The Reggie Bush that showed up for the Saints on Saturday in their playoff game against the Cardinals was unlike any other Reggie Bush we had ever seen. This Reggie Bush ran north-to-south, into tacklers, and over tacklers in a physical style. This Reggie Bush sought contact and played with the aggressive, inspired style we’re used to seeing from guys like Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew. Combining the new attitude with Reggie’s speed and shiftiness yielded a dynamite MVP-type performance from Bush. So what was the cause of the new play? Some inspiration provided by coach Sean Payton in the form of an inscribed Saints baseball bat that Bush carried with him onto the field:
[The bat] was a present from head coach Sean Payton. Every player got one during a team meeting on Friday. Payton had these words emblazoned on the barrel of each bat:
“Saints vs. Cardinals. Jan. 16, 2009.”
“Bring The Wood!”
Bush said after the game that the message on the bat fired him up: “Just like the bat said, ‘Bring the wood!’ I brought the bat out because it represented to me who we are and who we were going to be today.” While it’s somewhat sad to think that Reggie needed a pep talk and inspirational bat to finally play with a physical style after nearly four years in the league, I’m glad that Bush finally figured things out. Now the challenge will be to keep that attitude up for an entire season. If he can, then he’ll be closer to living up to his hype entering the draft in ’06.
By the way, anyone else think Sean Payton got the idea from John Harbaugh? Just a thought …