When Reggie Bush was traded away by the New Orleans Saints — once they were unable to reach a long term deal with the former USC star — everyone seemed to have an opinion about what the Saints and Reggie would do after the split.
Could New Orleans find a versatile player maker to replace him? Could Bush handle an increased work load as a full time running back? Would the Saints offense suffer without Bush’s presence — whetther decoy or not — on the field.
A season later we know all the answers to these questions — the answer is yes.
New Orleans offense was never hotter than they where last season. Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s passing yardage record, and they bested the offensive marks of the “Greatest Show on Turf” by a wide margin.
In Bush’s place the Saints signed Darren Sproles, and not only did he fit in perfectly with the offense, he performed better than Bush ever had in his five seasons with the team.
Sproles broke the NFL record for single season all-purpose yards, amassing 2,696 total yards while accounting for 10 total touchdowns. (603 rushing yards, 710 receiving yards, 1,089 kick return yards, 294 punt return yards)
Meanwhile Bush went on to enjoy the best season of his pro career in Miami.
He had 216 rushing attempts, far more than his high with the Saints of 157, totaling 1,086 rushing yards while averaging a respectable five yards a carry with six rushing touchdowns.
Bush also caught 43 passes for 296 yards and one receiving touchdown.
In comparison Bush never rushed for more than 585 yards in New Orleans.
So Bush got what he wanted, an increased work load and an opportunity to be a number one back — something the Saints could not offer him.
He proved he could stay healthy for an entire season, and he also proved he can be productive as an every down running back.
Reggie also has his sights set on the NFL rushing title after declaring on a recent radio interview that he intended to lead the league in rushing yardage this season.
Reggie will also a chance get to showcase his talents on the big screen as the Dolphins just agreed to be the next team to appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
South Beach has been good to Bush, but the Saints were better than ever without him.
Sometimes change is a good thing.