Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Reggie Bush: 'I still have a lot to prove'
By Lynn Hoppes
Free agent running back Reggie Bush says he has a lot of football left in him.
"He's a name, but at this stage in his career, he's a third-down guy."
That's Bill Polian's comment about free-agent running back Reggie Bush in his Insider column for ESPN.com. Polian spent 24 years as general manager in the NFL and won the NFL executive of the year six times, so he knows the game.
Tuesday is the first day of free agency, and Bush, 28, is hoping to land a big payday and a big opportunity to play.
He had a stellar career in college at USC and was the second overall pick of the 2006 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. He was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2011 and became a free agent a few weeks ago.
Bush, who has rushed for more than 4,000 yards and caught 2,500 yards, so far hasn't been satisfied with his career.
"Honestly, I still feel I have a lot to prove," the 6-foot, 200-pound running back told Playbook exclusively. "I have a lot of football left in me."
Playbook had a few minutes with Bush to talk about football, family and his love of soccer.
You seem pretty calm about free agency.
"I think so. It definitely helps that I'm older and more mature and I understand the situation. I know it's the business side of football. I'm definitely at peace with it. It's one of those things you can be a little uneasy about. It's all about the element of the unknown. It's my first time being a free agent. I'm kind of excited, and I'm kind of nervous. And I'm uneasy all at the same time. I know it's part of the game. I need to see where I'll end up. It's a nature of the beast. I know that I have mentally go through this. Everyone in sports goes through this in some form."
"We're going to sit down and hash it out with my agent before making any decision. I'll meet with the coaches and we'll go through the whole process with any team. It definitely does matter where I'll end up. I don't want to go anywhere blind. I want to know what I'm getting into and check out the facilities and see how I'll be used."
What do you hope to accomplish with your new team?
"I have to remember all the little things I've learned to help me be successful. That's running for yards. That's catching the ball. That's being solid in pass protection. I think I still have a lot to prove to see where I'll end up. I'm obviously going to give 110 percent. That means all of me."
To take a break from the stress, I heard you and your brother, Javon Griffin, were in Madrid for some soccer. What was that like?
"It was good. I really enjoyed it. In fact, my little brother probably enjoyed it more than I did. We're big soccer fans. It was kind of cool to experience a different sport in a different environment. We also got to meet some of the players. They showed us a good time. The atmosphere there in the stadium reminded me of a college football game. The energy level was so high. In one section, none of the people sat down. They were doing coordinated chants, and they would yell and the other side of the stadium would yell. It was like seeing a college student section."
And you have a baby on your way with your girlfriend, Lilit Avagyan. So you have a lot on your mind these days.
"I'm very excited. It couldn't have come at a better time. One of the greatest gifts you can give is bringing a child into this world. I'm excited and nervous. I feel it's a lot like free agency. At the end of the day, it's going to make me a better person and a better man."
You seem in a good place mentally.
"I'm in a better place these days. Everything happens for a reason. I never look back and have regrets. Those things that happened helped shape and mold who I am today. That's better or worse. It made me who I am now."
I assume your only regret is doing reality TV with your ex-girlfriend Kim Kardashian.
"Well, yes. You can say that. I won't be doing any reality TV any time soon."