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Monday, September 18, 2006

Reggie Bush is overrated and here's why...

I have this long-running, usually daily, debate with Scott as to whether or not Reggie Bush is worth the hype.

He thinks Reggie is the new Marshall Faulk. I think he's Leeland McElroy or Dante Hall. Some sort of Aggie anyway. Maybe with a little Trung Canidate thrown in there.

Here's something new I was thinking of the other day, when I saw Reggie run 30 yards backward, sideways for what ultimately was a 5-yard punt return against Green Bay on Sunday: what college running back who relied mostly on his speed and moves - a home-run hitter, so to speak - truly became an every-down, successful back in the NFL?

I struggled for one beyond Faulk (1994, No. 2 overall pick to Indy). So, here's what I came up with, going all the way back to the 1990 draft: Warrick Dunn, No. 12 pick in 1997, and Garrison Hearst, No. 3 pick in 1993.

You know what those three all had in common? None of them stayed with the team that originally drafted them, meaning they were all something less than franchise building blocks. I wouldn't waste a No. 1 pick on any of them - with the exception of Faulk.

Speed is valuable asset to have, especially for a RB, but not that valuable when its essentially your best one. NFL teams work best with guys who grind out the tough yards in the 4th quarter, ones who can burn off the clock and crush the will of arm-tackling linebackers.

Reggie, of course, is none of those things.

Tell me, have I overlooked anyone in my previous list? Where am I wrong here?


Blogger Pedro Pizarro said...

"what college running back who relied mostly on his speed and moves - a home-run hitter, so to speak - truly became an every-down, successful back in the NFL?"

Have you ever heard of a guy named Gayle Sayers? Red Grange? What about Tony Dorsett? Joe Morris?
I know you young folks today act as if nothing happened before 1980, so here's another one: Barry Sanders.
More recent you ask?
That's a little harder (although I'd argue LaDainian Tomlinson fits the mold), but I think Reggie Bush will do just fine.
He doesn't have to be an every-down back thanks to Deuce McAllister, but he could be and is in some ways - when he's not returning punts or lining up in the backfield, he's split wide or in the slot as a receiver.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Joel Anderson said...

Barry Sanders was never the sort of speed demon that Bush was and is. Though all this is relative - compared to you or I, Pedro, he's positively Jesse Owens - Sanders wasn't going to beat many NFL defensive backs in a foot race.

But Sanders had magnificent feet, vision and change-of-direction skills - sort of like Bush, but without the speed.

Then again, there's only been one Barry Sanders for a reason.

So, is Bush that caliber a back? I guess the Saints think so. Either way, that sort of player is usually not worth the No. 2 pick in the draft.

(Barry Sanders won fewer playoff games than Antowain Smith or Dorsey Levens or O.J. Anderson. Gayle Sayers wasn't a postseason regular either. And would you really use a 1st round pick on, ugh, Joe Morris?)

Using today's top-dog comparison, LaDainian is a grinder, capable of carrying the ball 30-35 times a game, mostly between the tackles, wearing down defenses in the 4th quarter. He just happens to be fast.

Reggie will never be mistaken for that sort of back.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Barry Sanders ran a 4.3 40 yard dash. look at the stats and see how many long runs Barry had. over his career. Playoff games are won by teams not individual players.
Reggie Bush is sooo overrated it is not funny. He does not have starting NFL running back talent. He is also not as fast as the hype would have you believe.
He is a poor mans Eric Metcalf.
And don't kid yourself. He does not have great vision or running skils.
Please judge him by NFL not by his college career were his team was so much better than any other team.

6:51 AM  

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