Let me get this out-of-the-way right now. I know two good things about Reggie Bush that are not at all mediocre:
- He’s a Super Bowl champion. Nothing wrong with that.
- He’s one of the greatest college football players of all time. I fully admit this.
Bush has been a disappointment as a pro running back and can only be described as mediocre. His fans will site his athleticism and speed. Others will defend Bush by saying that he has great hands and is a real threat as a receiver out of the backfield. I will contend that the NFL is full of great athletes. They are everywhere. As for the hands out the backfield, isn’t the same thing true out of most third-down backs. I know the guy is young, but seriously, he looks a hell of a lot like a third down back in the NFL. Reggie Bush is not a feature, first string running back.
When the Houston Texans selected Mario Williams over Bush in the 2006 NFL Draft, many crushed the Texans for “passing on the next Barry Sanders.” As a Barry Sanders fan, I knew that statement was crazy. However, I did think that Bush would be an All Star. It hasn’t played out that way. Williams has grown into a force in Houston while Bush has never rushed for 600 yards in a single season.
Since coming into the NFL, Bush has rushed for 1,940 yards, a tick below 500 yards a season. In that four year span, LaDainian Tomlinson has rushed for over 5,000 yards, ditto for Thomas Jones. In fact, over that time period thirty-eight (38) NFL players have rushed for more yards than Reggie Bush. Here are some of the all-world running backs that have managed to pick up more rushing yards than one of the NFLs “most exciting players”:
- DeShaun Foster
- Maurice Morris
- Justin Fargas
- Cedric Benson
- Ryan Grant
- Rudi Johnson
- Matt Forte (in only 2 seasons)
Fans of Bush will point to the fact that he’s a terrific receiver, which is true. However, to balance things out, I’ll look at total yards (rushing and receiving) to see where Mr. Bush ranks amongst the NFLs best running backs.
Bush gets a pretty big bump up the list because of his 1,934 yards receiving. However, it’s not enough bump him out of the mediocre territory. Since the start of the 2006 season, 19 other running back have more yards from scrimmage than Reggie. Some of those players include:
- Chester Taylor
- Ronnie Brown
- Larry Johnson
- Willis McGahee
- Marion Barber
All of the guys ahead of Bush on this list are pretty good players. I just think that when you can point to this many players that are more productive than one individual, that player (Bush in this case) cannot possibly be considered a star. Yet, Bush gets plenty of publicity around the league and has one of the best selling jersey’s in the game. What exactly is it about this guy that makes him so damn popular? It cannot be what he does on the field, but cause that would make absolutely no sense.
Bush was obviously the running back chosen in the 2006 Draft. While comparing Bush over the past four years to other RBs who may have more seasoning could be considered unfair, here are some other running backs chosen along with Reggie in the 2006 Draft:
- Reggie Bush 2nd: 1,940 rush yards 28 TDs
- Laurence Maroney 21st: 2,430 rush yards, 22 TDs
- DeAngelo Williams 27th: 3,850 rush yards, 36 TDs
- Joseph Addai 30th: 3,525 rush yards, 43 TDs
- LenDale White 45th: 2,349 rush yards, 24 TDs
- Maurice Jones-Drew 60th: 3,924 rush yards, 54 TDs
By looking at the results, one could argue that Bush is the worst running back on this list and at the very best, he’s the 4th best back from the 2006 draft class. Quite frankly, Bush is more of a celebrity than a football player. He’s best known for who he is dating and for doing a shit-ton of illegal stuff while at USC. I’ll take results over tabloid headlines any day. Take that, Reggie Bush!