Faceoff: Is the Saints Reggie Bush really a bust?

Earlena says:

Many people ask what’s the hype behind Reggie Bush? Is he still what the media made him out to be? Is he better than most NFL players when they start their careers? Some critics say that he’s not half the player he was coming out of college.

Reggie Bush entered the NFL draft where he was the second overall pick in the first round by the New Orleans Saints, after playing college football for three years at University of Southern California.

The 2005 Heisman Trophy winner played in 39 games with only 15 starts, but Bush finished 10th in NCAA Division I-A history with 6,551 all-purpose yards according to espn.com Just by those stats, I would deem him superman.

He carries the New Orleans Saints, it seems as though the team relies on Reggie for everything.

He is one the best running backs in the NFL. With limited carries, he still has managed to average 3.6 yards a carry.

At just 23 years old, Bush has posted 2,533 total yards – 1,146 rushing, 1,159 receiving and 228 on punt returns of his 15 touchdowns, he has rushed for 10, caught four and returned a punt for another.

Those numbers prove he’s been an all-purpose back on a dynamic offensive team. Bush also doesn’t turn the ball over. Bush has just five fumbles in three seasons. Not many backs can stake claim to such an accomplishment.

In his rookie season Bush had to re-adjust to the speed of the NFL game (those standstill jukes didn’t work as good anymore). Still his skills as a great receiver out of the backfield are evident. This year alone he averages over 10 yards after the catch. That’s a first down ladies and gentlemen.

He finished the 2006 season with 88 catches, the most in NFL history for a rookie running back.

Bush has also displayed some prowess beyond the field.

After the wrath of hurricane Katrina over New Orleans he donated $86,000 to resurface the field at Tad Gormley Stadium.

He also donated 12 Hummer vehicles to New Orleans state and government agencies. He also became a regional spokesman for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The fact that he gives back to the community shows that he has a good heart. Through these acts of kindness and his persistence in the game, Reggie Bush has truly proven that he is “The Man.”

Michael says:

The four letter word NFL teams and fans hate to hear is “bust.” A “bust” is a poor investment by an NFL franchise into a glorified overvalued college football player.

In 2006, Reggie Bush was one of college football’s top five running backs and a potential future hall of fame inductee, with comparisons to retired NFL great Barry Sanders.

For the University of Southern California, Bush was a human highlight reel with undeniable talent. His blazing speed, elusiveness and field rabbit footwork earned him the nickname “human joystick.”

Reggie Bush ran in, out and around defenses piling up 1,740 rushing yards and scoring 25 touchdowns as a junior at USC.

As an accolade for his accomplishments, he received the most prestigious award in college football, the Heisman Trophy.

But the glory just hasn’t been matched in the NFL.

As the second pick in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft, Bush was the new face of the New Orleans Saints franchise. During his rookie season, Bush hushed critics after he was named the player of the week in 1st and 13th week of the 2006 season.

If anyone is at fault for Reggie’s less than productive 2007 season, it’s the Saints coaching staff.

Reggie was propelled into the role as an every down back, after Deuce McAllister went down with an injury. The last time Reggie was an every down back was for his alma mater, Helix High School. Even at USC, LenDale White carried the heavy load much like Deuce did in 2006.

Bush gained 998 yards from scrimmage in 12 games last season without the electrifying flair that he flashed in college. He missed the last four regular season games due to a knee injury.

With his size, Bush is far from the workhorse the Saints portrayed him to be. He has impacted the NFL less as a running back and more as a wide receiver with 161 catches with 1,159 yards and four scores. He was advertised as a premier back, but all we have seen is a few shakes on the outside flat for a few yards.

The NFL is like Hollywood where the coaches are the directors and the players are the actors. Reggie’s’ coach must find the best big stage.