Jeff Duncan at the New Orleans Times-Picayune points out that Bush is getting the ball about half as much this year as he has in past years. Head coach Sean Payton was asked if Bush is being phased out of the offense.
"No, not at all, " Payton said. "He's a big threat for us, a guy that we want to get the ball to and we continue to get the ball to."
So he says, but it seems like Bush is just redundant for the Saints this year.
If they want to pound the ball on the ground, they can do that with Mike Bell or Pierre Thomas. No longer do they have to find a way to get Bush to bell out in space, in lieu of an actual running game. If they want to air it out, they've got Jeremy Shockey(notes) underneath, Marques Colston(notes) out wide, and a host of others who are made dangerous by the presence of Brees. Dumping the ball off to Bush as a supplement to the passing game isn't really necessary, either.
So where does that leave him? Well, it leaves him with fewer than 10 touches in each of the Saints' last three games.
None of this is meant with any disrespect towards Bush. By this point, I think we've all accepted that he'll never be a prototypical NFL workhorse back, but I'm still of the opinion that he's a talented guy with a skill set that can help an NFL team.
There's just not a lot of room for him to contribute with the Saints, because they do everything else so well. For the Saints, having Bush is like carrying around a calculator when you've got an iPhone.