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New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Lost amid the Saints' intoxicating start is this sobering reality: Reggie Bush has become a role player.That's right, the former Heisman Trophy winner, No. 2 pick in the 2006 NFL draft, second-highest paid offensive player on the Saints' roster, is ...

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Old 10-28-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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Lost amid the Saints' intoxicating start is this sobering reality: Reggie Bush has become a role player.That's right, the former Heisman Trophy winner, No. 2 pick in the 2006 NFL draft, second-highest paid offensive player on the Saints' roster, is a supporting actor, not a leading man.
And his role is notably smaller than it's ever been in his NFL career.
Bush is averaging 10.5 offensive touches a game, by far the lowest in his four seasons. In the Saints' exhilarating 46-34 win at Miami, he had only six touches -- three carries, three receptions. That's the lowest output of his career for a full game. And the previous week, he had only seven touches -- six carries and a career-low one reception.
This decreased productivity has led inquiring minds to wonder if Bush is being quietly phased out of the offense, a notion Saints Coach Sean Payton tried to debunk Tuesday.
"No, not at all, " Payton said. "He's a big threat for us, a guy that we want to get the ball to and we continue to get the ball to."
Yet, facts are facts. The Saints are getting the ball to Bush less than ever.
He averaged 15.8 touches as a rookie, 19.3 in 2007 and 15.8 last season. He's now seeing the ball nearly 50 percent less than he did in those previous years.
The reasons behind the diminished role are many.
More playmakers man the Saints' offensive huddle than ever. Prime-time players Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey are healthy now. Mike Bell, Heath Evans and David Thomas have been added to the mix. The competition for touches is greater than ever.
Game situations have contributed to the cause. Bush is the main back in the two-minute and four-minute offenses and multiple-receiver sets. Blessed with big early leads, the Saints have relied on those packages less than ever this season. Instead of throwing check-down passes to Bush in the fourth quarter, Brees is handing the ball to Bell to finish lopsided victories.
Consequently, Bush's productivity has sagged. His 319 yards of total offense rank only fifth on the team. Even his specialty, the punt return, has notably declined. He ranks near the bottom of the league with a 4.1-yard return average.
Ever confident, Bush remains undaunted.
"We have so many weapons on this team, and I think we're doing a good job of using them effectively and putting them in position to make plays, " he said. "When you have the amount of weapons that we have it makes it tough for defenses to just key in on one guy."
To his credit, Bush has accepted his reduced role with class. He hasn't pouted. He competes with zest. He runs decoy routes and carries out play fakes with aplomb.
"We're winning, things are good right now, we're undefeated, " Bush said. "It would be selfish of me to put my own personal goals ahead of this team."
As Bush spoke, he stood in front of his locker, which displayed a placard listing the "Saints Core Beliefs." It reads, in part: "People come and go, players come and go, coaches come and go, but the Saints' core beliefs will always remains the same, believing in ourselves and the unselfish act of putting TEAM before self."
Bush so far has personified those beliefs. He has sacrificed more than perhaps any player on the roster. His willingness to accept a supporting role undoubtedly has and will hit him in the pocket book. Endorsement deals could expire. His contract, which includes several six-figure performance incentive clauses, will never realize its full earning power.
Yet, Bush said he's worried about only two numbers: 6 and 0.
"At the end of the day, it's not about that, " Bush said of his personal goals. "It's about staying positive and remaining a leader and trying to continue this winning streak that we have going. . . . Everything is great right now. It's a special time. Everybody kind of realizes what we can do. We're in no position to become selfish."
Bush's attitude reflects a matured professionalism. Others with his résumé might struggle with the transition. But teammates praise him for his positive attitude and humble nature.
Heck, he even ran the scout team's Wildcat offense in practice last week to help the Saints' defense prepare for Miami. How many Heisman Trophy winners would be willing to do that?
"It is an adjustment, because we're all competitors in this locker room, " Bush said. "We all want to be the guy. But right now it's just about 'team first, team first, team first.' Everything else is second."
Despite the reduced role, Bush's star power remains significant. A photo of his high-flying touchdown against Miami is featured on the cover of this week's issue of Sports Illustrated.
Noteworthy, though, is the absence of Bush's name in the headline or subhead: "Saints Soaring: A spectacular comeback saves an unbeaten start."
The message, perhaps, is implicit: Bush's game has changed, but his cover-boy looks and A-list name have not.
And if the Saints realize their goals this year, it certainly won't be the last magazine cover he graces.New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com

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Old 10-28-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

I think what the team is doing now is great. I just wish Reggie could see more touches. But when Bell and Thomas are running so well, its hard to give Reggie the ball. Man, I wish he could at least get a decent punt return. Put him on kick returns too.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

The reality is that all players are role players in this offense, and the name of this movie is Win Games. Of course, Drew has the starring role.

The Saints are scoring points at a record pace, have gained more yards than anyone else, and yet, they have not one player in the top 5 in offense.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

From staying in New Orleans this offseason to practice and train with the team to keeping his mouth shut and helping the team win just shows you how much Reggie has matured since he was drafted. Now if could just give us a couple of explosive plays a game, that would be great
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

He's a Team player. Do your job, and do what is asked.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

Saints are playing Bush as thought, it just taking Peyton a long time to game plan for him but I see it coming slowly. Besides punts, Id also use him on kick off as well.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:29 PM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

I know there are purely Reggie Bush fans and many who own the jersey but lets come down to reality and but that personal bias aside. He's a so called football player who hasn't lived up to the expectations of being a number 2 overall. If you hurt this team then yes your touches/playing time and even role gets reduced. Its a great call by Payton until Reggie gets his ass in gear.

Miami game was a great start for him to start turning it around. Lets hope he makes good use of it. If not... I see the writing on the wall folks.

E U P H O R I A
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

Originally Posted by Euphoria View Post
I know there are purely Reggie Bush fans and many who own the jersey but lets come down to reality and but that personal bias aside. He's a so called football player who hasn't lived up to the expectations of being a number 2 overall. If you hurt this team then yes your touches/playing time and even role gets reduced. Its a great call by Payton until Reggie gets his ass in gear.

Miami game was a great start for him to start turning it around. Lets hope he makes good use of it. If not... I see the writing on the wall folks.
Not so sure I'd say the Miami game was a great start.

3 rushes, 10 yards and a TD (2,-2,10)

Thrown to 5 times, 3 catches for 16 yards. (0, 5, 11)

5 punt returns, 23 yards

He had 2 good plays the entire game. The leap and the 11 yard 1st down reception where he actually broke a tackle (his best play in my opinion).
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

This is why it is laughable when Reggie was being compared to Michael Jordan because of the leap. MJ is selfish and crass and has to dominate the ball - he would never make this team.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:40 PM   #10
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Re: New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush shows class with acceptance of reduced role

Reggie got Reggie benched. He knows this. The kid has heart and plays hard. Maybe he TRIES too hard sometimes... Who knows, but right now we're not seeing the "spark" we saw last year.

His time will come.
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