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Sunday, September 7, 2008
Rapid Reaction: New Orleans 24, Tampa 20

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

NEW ORLEANS -- What the New Orleans Saints did with Reggie Bush on Sunday was what they should have done with him the last two years.

Instead of asking Bush to be a feature back, they simply let him be Reggie Bush. Yes, Bush started at running back and he even carried between the tackles a few times.

But the Saints didn't limit Bush by using him as a traditional running back and that's smart because Bush isn't a traditional running back. Remember all the spectacular things he did in college at USC?

He did some of that again Sunday and it's because the Saints let him. They lined him up all over the place -- in the backfield and as a wide receiver. As a pure running back, Bush's numbers were very ordinary. He carried 14 times for 51 yards.

But Bush, who also handled punt returns, was far from ordinary. He was the heart of an offense that, at times, confused a very good Tampa Bay defense. That happened because of Bush's versatility and the Saints' decision not to pigeonhole him.

Bush had eight catches for 112 yards and his 42-yard touchdown catch will make all the highlight films. On that play, Bush lined up in the backfield, circled to the right and caught a short pass in stride from Drew Brees. Bush then turned on the speed and the moves we saw at USC and eluded several Tampa Bay defenders.

It all showed what Bush can be when the Saints just let him be Reggie Bush.