Where's the magic? (Photo Source)
When reading this article from The Advocate yesterday, this portion struck me and I got to a-thinkin'.
As for returns, Payton said Reggie Bush will be involved as a punt returner, something he was limited in last year after Deuce McAllister was lost to a knee injury and Bush became a bigger part of the running game.
We really haven't seen Reggie return punts since the 2006 season because of that fateful Monday night in week four last year. He moved up to the number one spot at running back, thus making it too risky to use him in the return game.
Reggie's inability last year to fill the shoes only Deuce could wear was disappointing to say the least. The possibility exists that Bush may never be a between the tackles type runner. The talk then turns to the question, "How will Reggie Bush contribute to the Saints this season?"
The talk this offseason among fans has been to use him exclusively on quick outs, screen passes and pitches. Even lining him up at full blown wideout. It seems the return game has been overlooked however. This is where Reggie Bush will find his niche. Let's not forget how he scored the first NFL touchdown of his career. If you don't know, look it up. It was awesome. I was right there.
We know Reggie has amazing speed and the ability to make some mind blowing jukes and fake outs. Though everyone seems to be a little down on him, remember why we drafted him and those flashes of brilliance he displayed in 2006. Give him some space and time and he can be dangerous. Punt's and kickoff's(they should look into it) will allow him those opportunities. Running through the tackles requires incredibly quick decision making ability. Reggie seemed to lack those abilities; freezing, running and dancing in place. Though not on every kick, by handling punts he will have a chance to see the play develop and start in open space; the perfect situation for a player with Reggie's skill set.
Devin Hester has proven that special teams can change or takeover a game. We saw it first hand last season. He has revolutionized the position and now every opposing coach must account for him. It is fast becoming a position of importance and last year the Saints were a non factor in special teams. Ask coach Payton.
“We have to get our return game going; we really haven’t been very effective in two years in that, be it kickoff return or punt return,”
Why can't Reggie Bush make the same impact? We know he has the skills. If the Saints allow him to consistently return punts, he can and should be able to make a Devin Hester-like impact. For those of us wondering in what capacity Reggie could best serve the team this year, the answer may have been right under our noses. Ain't it always in the last place you look?
Is this how Reggie will make his impact this year? What do you think?