new orleans sports scuttlebutt 6-16-09

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Many are questioning whether or not the Saints can maintain their offensive fire power with Reggie Bush in the backfield. The second overall pick in 2006,Bush  barely cracked the list of the top 99 players in the NFL. Still, it can be argued, and I'm sure it will be, that he's is actually underrated.

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Calm down angry mob, put your pitch forks away for a second. Sure as a running back Bush has been, mercifully put, a bust. In three seasons he's averaged only 3.7 yards a carry. He's never made it through a season without being injured. And in short yardage situations, well he's often come up short. However, Bush's impact shouldn't be measured by the aggregate, but rather in the heart attacks he gives opposing fans, players, and even coaches every time he touches the ball.

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Bush has 24 touch downs in 38 games-four of which came off of punt returns.  He's an integral part of the Saints' passing game, as a decoy and a receiver and  with over seven yards a catch he's a nightmare match up for most linebackers. At any given moment he has to be accounted for, because at any given moment he can't put points on the board.

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Just ask the Minnesota Vikings, who were foolish enough to punt to Bush three times in what turned out to be one of the most spectacular displays of agility and speed you'll ever see. Bush finished that game with two touchdowns off of punt returns. His first was for 71 yards and his second was for 64 and if not for one unfortunate misstep he would have almost certainly had three.

The Saints somehow managed to find a way to lose that game 30-27, but not before Bush had secured his spot as one of the most dynamic and dangerous players in the NFL. Look, lets face it, not every one is gonna be an Adrian Peterson or LaDainian Tomlinson-those guy are just freaks and even they don't return punts.

The days of one guy carrying the ball thirty plus times are over. The NFL is and has been tandem back league for a while now. Just look at the 07 Giants and their model for success with Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, and Derrick Ward. We all know how that ended. Like it or not guys like Bush and the Eagles Brian Westbrookare the prototype for what will soon be the norm for the NFL- backs who can line up at receiver, return punts, and occasionally even squeeze in a few runs. The bottom lne is the Saints knew what they were getting when they drafted Bush and it wasn't and an every down back-and their just fine with that.

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