For about the past two months, all we’ve heard when talking about the New Orleans Saints’ struggling offense is how Reggie Bush is key. When Bush is back in the lineup, all their woes will be gone and they’ll be back to their 2009 form.
Yeah, unless of course everyone was overrating and over-hyping Bush as always.
One carry for one yard, one reception for 12 yards, at least one dropped pass and a lost fumble later, I would venture to say that Bush was more of a liability than an asset.
Early in the game we saw Drew Bress toss an easily-catchable ball to Bush on a swing pass. Instead of looking back for the ball, Bush looked the approaching Gerald Sensabaugh right in the face and must have seen Sheldon Brown. Bush tensed up, lost sight of the ball, and it hit him in the shoulder and landed on the ground.
Last I checked, game-changing players don’t do something like that.
Rather than give him the ball on the ground, the Saints ran Julius Jones 10 times and Chris Ivory seven times. Bush was supposed to give them a lift in the return game as well, but instead fumbled and set the Dallas Cowboys up with a short field that resulted in a touchdown.
It damn near lost them the game. Fortunately for the Saints, Brees — the real key to the offense — drove them down the field and Dave Buehler missed a field goal late that would have tied the game.
It’s not even like Bush’s injury can be used as an excuse. Outside of maybe saying the missed time hurt him, a broken leg isn’t going to be something that continues to nag at a player. Once that bone is healed, it’s even stronger than it was before and there should be no negative effects to worry about later.
The bottom line is that Bush is and has always been an overrated player. It started coming out of college when everyone was positive the Houston Texans were going to draft him. Instead, Charley Casserly drafted Mario Williams and was mocked for it.
How could he not draft the wonderboy Bush?
We all see how that’s worked out. Williams is a stud defensive end and Bush is — at best — a role player. But even as a role player he gets far too much credit. To say he was the missing piece to the Saints’ offense is ridiculous. Even before his injury, Bush had a total of seven attempts for 18 yards and nine receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown.
Again, that doesn’t sound like a game-changer.
Bush is a poor man’s Brian Westbrook, and even that is being kind. Sure, he’s athletic and is a pretty good returner, but he’s basically a guy without a position in the NFL. He’s something like Danny Woodhead (a running back/wide receiver mix), but I’d take Woodhead over Bush in a heartbeat.
Bush has good hands, but he’s afraid to make the tough catch. He’s fast, but can’t run the ball between the tackles at all and is easily stopped on the edges because of it. His pass blocking also leaves a lot to be desired.
He’s never rushed for more than 581 yards, has never scored more than six touchdowns on the ground, and has had only one season where he averaged over four yards per carry.
For as explosive as he’s supposed to be as a pass-catcher, his statistics have gone down considerably since entering the league. From 88 receptions in 2006, to 73 in 2007, to 52 in 2008, to 47 in 2009, and down to 10 this year. He also hasn’t been healthy for all 16 games since his rookie year.
Again, I ask, what about this game says game-changer?
He’s a guy who can be average at a lot of different things, but isn’t great in one area. He’s not on the level people want to put him on, and I don’t buy for a second that defenses are as afraid of Bush as the media would have us believe.
The fact is that when the lights go on, Bush is just an average player. He certainly wasn’t worth the No. 2 overall selection, he isn’t worth the almost $8 million he’s making this season, and he’s not worth the praise he receives.