Since McAllister's injury, Bush's combined rushing and receiving numbers have increased from 15 touches and 50 yards a game to 22 and 101. He has had 17 or more carries in four of his last six games, after getting that many only once in his first 19 with the Saints. Still, many league observers view him as being a greater threat as a receiver than as a runner.
"That's just the offensive system we have," says Bush, who affects the game even when he doesn't touch the ball because of the attention he demands from defenses. "We don't have the system where we rely on the backs to run the ball 30, 40 times. We have a great quarterback and great receivers who are able to get down the field and make some plays, and we're able to feed off each other. I feel like that works out for the best.... I try to focus on the positive, and I definitely don't worry about what other coaches have to say about me. I just do my part and make plays for my team."
A personnel executive who recently scouted Bush said of those who question his impact: "They must be blind. I've seen firsthand how explosive he can be as a runner and as a receiver. There's no doubt in my mind that he's just as explosive as he was in college. I think his carries and how they utilize him have been limited, but that's just smart football."
ONLY AT SI.COM Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback.