There are few plays that are more exciting in the NFL than a punt or kick-off return for a touchdown. These breathtaking moments can change one team’s momentum and deflate the other team’s morale just as quickly.
Having a serious play-maker on special teams like a Reggie Bush is key, he has the ability to keep fans glued to the screen every time the ball is kicked in his direction.
Last year people started screaming that Reggie Bush hasn’t lived up to all of the hype surrounding him coming out of the draft in 2006. In fact just the opposite is true about Bush, when he’s healthy and on the field, most defenses are keyed in on where he is at all times.
It really doesn’t matter if he’s in the back field, lined up as a slot receiver or as punt returner, teams go out of their way to shadow him in an effort to keep the ball out of his hands.
If a defense fails respect his presence on the field, then they just may be looking at his number 25 jersey from behind as he crosses the goal line.
I think the Saints should move Bush to return kick return, not just punts in 2011, he is a specialty player that can help the Saints in so many ways and it’s high team the Saints play to his strength to produce electric returns.
Running Bush out of the backfield up the middle 20-25 times a game is not how to utilize his skills, Sean Payton knows that also.
The Saints will leave Bush as a specialty player coming out on swing passes and dump off’s, but should add kick-off returner to his resume and pay him accordingly.
Last year the Saints were ranked 31st in kickoff returns , with 52 returns for 1181 yards, for an average of 22.7 , with the longest return for 39 yards.
In 2009 the Saints were ranked 26th with 57 returns for 1393 yards for an average of 24.4 yards, with the longest being 97 yards.
Some of these numbers are due to injuries to players like return man Courtney Roby, and a few other players, but having Bush returning every punt and kickoff will leave most Saints opponents no choice but to put the ball in his hands.