<span>New Orleans Saints RB Reggie Bush
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
(on Media Day) "It's funny, because my senior year of high school, I was actually an honorary reporter for Media Day in San Diego when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders played in the Super Bowl. It's funny to be back here, and now I'm actually getting the chance to play. It's a little ironic, but obviously it's a blessing to be here, and I'm excited to be here getting the chance to speak to you guys. It's fun."
(on how healthy he is) "I'm 100 percent. It's probably the healthiest I've been all year. Coming off the injury I had with the microfracture surgery was tough. I'd say it took about halfway through the season to really feel like I was back to my normal self."
(on if there's a need to have experience in big games) "Experience helps a lot. Obviously, this is our first Super Bowl run, but I look at the Colts a couple of years ago when they first won it – they had no experience at that time. All we can do is go out and give our best effort, 110 percent, prepare as best we can all throughout the week and go out and play as hard as we can. We can't really worry about the experience level. Obviously, that would help us if we had been there before, but we haven't. This is our first time. You know, it's tough to get here."
(on how important the running game will be) "It's very important. I've always said that I've felt it's a running back's job to set the tone for the game. When we get the ball in our hands, it's our job to set the tone, and we're going to have to do that on Sunday. We can't allow the Indianapolis Colts to slow down our running attack, because we need a balanced attack to win this game. If you look back, the teams who have won the Super Bowl, they ran the ball well. When the Steelers won it, they ran the ball well. We have to run the ball well if we want to even have a fighting chance to win this game."
(on if the Super Bowl will be more important for the Saints or the city of New Orleans) "I think it's for everybody, but probably more so the city of New Orleans. This game is obviously huge for them. Being able to be a part of this run right now – the first New Orleans Saints team to make the Super Bowl – is special. We're excited to be here, but we still have a game to play. We're going to go out and give our best shot and try to bring it home back to New Orleans."
(on if he's worried about turnovers and protecting the football) "We pretty much do a good job at ball security, and that's something we've preached all year, is that securing the ball is the No. 1 important thing, and it's really the No. 1 stat when it comes to winning or losing. If you look at percentages when it comes to winning or losing, when you turn the ball over, it obviously lowers your chance to win games. We know that, we're well aware of that, we've preached that all year. On the other side of the ball, our defense has done a great job of turning the ball over all year and giving us a chance to stay in games, win games. That's been our M.O. this year – ball security on the offensive side of the ball, and turning the ball over and creating turnovers on the defensive side of the ball."
(on if the situation at USC has been a distraction) "No, not at all. It hasn't been a distraction. I've been so focused on this season and what I can control. We had a great run this year. I can't control everything else that goes on with USC and with what's going on there. Obviously, I'm four years removed from college now. SC is still in my heart, and always will be. I'll be the first one to do anything I can to show my support to USC."
(on how he feels about playing in the Super Bowl) "It's a huge game. I don't want to say it's the biggest game of my life, but it is. It's the biggest game of my career at this point. When I think about all the great players, guys who haven't yet, but will get a chance to play in the Super Bowl, I feel blessed. To be able to be here right now is a blessing. To be able to have experienced a championship game at every level – high school, college, and now the Super Bowl – it's a blessing. It could be another 10, 15 years, or I could never be back in the Super Bowl. You never know when your next chance will be to get to a Super Bowl, and I'm just trying to take it all in right now. Enjoy it, remember these times, but at the same time remember that we still have a football game to win."
(on dealing with distractions this week) "I try not to think about whatever's going on with contract issues, and if I'm going to be here or not next year. I just try to clear my head and think about, 'It's just one game.' That's what it comes down to – winning one more football game and not really worrying about the distractions that come with the Super Bowl and the tickets for your family, hotel accommodations, trying to get everybody situated, and like I said, the contract issues. I try to control what I can control, and that's playing 110 percent on Sunday."
(on how much he thinks he'll be used on Sunday) "Coach (Sean) Payton just came up to me about 15 minutes ago and said, 'Make sure you're ready, because your tongue is going to be hanging out on Sunday.' Guys like us, we love to hear that we're going to be involved in the game plan. I want to be dog tired by the time the game's over, because I know then that I've given it everything I have."
(on how he would define what he's done so far in the NFL) "I would say I haven't lived up to the expectations I set for myself, just because before I got to the NFL, I thought once I got drafted, (I'd be at the) Super Bowl every year, Pro Bowl every year. It's tough. It's hard to get to the Super Bowl. It's taken me four years to get here. There's a lot of great players that haven't even been here yet. It's special, and it's a blessing to be here. For me, I would say I haven't lived up to expectations that I set for myself yet, but I know that hard work pays off and it will come."
(on if there's any truth to the rumors that he will marry Kim Kardashian if the Saints win the Super Bowl) "No, no truth to that."
(on the 'Who Dat' chant) "It's, 'Who Dat? Who Dat saying they're going to beat them Saints?' That's basically something that's been a part of the Saints since the beginning of the Saints organization. It's basically just saying that nobody's going to beat us. You'll hear me saying that on game day after we win."
(on what a Super Bowl win would mean to New Orleans) "I think if we're able to bring a Super Bowl trophy to the city of New Orleans, it would be huge. It might be the single greatest event to ever happen in New Orleans. It would be more than just about football, just as the reopening of the Super Dome was more than that game, that day. It was about Hurricane Katrina, the thousands of lives that were lost during that storm. The same thing applies, I think, to this game. We're going to try to do the best we can to bring it back home to New Orleans and give the city something to be proud about."
(on if he still sees dominating play in his future) "I've always been my biggest critic, and nobody's going to be a bigger critic of myself than me. I've always set the highest goals for myself. I aspire to be the MVP of the league, of the Super Bowl, all the highest goals that I can set. That's what I aspire to be. Eventually it's going to happen for me."
(on how this team was built) "We've been building this team starting back a couple years ago, my rookie year, but it hasn't been just about us building this team. It's almost like the New Orleans Saints and the city of New Orleans have been growing together. It's been a continuing effort to rebuild New Orleans. We feel like the city has been right there with us from Day One, and they have. They were here before we were here. They were here before my rookie year, before Drew Brees, and before Sean Payton, before Deuce McAllister. They've been here from Day One supporting the Saints. It's really about the city of New Orleans and bringing back a trophy for them. This game means so much more than just winning a football game."
(on the Saints' offense) "It's been fun. For me, coming from USC, at that point in time I thought Norm Chow was one of the greatest offensive coordinators, and he did a great job at creating mismatches for us constantly every week. We were excited to get the game plan every week. And then to be here with Sean Payton, I feel like I haven't missed a beat. He does the same exact things and just gives you a constant opportunity to be a difference maker. He constantly creates mismatches for me. He gives me a chance to be a nightmare for defensive coordinators, for defenses, every week."
(on how special teams could affect the game) "All throughout the year, we've preached that we have to play well in all phases – not just offense and defense, but special teams, too. If we want to be successful, if we want to have a fighting chance to win this game on Sunday, special teams has to be just as equally important as offense, as defense. Maybe even more than offense and defense, because we feel like with our special teams, that could be an advantage for us. If we're able to get our offense field position, whether it's (by) kick returns or punt returns, then that's a win for us. We have to play well, definitely on special teams, and make sure that we give our offense and defense a chance to be successful."
(on what attracted head coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees to New Orleans when times were difficult) "I think it says a lot about those guys. I was drafted here, so I didn't have a choice. They had a choice, and I think it says a lot about Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Getting a chance to know these guys for the last four years, Drew Brees is one of the greatest guys I've ever met, and not just a great athlete. He's a good person. He just has it all together in all phases of his life. Sean Payton, he's done nothing but a great job with this team, building this team from Day One. His vision that he had for this team – we're a living testament. Look where we are now. We're in the Super Bowl."