On the radar: Reggie Bush

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

His name has been prominent in every story about the NCAA and the University of Southern California. Reggie Bush was at the center of most of the violations that brought heavy sanctions against the Trojans.

Bush says he’s devastated by what’s happened and that may provide some extra motivation for the New Orleans Saints running back on the field. But that extra motivation might not even be needed.

Bush has had nagging injuries throughout his career, but he’s telling those close to him he feels better this offseason than at any time since he came into the NFL. In a break from past years, Bush hasn’t been held out of many of the offseason workouts and appears quicker and stronger than ever.

Does that mean Bush, who came into the league as the No. 2 overall draft pick, will become a workhorse running back? No, the Saints never have viewed him that way. The Saints have have realized that’s not what Bush is and it's been a couple years since we've even heard the talk about this might being the year Bush starts running between the tackles. The Saints have concluded he's more than that type of runner. He can do that from time to time, but that's not even close to what Bush is all about.

Coach Sean Payton has a great offensive mind and he now knows how to get the most out of Bush. The playoff victory against Arizona was a prime example of that. Bush was a factor as a runner, a receiver and a punt returner.

With Pierre Thomas and Lynell Hamilton sharing the load, Bush is never going to be one of those backs who gets 25 or 30 carries a game. But the Saints have accepted that. Payton’s come to the conclusion he needs Bush to get somewhere around 10 or 15 touches.

That will keep him fresh and allow Bush to make some big plays.