New Orleans drafted Bush right after the Houston Texans selected Mario Williams with the top selection. Bush was coming off a Heisman Trophy-winning season, though he later forfeited the award after an investigation from the NCAA determined that he received improper benefits at USC.
During a recent episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast, Bush explained that he was fully expecting to go first overall to Houston. But once he learned that Houston was taking Williams first overall, Bush and his agent had to think of a backup plan.
Bush’s agent explained that to him that the New York Jets (owner of the No. 3 selection) were the more favorable destination for him. Bush stated that his agent called then-Saints head coach Sean Payton and warned him to not draft New Orleans.
Segal instead got a short and sweet response from Payton, which you can listen to in the clip below:
Bush joined the Saints the same year they hired Payton and signed former San Diego Chargers star quarterback Drew Brees in free agency. One year after Hurricane Katrina, the Saints returned home to play their 2006 home games at the Superdome.
Together, these three led New Orleans to a 10-6 record and the NFC South division crown. The Saints reached the NFC Championship Game but fell to the Chicago Bears. Three years later, Bush, Payton and Brees helped the Saints to a Super Bowl 44 championship by defeating the Indianapolis Colts.
Bush spent five seasons with the Saints (2006 to 2010). In 60 game appearances, he tallied 2,090 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. He played his final NFL season for the Buffalo Bills in 2016.
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