the 2006 draft, made available to Tennessee because the first-picking Houston Texans made the decision to go with North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams.

While Bush was making an immediate impact in New Orleans as a rookie, being a critical component in the Saints' offense from his first regular-season game, it took Young three weeks to become the Titans' starting quarterback.

But when he did start, he led Tennessee to eight victories, giving him the fifth-most wins by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 merger. Young directed a pair of comebacks of 14 points or more, the first rookie quarterback in history to accomplish that. He passed for 2,199 yards in 15 games, throwing 12 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, completing 51.2 percent of his passes and recording an 8-5 record as a starter.

Voters deemed Young's 2006 performance worthy of Rookie of the Year honors, although Bush ranked 10th in the league with 88 pass receptions and led the league with 33 third-down catches for 297 yards and a score. Bush's 742 yards receiving ranked third in league history for a running back.

Young on Wednesday downplayed the game's marketing matchup of him vs. Bush and any implied rivalry as a media invention.

"I've always been a big fan of Reggie Bush," Young said, "but there's an entire New Orleans team we have to face, him as well as (Deuce) McAllister and (Drew) Brees. From an offensive standpoint, we've got to go against a good cover-2 team, which I'm seeing right now.

"When we see each other, we talk. I think he has great respect for me, and I have great respect for him. I just want to continue to see us get better as we get older and our games progress."

How Bush feels isn't known. He did not make himself available for interviews Wednesday.

According to Saints Coach Sean Payton, Young possesses the same game-changing ability as Bush.

"Obviously, you have to account for him," Payton said. "If you don't, he can step up in the pocket and run for 40 yards. We've seen that. Whether it's through zone, or whether it's with a guy spying on him a lot. . . . This guy is a tough challenge. He's a hard sack. He's elusive and strong. He's physical. You've seen him come off sacks. It's a big challenge this week."

So far in 2007, Young is having a better year statistically than Bush. Last week in a 22-20 loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, Young completed 17 of 27 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, ran five times for 53 yards and put the Titans in position to win.

Young scored the game-winning touchdown in week one against Jacksonville on a 2-yard, third-quarter run, the eighth rushing touchdown of his career.

Bush has 22 carries for 65 yards and 10 receptions for 50 this season.

Each player has scratched his potential, with neither fully developed as an NFL star.

"Keep this in mind: He has yet to play a full season," Fisher said of Young. "And I think we looked at Sunday's game a little differently. There's Peyton (Manning) on one side and Vince on the other, who hasn't played a full season. And we have a chance at the end to win the game. He's improving each week. We like what he's doing on the practice field. I thought he had a very, very good offseason.

"He had a productive preseason, especially in the practices during training camp. And his numbers reflected a pretty good defense against a tough Colts defense."

The knock thus far, though, is Young's erratic passing numbers, though he has connected on 62 percent of his throws in 2007 and has thrown just one interception in 45 passes.

Would Fisher like to see a steadier passer?

"What I'd like to see him do is win ballgames," Fisher said. "And that's really what he has done since he's taken over as the starter. He's going to continue to develop. Again, he's a young quarterback who's yet to play a full season. So there's a lot of things that he can improve upon, no different than anyone else who's that young in their career. But I think the thing that's impressive about Vince is he finds ways to win ballgames for us right now."

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blacksaint is offline  
Old 09-22-2007, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: Stars Realign

Last time I checked, it was a team sport. Vince, Reggie, Drew, Duece, and all the other greats are all useless without their supporting cast.
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