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Nate Bussey: The NEW “Bus” has arrived in the NFL

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; In an exclusive interview with BlackAndGold.com, University of Illinois (Fighting Illini) linebackers coach Ron West explains why the Who Dat Nation will be fired up over how well linebacker Nate Bussey will play for the Black and Gold this season. ...

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Old 05-23-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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In an exclusive interview with BlackAndGold.com, University of Illinois (Fighting Illini) linebackers coach Ron West explains why the Who Dat Nation will be fired up over how well linebacker Nate Bussey will play for the Black and Gold this season.

Hall of Fame running back Jerome “The Bus” Bettis got his nickname because another player commented how it took several defenders latching on and riding him down the field like a bus to eventually bring him down. Coach Ron West joins us to tell Saints fans more on how Nathan “Nate” Bussey will be a serious contender for a spot among the final 53 on the active roster.


B&G.com: Coach West, we appreciate your taking time out of your schedule to give this interview. It must be a non-stop ordeal for you and other Illinois coaches.

Coach West: Not a problem; I’m glad to have a chance to speak with you.

B&G.com: You have Louisiana ties, don’t you?

Coach West: Yes. I was an assistant football coach at the University of South Louisiana (Lafayette), and also assisted Tony Bowden at Tulane.

B&G.com: What is the main leadership trait that Nate brings to the Saints?

Coach West: Consistent, 100% effort all day, every day. He’s on time for meetings and team activities, and constantly works to improve his fundamentals and techniques.

B&G.com: Nate was a top prospect coming out of high school. How did the Fighting Illini eventually get him to play as your strong side linebacker?

Coach West: Well, Bussey was a talented quarterback (and a good one) at Dunbar high school in Washington D.C. He was gifted athletically, and he showed versatility in his ability to play. Many other top colleges sought to recruit him, but we convinced him that we’d give him every opportunity to compete and play for us in the Big Ten. We had needs on defense, and Ron (head coach Ron Zook) thought he would be able to compete at linebacker. We had tried him at several other positions (offense and defense), and he seemed to really settle in at SAM position.

Top HS Prospect footage:

B&G.com: Why do you feel that Nate was taken over many others who might have been rated higher in the 2011 NFL mock draft?

Coach West: Nate has tremendous upside. His motor never stops, he’s a hard hitter, he’s fast, he’s fundamentally sound, has high energy, and learns quickly. As a linebacker, he comes hard off the edge as a blitzer. In my estimate, he’ll compete quite well at the weak side (WILL) position for the Saints.

B&G.com: Special teams remains an important factor in the NFL, especially with respect to field position. Will Bussey be able to contribute on special teams?

Coach West: Absolutely! Nate was not our gunner. But he anchored coverage in the middle of the field on punts and kickoffs. He sheds blocks well, and takes the right angle to the ball carrier. He’s truly a headhunter, and will almost always be in on the tackle, or somewhere in the vicinity when the whistle is blown. The Saints will be pleasantly surprised by his special teams play, for sure. Note: When the Saints took Thomas Morstead (from SMU), many scratched their heads. Now, the Saints coaches and front office look like geniuses for that pick.

Take a look at this commentary on the importance of Special Teams players:

B&G.com: How durable do you expect Nate to be in the NFL?

Coach West: Very durable. He takes care of his body with strength and conditioning. He also plays through injuries (plays hurt); he’s a true warrior.

B&G.com: Is Bussey aware of Saints’ Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams’ reputation as a coach?

Coach West: I’m not sure whether or not he’s familiar with Coach Williams. But Nate is ready to take the heat of the NFL, whether it’s his coach, game preparation, or on the field.

B&G.com: Saints players have a legacy of strong community involvement. How well will Nate Bussey fit in as a participant in community outreach?

Coach West: Nate came from the inner city, and enthusiastically supported the Fighting Illini’s efforts in the community (in the Champaign-Urbana, IL area) off campus. He will certainly continue to reach out in the Saints’ fan base community.

B&G.com: How would you describe Nate Bussey in the locker room?

Coach West: He’s a verbal motivator and will spend a lot of time in the team’s workout room. He will also put in a lot of hours studying game video. As I mentioned before, Nate will put in the time, will practice with intensity, and will embrace the fundamentals. You have a very good football player in Nate Bussey. Saints fans will notice that early.

B&G.com: Two years from now, what will we be saying about Nate Bussey?

Coach West: Nate will make the team, and will likely make a strong push at weakside (WILL) linebacker for the Saints, opposite Martez at the SAM. In addition to that, he will be an exceptional player on the Saints’ Special Teams. I would not be surprised if he comes to be considered as among the best in the NFL on Special Teams units.

B&G.com: Coach West, we again thank you for your time amidst a very busy recruiting schedule. On behalf of the Who Dat Nation and Saints fans everywhere, we wish you and the Fighting Illini a successful season in 2011.

Coach West: You’re welcome; all the best to the Saints this season. Take care.



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Old 05-23-2011, 03:12 PM   #2
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Good article. I have to say I really like the sound clip about special teams, the guy has some points.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:51 PM   #3
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Thumbs up... keep up the good work.

Note: When the Saints took Thomas Morstead (from SMU), many scratched their heads. Now, the Saints coaches and front office look like geniuses for that pick.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:31 PM   #4
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When the Saints took Thomas Morstead (from SMU), many scratched their heads. Now, the Saints coaches and front office look like geniuses for that pick.
Disagree completely. Two picks for the least important position on a football team, when you only have 4 picks, is hardly genius.

We could have used one of those picks for a real football player, like a Carl Nicks, or a Jahri Evans, or a Marques Colston, or even a Nate Bussey.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Disagree completely. Two picks for the least important position on a football team, when you only have 4 picks, is hardly genius.

We could have used one of those picks for a real football player, like a Carl Nicks, or a Jahri Evans, or a Marques Colston, or even a Nate Bussey.
Yeah... that Morstead guy was a completely wasted pick!

(sarcasm off)

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Old 05-23-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Stealthman View Post
Giving up 2 picks for a punter in a 4 pick draft is dumb, period. Its the least important position on any sports team on the planet.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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BUS bring it !!! Can wait to see in a Saints Uni
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:07 PM   #8
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Having a good punter is very important, on top of that he also does kick-offs. Taking him in the draft is already an A+ in my book because of the superbowl. You can also afford to draft a punter when you only have 4 picks, when the team is almost well set. Some of those picks were gone because of Shocky and Vilma. So they really did not have a 4 pick draft because they traded for those players.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:23 AM   #9
 
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We got the BUS! We got the BUS! .... can you feel TWODAT this year?
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bill randall, jerome bettis, nate bussey, new orleans saints, ron west, university of illinois

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