Gold Rush: Saints May Have Finally Hit The Jackpot With Bush

By Eric Williams
Updated: May 2, 2006

PHILADELPHIA –As the old saying goes, ‘Who would’ve ever thunk it?’

When the New Orleans were last seen, they were hoping (praying?) that the nightmare that was the 2005 season, would mercifully, come to an end.

Now bolstered by the free agent signing of Pro Bowl caliber quarterback, Drew Brees and all-world talent running back, Reggie Bush, the Sainta are looking like a team that could be nearly as explosive as any team in the NFC.

As another old maxim goes. ‘What a difference a year makes?’

In Brees, the Saints got a talented quarterback, who is still relatively young and who is coming off the best two years of his career. Whatever possessed the San Diego Chargers to part ways with Brees is beyond me but that’s their problem. Lord knows I have enough of my own.

At any rate, by acquiring Bush through the draft, to go along with Brees, instantly gives the Saints the ability to move the ball through both, the air and on the ground. And what did the Saints do to have Bush fall in their laps at numer two? Absolutely nothing at all.

The team picking ahead of them, the Houston Texans, surprisingly decided to take gifted defensive lineman, Mario Williams, who could one day be either the next Reggie White or Lawrence Taylor.

Whatever the case for the Texans, it looks like this offseason will finally signal the end of an ignominious era of mediocrity and the beginning of a new mentality in New Orleans that hasn’t been seen since former head coach Jim Mora packed his bags and left the Big Easy quite a few years ago.

I believe Bush, is the next great running back to grace the NFL. Every now and then, the league is graced with the presence of a player so special that he has “Can’t Miss” written all over him. Reggie Bush is that player.

The 6-0, 203-pound Heisman Trophy winner plays with a style that is eerily similar to the great Gale Sayers and will provide Brees with one of the league’s best dump-off options out of the backfield.

New head coach, Sean Payton, said the thought of passing on Bush never crossed the minds of any of the Saints front office personnel. “We feel strongly about him, on and off the field,” Payton said.

“He’s someone that I know gives us a lot of flexibility. There’ll be the ability for us to put he and Deuce in same backfield. There will be a lot of questions. … It’s a good problem to have.”

“He’s lightning on the field. Obviously we’re excited to have him just as the fans are,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis added. “He stands out to everyone. I think that’s self-evident. It seems like every game’s a highlight reel for him.”

If the Saints were surprised by the Texans’ surprising move, they weren’t letting on too much. “We were a little surprised (by the Texans’ move). I wouldn’t say shocked,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said. “Mario Williams is a good player. We think a lot of him. I don’t think Houston deserves any criticism for that.”

Payton summed up the drafting of Bush – and the new mentality he is trying to establish in New Orleans – by saying, “These are investments you have to make, to win football games in the fall.”

If the Saints keep going the way they are right now, the fall may not be the only time of year they’re winning games.