ESPN's big Alaskan sled dog of a football analyst Mark "Stink" Schlereth was summoned to critique the performances after Thursday night's New Orleans Saints/Chicago Bears game. One player who didn't impress him? Reggie Bush.
This isn't surprising. Schlereth exposed a truth that's been glaringly obvious to most people who watch football: Bush is the second coming of Tecmo-era Eric Metcalf, but is still considered an elite "running back" for being a high draft pick and his pseudo-celebrity status from dating Kim Kardashian. His sprained knee came into play last night as he avoided contact, ran out of bounds, cost his team three yards and then spent the rest of the night with his arms folded on the sidelines. Hey, he tried.
But Schlereth — who's suddenly become default tell-it-like-it-is-guy on NFL Live — glowered when Neil Everett pressed him about why Bush was a non-factor last night: "Reggie Bush is not a good football player." He can't block. He can't get tough yards. He's a glorified punt returner, etc.
The problem is — Reggie Bush is a star for ESPN. So is his girlfriend. But Bush is also productive on the field, so there's plenty of reasons to put him on the air. ( Like it or not, Bush has more than 1,100 all purpose yards, 9 touchdowns this season. ) So it's a little odd that Schlereth unloaded on Bush so mercilessly last night after Bush went out with another knee injury. Here's an opinion: Schlereth's a former player — a tough one— and being forced to talk about Bush because he makes more compelling television isn't ever going to go over well. Unless Reggie Bush plays like Adrian Peterson (or even Pierre Thomas) for the rest of his career, he'll never get any respect on ESPN NFL Live segments as a football player. So to sum up: Reggie Bush: Not a good football player; great hamster caretaker.