In the NFL, the holes will close quicker, the defenders will hit harder, opponents won't regularly have inferior talent. The NFL's season, including exhibitions, is about twice as long as a college season."
Bush enjoyed running behind, when he did actually rush the football his dozen carries a game, a huge and seasoned O-line at USC. He ran against a conference opponents that wouldn't have won 2 games if they were playing in the SEC.
They said the exact, and I do mean exact same things about Tomlinson. DO you realize that many "draft experts" had Tomlinson rated as a mid-round pick up until the final months before the draft. I recall throughout the 2000 college football season that Tomlinson was said to be a good runner, but because he is playing in the WAC at TCU, his production has to be adjusted. I believed much of this talk in my naivete, then finally got to see LT play in his bowl game that year, and I was blown away. He wasn't just good, he was great. So all that talk of James Jackson, LaMont Jordan, Deuce McAllister, MIchael Bennett, etc. being better players was just a crock to me.
I've been scouting the draft and the NFL off and on since 2001 Draft (same one as Vick & LT). And in my experience, I've discovered that the RB position is the easiest one to scout. It really only takes 2 skills to be a top RB in the NFL: 1) Vision and 2) Acceleration. It's why Jerome Bettis at age 33 was still a better runner than T.J. Duckett at 25, because Bettis still had great vision and acceleration. It's why Duckett has never ascended to that level, because when he came into the league, those 2 aspects were his weakest areas. It's why Warrick Dunn has been able to have a relatively long NFL career despite being tiny and 30 pounds underweight by NFL standards because has oustanding vision and acceleration.
This means Bush will be another Brian Westbrook dude. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it,...but Bush ain't gonna be running between the tackles.
Bush is solid in between the tackles. He reminds me of Tiki Barber when it comes to his in between the tackles running.
IMO, Bush's progression through the past 3 years has been outstanding. He began his career as a guy that was more return threat than running threat. It's why when Bush was being lauded 2 or so years ago, I wasn't on the bandwagon. IMO, at that time, LenDale White was clearly the better RB. Why? Because IMO, White was tougher, and he seemed to have a better package of vision & acceleration out of the backfield. But Bush this past year has turned into a truly complete RB. He runs tough inside the tackles. Perhaps you may wonder why Bush is so hyped coming out of college, when you perhaps don't see all that is special in him. Well, I'll try to explain it from my perspective. Bush's vision and acceleration IMO are as polished as any college runner I've ever seen, and I've only been paying close attention for 5 or so years. And factor in that I thought very highly of Tomlinson when he was coming into the league and I've believed for the past 5 years that LT has been the best back in the league, since he came in just as Marshall Faulk's career took a dip. And I'm sure that other "experts" will go back even further, perhaps to the 80s, which is why Bush is so often compared with guys like Sanders and Sayers, rather than Dunn, Barber, Westbrook, and Faulk. Because he outshines his contemporaries when it comes to his abilities at such a young age. And to think all 4 of those current backs I compared him to were outstanding in college. All that to me indicates why Bush is going to be a very very very good, if not great NFL player. Barring injury or off-field issues in the same mold as Ki-Jana Carter or Lawrence Phillips, Bush is going to be very very good. Whether that means he winds up with a HOF career, that's hard to say.
And then ya gotta study the new coaching staff for the Aints Pudge. Guess what they're gonna do man? They plan to have Bush and Duece both in the backfield at the same time,...just like a writer for the AJ&C suggested the Falcons should've done when the Falcons acquired Dunn then drafted Duckett. This means Bush will be another Brian Westbrook dude. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it,...but Bush ain't gonna be running between the tackles.
Yes, I've studied the Aints coaching staff. They are led by offensive coaches that have worked with Charlie Garner, Eddie George, Tiki Barber, Julius Jones, Curtis Martin, Ricky Watters, and Duce Staley, and Rodney Hampton. So IMO, they are going to know how to use Reggie Bush effectively, because they've worked with every type of RB there is. They're going to mold that football team around the abilities of Reggie Bush. Up front, instead of the Jermane Mayberrys and Montrae Hollands that the previous Saints caoching staff preferred, they'll be getting more of the Jammal Browns and Jeff Faine type blockers. If you ask me, Deuce McAllister will no longer be a Saint in 2008, perhaps even 2007. And like it was with the Falcons, Deuce & Reggie in the backfield together is going to be uncommon. The writing is on the wall for Deuce McAllister, just as it was when they had Ricky Williams and drafted Deuce. He's gone within 2 years. So this notion of Bush being a situational back is probably only to last a month or so, even with his holdout.
Deuce is not back from his injury. When the season starts he'll only be 11 months after recovery. Remember how limited Jamal was 9 and 10 months back from his ACL tear during the training camp of 2000? That gives Bush enormous opportunity to run away with the starting job. But a holdout hurts those chances. But let's say Bush does hold out and gives Deuce a chance to win his starting gig again. Deuce is coming off an injury that takes 18 months before the players is really back into older form. So that means Deuce is going to be playing this entire year at less than 100%. And also considering that I don't believe the Saints will be winning a ton of football games this year, also will favor Bush heavily. I believe the Saints will probably only win 5 or 6 games this year, and with such a likely slow start, the coaching staff will receive pressure to get Bush longer and better looks. So perhaps we may be saved from Reggie in September, but I suspect by November and December, he'll be the lead rusher.
Maybe I should summarize by saying that there is a very good reason why Reggie Bush is the most hyped prospect since Michael Vick. The writer indicates he doesn't quite believe in saviors, well he should look no further than No. 7 here in Atlanta. Now, I don't believe Bush is going to "save the region." That region of the U.S.'s problems far exceed anything that football can fix. But he's going to save football in the town of New Orleans. He'll be a welcome distraction to the people of that region, who don't have a lot to look forward to but at least for the next few years can look forward to Sunday afternoons.