— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 1, 2022
Reggie Bush has put together a nice career for himself in television on the FOX Sports college football pregame show each week, and on Thursday night he was on the scene in West Lafayeete, Ind. for a season-opening tilt between the Purdue Boilermakers and the visiting Penn State Nittany Lions. And who would be in front of cameras with him if not one of Purdue’s most famous NFL alums: Bush’s old New Orleans Saints teammate Drew Brees?
The pair chopped it up in previewing the game and reminiscing on their time together in New Orleans, with Bush getting a dig in at Brees’ expense for one of the most infamous moments in his NFL career. That was when he was absolutely bulldozed by a Philadelphia Eagles defender in their 2006 divisional round playoff game, resulting in an incomplete pass on the Saints’ opening drive and a very painful collision for the then-rookie running back.
And Brees owned up to it, crediting Bush for bouncing back from such a tough hit to not only stay in the game, but later give as good as he got with some highlights, scoring a critical touchdown run in the tight 27-24 contest. He was all smiles in looking back on how the defense, for once, got the better of him.
Brees broke down the play, gushing about its design and execution — and taking the blame for not responding as he should have, saying, “Alright Sheldon Brown (on the hit), right? Great corner. (Then-Eagles defensive coordinator) Jim Johnson, they brought zone pressure but they rolled the cloud corner behind it. So I didn’t see that. Our hot answer was the wide route.”
He watched Bush get leveled by the tackle again on replay and grinned, “Boy, you took it like a champ, look at you.” Then he and Bush shifted gears to bring up another play later in the game when Philadelphia went back to that same pressure look — but this time Brees burned them, going vertical instead of horizontal to pick up a first down. Bush added that the drive ended in a score, and the two former pros exchanged a dynamite high-five in recapping their playoff victory.
Honestly it’s everything we wanted to see out of Brees in his brief stint with NBC Sports last year. He was energized, insightful, and comfortable sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with his old teammate. Maybe, like their former coach Sean Payton, he’s best suited to work in a more casual setting like this than the buttoned-up NBC studios. It’s certainly an interesting contrast from the at-times hesitant Brees we saw providing color commentary in games a year ago. His next career move remains unclear (he was reported to be in talks with Amazon’s NFL coverage team earlier in the summer), but bright moments like this should continue to keep No. 9 on broadcasters’ radar.