FanDuel - WFBC

November 13, 2006

Mario Williams is no Sam Bowie: Now that Reggie Bush has given a game away, will people admit that maybe he wasn't such a slam dunk top pick?

posted by justgary to football at 02:56 PM - 33 comments

Umm, no, he was still a slam dunk first pick. He is playing behind a Pro Bowl back and hasn't yet learned to be patient and let things materialize. Mario Williams isn't that great himself if we are judging now. He isn't really being talked about as the Defensive Rookie of the Year when there are plenty of other good candidates out there. Further, the Texans have Wali freakin' Lundy as their feature back. I find it hard to believe that the Texans wanted that when they passed on Bush.

posted by bperk at 03:20 PM on November 13

Further, the Texans have Wali freakin' Lundy as their feature back. I find it hard to believe that the Texans wanted that when they passed on Bush. I have to agree that Wali Lundy isn't as talented as Reggie Bush. However, the article was right on about people wrongly calling Williams a Sam Bowie even though he hadn't played a down.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:38 PM on November 13

Aside from his game-winning touchdown against the Eagles... Yeah, that game-winning touchdown was against Tampa. I was reading this wondering if Bomani really believed what he was typing. Then I read that touchdown-Eagles line and realized, yup, he probably does.

posted by SummersEve at 03:55 PM on November 13

Yeah, Jones got his facts wrong, but what do you expect? It's ESPN. Facts have no place in Bristol. bperk, it seems as if you took the article to be a slam on Reggie Bush. I don't think the article is a dis on Bush nearly as much as it is a tip of the hat to Williams, who, like Bush, is an incredible athletic talent but who, unlike Bush, was savaged by "knowledgeable" football fans through the buildup to this season, and then some.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:38 PM on November 13

Yeah, I did. Jones spent a good deal of the article criticizing Bush's season so far. I don't remember anyone saying that Mario Williams was a piece of shit. There was a lot of shock that the Texans would pick Williams over Bush based on who was easiest to sign. In all likelihood, the Saints were going to take Williams as the second pick in the draft, so why are the Texans suddenly justified because he was able to register some sacks? The answer the article gives is because Bush looks like crap this year. That's just stupid and the whole article is stupid.

posted by bperk at 04:52 PM on November 13

Bush will be a great back if he can take the pounding in the NFL. I am a Texan fan but more than I am a fan of Gary Kubiak from his High school days then Texas A & M then to Denver. He is a lot smarter than you think. I believe in the long haul the Texans made the right decision.

posted by calwtmor at 05:20 PM on November 13

I don't remember anyone saying that Mario Williams was a piece of shit. There was a lot of shock that the Texans would pick Williams over Bush based on who was easiest to sign Maybe we read different sports sites. There was a TON of articles written that basically said the Texans had missed out an a franchise player by passing on Bush, many seemingly blind to the problems that Bush brought (speed not as rare in NFL, Bush being undersized, etc.) with all his talent. The answer the article gives is because Bush looks like crap this year. That's just stupid and the whole article is stupid. What should they go on, next year? This year is all we've got. The article acknowledges that things could change. But right now, Williams is leading his team in sacks and Bush is averaging 2.8 yards a carry. 2.8 yards from the first pick in the draft. And in that regard, the article isn't stupid. It's spot on.

posted by justgary at 05:23 PM on November 13

I don't remember anyone saying that Mario Williams was a piece of shit You must not watch NBC wrapup show on Sunday Nights. They have a running gag in which Sharpe was the only one who thought Mario was the right pick. The first 4-5 weeks of the season they would literally mock him and show plays where Mario was blocked. I think Collingsworth on HBO even called them idiots for picking Mario. couple of comments: - Wali Lundy starting for the Texans doesn't have anything to do with not picking Bush being a bad decision. Bush isn't a good fit for the "Denver" system that Houston is running now anyways. He's not a "1 cut" back that that kind of offense needs. He's also a 15 carry back as a RB, and would have never been the type of back they were looking for (a pound it, 25 carry guy). Reggie is a better fit for a team like NO's as they use him as reciever, out of the slot, etc. Houston would have had to rework their whole offense just to get him touches and that didn't make sense to them, especially considering they had other "greater" needs on the team. - The Texan's BIGGEST mistake was not passing on Bush (for the reasons I stated above) but on passing on Vince Young, IMO. Not this year or next, but in 3-4 years when Carr is a backup for some other team, Sage is the starter, and Young is a young star in the league, that will be the mistake everyone will be talking about. - I'm glad someone is finally bringing Bush back to earth (not that I think he's a bad player). I was just SOOOO sick of the first few weeks how they kept showing his "total yards" and comparing it against guys like Tiki and LT and their rushing/recieving statistics. He returned kicks and punts!!! If you want to count total yards for return men as some sort of measure, Justin Miller (yes the CB for the Jets) has 1000 yards this season.

posted by bdaddy at 05:48 PM on November 13

At the end of the 1997-98 season, people were laughing at the Boston Bruins' #1 pick because he had such a sub-par rookie season. Obviously, it was a little early to be judging the Bruins' selection, and I think it still a bit early to be judging Williams/Bush...

posted by grum@work at 06:42 PM on November 13

and I think it still a bit early to be judging Williams/Bush... Probably so. Williams could go either way. As far as Bush, this only should surprise those who thought he would come into the league and dominate. The only aspect that tends to make me disagree with you is the injury situation with Bush. If he's banged up, and has been banged up, that could be a major problem. He's not going to get healthier as he gets older. The saints are going to have to find a way to keep him healthy or, at his size, he's going to break down quickly. It's not to early to realize that and be concerned about it.

posted by justgary at 06:55 PM on November 13

Personally, I believe that Bush is a big part of the Saints success. No matter how poorly he is preforming, everyone still respects him because they all know that he can break a big play. This is opening up the rest of the Saint's offense to play like they have this year (of course the the addition of Drew Brees and the surprise that is Marques Colston has helped too).

posted by NightingalesGone at 08:46 PM on November 13

It takes a couple years to adjust to the pros. Williams is definately ahead of the curve for a defensive lineman in terms of pass rushing, although he does lack some run stopping skills. *Bush on the other hand is ahead of the curve for catching the ball from the backfield, and a bit slower to adjust to the running game. It's still too early to tell who will be the better player. * You also have to add in the fact that Bush can make a difference on special teams.

posted by yay-yo at 09:23 PM on November 13

What should they go on, next year? This year is all we've got. The article acknowledges that things could change. But right now, Williams is leading his team in sacks and Bush is averaging 2.8 yards a carry. 2.8 yards from the first pick in the draft. What you and the ESPN article fail to mention is Bush's 53! receptions so far this year. That's fifth in the NFL among all wide receivers. Kinda makes the 2.8 yard stat a little less important, especially when he is not the feature back. He also scored on a spectacular somersaulting TD against Pittsburgh which, at the very least, makes up for the fumble. As others have mentioned above, his mere presence on the field opens up the field for other Saints players. As well as being a great punt returner. If BJ wants to point out how good Mario Williams is, that's fine. But that's no reason to slam Reggie. 2.8 yards from the first pick in the draft And, by the way, Reggie was not the first pick in the draft, he was the second.

posted by cjets at 11:01 PM on November 13

What you and the ESPN article fail to mention is Bush's 53! receptions so far this year. That's fifth in the NFL among all wide receivers. Kinda makes the 2.8 yard stat a little less important, especially when he is not the feature back. 53 receptions (6th in the NFL) for 352 yards (not even in the top 50) for a 6.6 yard average (not even in the top 50) with no TDs (tied for last). Which essentially means he's a RB who catches balls in the flat, not a WR. So given that, how is his rushing performance? Oh yea, 2.8/carry. He also scored on a spectacular somersaulting TD against Pittsburgh which, at the very least, makes up for the fumble. Most certainly does not. They were in scoring range on his TD and were basically scoring at will against Pittsburgh, so his TD (as fun as it was to look at) wasn't all that important as they were scoring as a team pretty easily. The TO was far more costly.

posted by bdaddy at 11:28 PM on November 13

What you and the ESPN article fail to mention is Bush's 53! receptions so far this year. What you fail to mention is he's averaging a whole 6.6 yards a catch and a whopping 39 yards a game receiving. So no, it doesn't make up for 2.8 yards a carry, no matter a first or second round pick. As well as being a great punt returner. He's 9th in the nfl. Ninth best doesn't qualify as great. You can spin it anyway you want. Bush may very well be everything promised. No one is doubting that. But he hasn't entered the league as dominant as some had thought, and if by chance he doesn't improve by a significant margin he'll be a disappointment. That's not slamming bush. That's a fact.

posted by justgary at 11:30 PM on November 13

Well, bdaddy beat me to all my points.

posted by justgary at 11:31 PM on November 13

Three comparisons that paint an ugly picture for Bush. Barry Sander's rookie year: 1470 yds at 5.2 per, 14 tds. Deuce McAllister this year: 547 yds @ 4.2, 7 tds. Laurence Moroney this year: 495 yds @ 4.2, 3 tds. Bush was touted by several high-visibility college football writers as the greatest RB talent since Sanders. He splits carries with Deuce and Moroney was this next RB taken, 20 spots later. Sanders dominated from day 1 in the NFL and Deuce and Moroney are both bringing significantly more value to their teams right now. If you want to include the receptions compare Bush to Marshall Faulk's rookie year, another #2 pick. 4.1 yds per rush, 10 yds per catch for Faulk. I just can't see anything but the next Desmond Howard when I look at Bush, he has so far to go.

posted by deflated at 12:30 AM on November 14

All good points deflated. Most talented running backs seem to hit the nfl running. That, and the fact that he already seems a little fragile look like warning signs to me.

posted by justgary at 01:08 AM on November 14

It takes a couple years to adjust to the pros. If anything the analysts have pounded into my head since Pete Carroll took over the football program is that USC runs one of the most pro-like offenses in the NCAA. If that's true, Bush has less of an excuse for not dominating than the other rookies.

posted by forrestv at 01:59 AM on November 14

Also, what we all seem to be forgetting is that the Texans felt they already had a franchise back in Domanick Davis, before his knee went all to shit. The guy had legitimate talent as a back and a receiver in his own right.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:23 AM on November 14

As many great backs in the NFL as there are that hit the ground running as rookies, there are just as many who take a year or two to develop. I think Bush is a lucky football player in terms of putting together a long and productive career to be on a team where he doesn't have to be "the guy" - they have lots of talent and can easily afford to let Bush develop and learn while knowing that he doesn't have to be the guy to win them the game. People have drastically underestimating Deuce McAllister's value all season as well. Going into last season he was considered a top-5 feature back (and then proceeded to get injured, but still), and earlier in his career was tagged as one of the best receiving RBs as well. So there's a lot of overlap between Bush and McAllister, and with Colston and some guy named Joe Horn on the team, there are a couple other folks who can catch a pass in NOLA as well. Bush was always going to have a bigger job to adjust to the NFL than many backs have. When the hole opens up in the NFL, it opens up a little bit for a split second and then often closes back up. You have to hit that spot pretty precisely to make anything work - and for a fancy footwork back who isn't a run-through guy but a run-around guy, it takes time to adjust. I still think that as we get deeper into the second half of the season, Bush is going to make his presence felt in a big way. Already last Sunday his game was clearly getting better than most of his game in the beginning when he still seemed lost. Once it sinks in that he just has to keep working and working really hard at it, this kid is going to be huge.

posted by mikelbyl at 08:46 AM on November 14

Mario Williams isn't exactly lighting things up as a pro either. He may lead his team in sacks, but he wouldn't lead any other team. He has 4.5 sacks. That's nothing to brag about, there are 50+ players in the league with more, including some rookies. He has started every game. So, if we compare him to Julius Peppers during his rookie year, Williams is a complete failure as a number one pick. All of this is completely unfair to Williams because it is way too early to be judging him. That's the whole point. Sure, the only thing you have now is what they have done so far, but since we do we judge the value of a 1st or 2nd overall pick after 10 games in the season?

posted by bperk at 09:07 AM on November 14

Thanks for nothing, grum.

posted by yerfatma at 11:20 AM on November 14

53 receptions (6th in the NFL) for 352 yards (not even in the top 50) for a 6.6 yard average (not even in the top 50) with no TDs (tied for last). Which essentially means he's a RB who catches balls in the flat, not a WR. Guess what? He is a RB who catches balls in the flat. And at the rate he's catching them, he's going to catch over 90 balls this year. Those are pro bowl like numbers for an RB (Richie Anderson of the Jets made it to the pro bowl for doing nothing more than catching 90 balls in a season). As far as the 2.8 yards, I'll say it again. He's not the featured back. He doesn't get the carries to put up the numbers. Deuce does. He's a change of pace guy and teams are keying on him. That frees up Deuce and makes New Orleans a better team because he is a great decoy. Most certainly does not. They were in scoring range on his TD and were basically scoring at will against Pittsburgh, so his TD (as fun as it was to look at) wasn't all that important as they were scoring as a team pretty easily. The TO was far more costly. I don't follow your math. Reggie's TD was 6 points. The TD they didn't score when he fumbled was 6 points. How is one more costly than the other? Do you blame Reggie for the two 70 yard runs that the Saints defense gave up also? There's no question that Reggie is a big part of a resurgent Saints team (as is Brees - who is probably the most important part and Colston). It's too bad that the Saints players and staff weren't quoted for this article. I think that, to a man, they would agree that drafting Reggie was the best thing thay could have done. Or, better yet, let's have this conversation in a year or two, and you can tell me how overrated Reggie is.

posted by cjets at 02:06 PM on November 14

That's the whole point. Sure, the only thing you have now is what they have done so far, but since we do we judge the value of a 1st or 2nd overall pick after 10 games in the season? As many great backs in the NFL as there are that hit the ground running as rookies, there are just as many who take a year or two to develop. Really? Got any names? I can't really think of any 2nd pick running backs who took off so slowly and then became great players. Good, yes, great, no. I'm not saying they don't exist, but you said just as many, and I don't think you can actually back that up if you try. Far more common is the slightly under sized player who either never makes it or has a decent career as they bounce around to a couple of teams. And I know I keep repeating this, but his ability to stay healthy is still a question mark that hasn't been answered, and that goes beyond his talent. I think Bush is a lucky football player in terms of putting together a long and productive career to be on a team where he doesn't have to be "the guy" - they have lots of talent and can easily afford to let Bush develop and learn while knowing that he doesn't have to be the guy to win them the game. As of now, yes. It won't last very long at all. The saints keep losing and bush keeps averaging less than 3 yards a carry and eventually eyes will fall on him. Eventually he has to be the man. He doesn't have a career pass by any means. That frees up Deuce and makes New Orleans a better team because he is a great decoy. Bush wasn't drafted to be a great decoy. Players don't make the hall of fame being great decoys. They brought him in to make plays. 2.8 yards, no matter how you spin it, sucks. If two years from now bush is an all pro guy, then that's great. I don't think anyone here would have a problem saying 'great draft pick'. What some in this thread are saying is that so far, with a very small sample, he's struggled, and you're fighting that idea tooth and nail despite what the stats say.

posted by justgary at 02:17 PM on November 14

Guess what? He is a RB who catches balls in the flat. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Having watched the Wet Toast offense in Detroit these last few horrendous years; I can assure you that throwing the ball in the flat is not the way to get an offense going. The occasional flat pass is fine and can work well, but if that is all Bush can do recieving wise then he isn't much of a dual threat. I don't follow your math. Reggie's TD was 6 points. The TD they didn't score when he fumbled was 6 points. How is one more costly than the other? Do you blame Reggie for the two 70 yard runs that the Saints defense gave up also? The Saints were in scoring posistion. Duece could have just as easily got that touchdown, same with Colston. Drew Brees is an acomplished quarterback and I have faith that he would be able to get the ball in the end zone without Bush. Reggie's fumble was game changing. There is no excuse for that. So yes it is more costly than the other. One more thought, Bush was the number one pick and he isn't even the best player on his team. A 7th round pick from Hofstra is.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:41 PM on November 14

That's the whole point. Sure, the only thing you have now is what they have done so far, but since we do we judge the value of a 1st or 2nd overall pick after 10 games in the season? As many great backs in the NFL as there are that hit the ground running as rookies, there are just as many who take a year or two to develop. Oooh, you cheated. Two different people made those statements. Anyway, Bush has started two games, and has less than 100 carries and is behind a Pro Bowl back on the depth chart. I see no point in discussing the value of his pick without more information.

posted by bperk at 02:48 PM on November 14

One more thought, Bush was the number one pick and he isn't even the best player on his team. A 7th round pick from Hofstra is. Actually, Bush was the second pick. Williams was the first pick and he isn't the best defensive rookie on his team (Demecos Ryan). TE Daniels is ahead of Mario Williams on the quality rookie scale as well.

posted by bperk at 02:55 PM on November 14

Reggie Bush will follow a similiar career path as Warrick Dunn. They are similiar types of backs who can catch the ball and are always a threat to break the big play. I agree with everyone who says that Reggies 2.6 ypg is low, however, I also agree with everyone who has taken the time to see that he is not even averaging 10 carries a game. How can you expect any more from a rookie who isn't getting a chance to run the ball? If Bush was getting his 20 carries a game, he would have a better chance of breaking one for 60-70 yards. Also, by getting a chance to see how the defense reacts to the plays, Bush would have a better understanding of which holes to hit. Anyone who is saying that Reggie Bush is a draft "bust" is out of their minds. Let's pick up this discussion next season.

posted by yay-yo at 03:54 PM on November 14

Okay, I'll ask: bperk, what did Mario Williams ever do to you to make you hate him so? Are you Reggie Bush's agent in disguise, still pissed off about the extra millions he (and, by extension, you) missed out on after he "slipped" to number two? You certainly seem to have a chip on your shoulder about Mario. Personally (and more seriously), I think they're both just rookies who haven't adjusted yet. I still give the edge to Williams, though, because he's got less to work with, personnel-wise, on the Texans defense than Bush does on the Nawlins offense. I can easily see great things for both of them in the future, but I can just as easily see them both being major busts if they don't get their Pro legs under them quickly enough.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:57 PM on November 14

Reggie Bush will follow a similiar career path as Warrick Dunn. Well, let's just say he's way off the track from Dunn's first season. (4.4 yards per carry/ 11.8 yards per catch) Your comparison doesn't help your point of view.

posted by justgary at 04:05 PM on November 14

Okay, I'll ask: bperk, what did Mario Williams ever do to you to make you hate him so? Are you Reggie Bush's agent in disguise, still pissed off about the extra millions he (and, by extension, you) missed out on after he "slipped" to number two? You certainly seem to have a chip on your shoulder about Mario. Nothing, really, seriously, it isn't at all personal, really. I think he will have a great career. I was just trying to make a point that while folks can use Bush's (lack of) statistics to justify the Texans passing on him, they should probably hold Williams (lack of) statistics up to that same light. Perhaps Williams will be the next Courtney Brown, he hasn't done anything to show that he isn't.

posted by bperk at 04:20 PM on November 14

Whoop-de-fucking-do. Having watched the Wet Toast offense in Detroit these last few horrendous years; I can assure you that throwing the ball in the flat is not the way to get an offense going. The occasional flat pass is fine and can work well, but if that is all Bush can do recieving wise then he isn't much of a dual threat. Mooch trying to run the West Coast Offense in Rock City with a bunch of stiffs clearly proves Bill Walsh had no idea what he was doing and isn't father of the modern football offense. Perspective, please.

posted by yerfatma at 01:30 PM on November 15

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