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Wednesday, 25 May 2011 13:52
New Orleans Saints: Bush, Ingram, Will Smith, Manning, Greg Williams
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Drew BreesBelieve it or sneer, but new Saints running back Mark Ingram wants Reggie Bush to remain with the team despite his presence makes Bush expendable.

But such is the case. Ingram and Bush have known each other for a couple of years and have talked about having two Heisman Trophy winners in the same backfield.  They were even on the same flight to Los Angles last week. Ingram was in LA to be interviewed on Friday night's "Total Access" on NFL Network.

"I'm really looking forward to being in the same backfield as Reggie and on the same team," said Ingram during the interview. "Definitely we want him with us. I think it would be nothing but an advantage for our team to have an explosive guy like him in our offense.

"Everybody still want him. He's congratulated me and has given me positive advice. He's always been good to me."

Bush initially appeared resigned to the fact that he wouldn't be back in New Orleans after the Saints traded up in the draft to get Ingram. But then he backed off that stance and said he wanted to retire as a Saint.

As much as Ingram's addition to a backfield that includes Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory could be reason for Bush to leave, the $11.8 million salary owed him this season is still an issue. Both sides have agreed that they will have the contract re-worked after the lockout The Saints figure about $4 million would be fair.

The Saints went through nine running backs last season and that hurt quarterback Drew Brees' offense quite a bit.  Brees will be quick to tell you an NFL team needs three running backs and that Bush and Ingram are two different types of backs.

Ingram runs low, doesn't fumble, and can get the short-yardage through the middle and keep the opposition's defense on the field late in games, giving the Saints defense a rest.

Bush likes to be in space where he can use his speed and elusiveness to make big plays. At one point last season. Bush had caught 19 of 19 passes from Brees.

If the money matters can be worked out, the odds are better than 50-50 Bush will be back and that's OK with just about everyone.


Gregg Williams

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes players who can play more than one position in his defenses and he has that guy in first-round draft choice Cameron Jordan.

"Cam has great versatility, and he will be able to do a lot of different things

that we've been doing defensively in the past and what we've been working to expand this season," said Williams. "He gives you that ability to play hard against the run, but we can move him inside on passing downs.

"He can play right and left. It's something where he isn't pigeonholed in any one position.

SOME hither, others yon: Saints defensive end Will Smith probably will miss the four games  this season for ingesting "Starcaps" four years ago. The NFL hasn't forgotten the suspensions that were handed out, but delayed by court rulings. The players are out of appeals. Vikings defensive linemen  Kevin and Pat Williams also will be suspended for four games...Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins delivered the commencement speech at the Thurgood Early College  High School on Monday...

As the lockout continues with no end in sight -- unless the Eighth Circuit -- lifts it. keep in mind tht the two sides really aren't that far apart. If the lockout isn't lifted, the players' first order of business should be to respond to the March 11 offer. Until that happens there's simply no hope for football to be played in August, September or beyond...

The lockout is hurting rookies' chances of contributing much this season. The need field time with coaches to understand the terms of where they should play from play to play. Older players can help some, but this is a business and they have jobs to protect. The rookies will help on special teams before inserted into the lineups early...Parting thought: Experience is something you get after you need it...

SOME hither, others yon: Peyton Manning underwent a "minimally invasive: procedure on Monday to fix a disc-related issue in his neck. It's the second surgery to the Colts quarterback in the past 15 months. Manning believes this recovery will be quick and he'll be ready when football activities resume...Heisman Trophy winners Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart earned USC $18 million in jersey and sports merchandise sales during the college careers...Price for NFL replica jerseys now cost $84.99. They were $79,99 before the lockout. What better way to run a business during a work stoppage than to raise prices?...The NFL symposium for 254 rookies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a casualty of the lockout...

The crux of the dispute relates to money, especially because the non-economical terms offered by the NFL on March 11 contains very favorable provisions for players...

by Ed Staton

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