Jim Henderson / Sports Director
There is a growing belief the Saints could part ways with Reggie Bush, that they would part ways with Reggie Bush; the belief here is that they should part ways with Reggie Bush.
He’s been in the NFL five seasons and has only been healthy enough to play 16 games in his first. Is he going to get healthier and say healthier now, and hereafter?
In too many big games, he’s had too little impact. The wildcard loss to Seattle was too typical of his disappearance. With the team decimated at running back, he gains 12 yards on five carries. He catches five passes for 37 yards, including a crucial drop of what should have been a touchdown early.
He leaves the game before its end with yet another injury.
Like an aging stripper on Bourbon Street long ago, he teases you with glimpses of his talents but he never fully delivers what your customers want to see.
For every one play that makes you see, “Who else could do that?” there are at least 10 plays that have you say, “Who else couldn’t do that?”
Last season he failed to score a single rushing touchdown. One hundred runners in the NFL scored more. He scored one touchdown as a receiver. Fifty receivers in the NFL scored more. He failed to score a touchdown as a punt returner. Ten punt returners scored more.
He averaged 6.6 yards per return. 51 punt returners averaged more.
His longest run of the season was 23 yards, his longest reception was 20. His run was the third longest on the team, his pass reception was the tenth longest.
We are constantly told of his value to the Saints offense as a decoy. If you’re sitting in a duck blind, what’s of more value to you – a decoy, or a reliable Labrador that shows up every day to hunt.
If I’m the Saints, I low ball Reggie Bush to bring him back on a renegotiated contract. When he goes elsewhere for more – as he will, you can say, “We wanted to keep him In the worst way, but couldn’t match the offer.”
Leave it to others to discover how great the disparity was between the two.
Don’t worry about one day’s worth of criticism the day after over his selection as the second pick in the draft in this regime’s first.
That was five years ago. You have proven your worth as a solid evaluator of talent on countless other occasions since.
You don’t have to defend him as a bust. He never was. He was just never the boom that you, he and we all expected.