Is Saints Handling Of Bush Justified?
Sean Payton talked to Reggie Bush on Friday, one day after selecting running back Mark Ingram in the first round of the NFL draft. With a crowded backfield that includes Ingam, Bush, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory, Coach Payton wanted to talk to Reggie about his vision for him in the future. John DeShazier rips that decision in an article he wrote for the Times Picayune and nola.com. Check it out below, followed by more blogging from Scott.
As in, the team miserably failed in its dealings with Reggie Bush. Specifically, it fell down on the job when, after making a trade and drafting running back Mark Ingram in the first round, it wasted time stroking the ego and easing the apparently hurt feelings of the most famous part-time, situational player in franchise history.
The Saints successfully can function without Bush, a fact the team has had to prove time and again during his frequent trips to the trainer's room and surgeon's table. So if his psyche is so fragile that he can't fathom competition, and if the economic value he has placed on himself exceeds the $2 million or so (plus incentives) that the Saints should offer him when a new collective bargaining agreement is negotiated, then he should be given the freedom to find another franchise, and he should hope that team similarly will work overtime to find a niche for him.
In short, the Saints should tell him to climb aboard or kick rocks.
Wow. John is holding nothing back. As a journalist writing an opinion column, he has every right to express his own. There is a bit of confusion regarding a tweet Reggie Bush sent out the night Mark Ingram was drafted 28th overall by his team. The tweet read, "It's been fun New Orleans." The same night, the New Orleans Hornets were eliminated from the NBA playoffs. Bush sits courtside for many Hornet games and is openly a fan of the fleur-de-bees. Bush has never commented what he was referencing in his tweet. However, judging by Sean Payton's Friday phone call to Bush, along with Drew Brees' comments regarding Reggie, it's becoming more evident Bush's tweet was a reaction to the Saints drafting of Ingram.
I agree with John on several points. If Bush's feelings were hurt, whoop-dee-do. The NFL is a business, one that has been very generous to Reggie Bush. His financial compensation after 5 years far exceeds many players who have been far more productive.
However, if Sean Payton felt like he needed to talk to Reggie and explain what he envisions Bush doing for the team in the future, I have no issues with it. This is where John and I disagree. In his book, and in various interviews, Payton explained how important it is for a Coach to know the personalities of all his players. Once a Coach does, he knows which "buttons to push." Find me a current, or former Saint that is critical of Sean Payton. Anyone? I didn't think so. Payton knows how to speak to each of his players. If he wants to call Reggie Bush after drafting Mark Ingram, far be it for me to criticize him.