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Remembering the Day Reggie Bush was Drafted by the New Orleans Saints: Fan’s Take
2006 NFL Draft
After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans residents like me didn't really care about NFL football. The hiring of new head coach Sean Payton and even the free agent signing of Drew Brees(notes) did not distract us much from the reality of what we were facing. But things changed in April of 2006.
I was out of town on business during the 2006 NFL Draft. And when I left, most people in New Orleans were not paying much attention to the NFL Draft. The only player that most of us cared about was going to be drafted with the first overall pick by the Houston Texans. But the day before the 2006 NFL Draft there were new developments.
When I got back to my hotel room on April 28, I turned on the television to see what was going on in the sports world. Words cannot express the joy and shock that I felt when it was reported that the Houston Texans were going to select Mario Williams(notes) with the first overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Instantly, I knew what that meant.
Since the 2006 NFL Draft began on a Saturday, I was able to watch most of it from my hotel room. The rumors were true. Reggie Bush was still going to be available for the New Orleans Saints who had the second pick in the NFL Draft. Then they showed a big draft party in New Orleans with hundreds of Saints fans chanting, "Reggie! Reggie!"
I started making and receiving phone calls from family and friends. I just couldn't believe it was true. Exactly eight months to the day that Katrina hit New Orleans, we received the biggest morale booster imaginable. After they drafted Reggie Bush, the New Orleans Saints entire 2006 home schedule was sold out in the offseason.
Yes, the New Orleans Saints really matter that much to us.
The rest of the New Orleans Saints 2006 NFL Draft picks
Little did we know that Reggie Bush would not be the only star to join the New Orleans Saints thanks to the 2006 NFL Draft. Future Pro Bowl players Roman Harper(notes) and Jahri Evans(notes) were the Saints' second and fourth round draft picks, respectively. And a little-known wide receiver out of Hofstra was drafted in the seventh round.
Despite the hype surrounding Reggie Bush, Marques Colston(notes) has gone on to have the best career of any of the New Orleans Saints 2006 NFL Draft picks. In five seasons, Colston has caught 369 passes for 5,097 yards and 40 touchdowns. This quiet leader is one of the greatest NFL Draft picks in New Orleans Saints history.
The 2006 NFL Draft five years later
The casual NFL fan may consider Reggie Bush a bust. But New Orleans Saints fans know better. Reggie Bush has struck fear in the hearts of opposing defensive coordinators since 2006 which has opened up Drew Brees' passing game. And Reggie Bush is always a threat as a punt returner.
In the NFL playoffs, Reggie Bush has had incredible games against the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals. And all that really matters is that Reggie Bush and others from the 2006 NFL Draft led the New Orleans Saints to the Promised Land and brought a Super Bowl victory to the Big Easy.
Five years later, the impact that Reggie Bush had on the Saints and the city of New Orleans cannot be overestimated. Reggie Bush brought a winning spirit to the Saints and New Orleans residents quickly jumped on the bandwagon. In many ways, the rebirth of New Orleans began in 2006 when the Saints drafted Reggie Bush.
"New Orleans Saints Draft History," pro-football-reference.com
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