The Monroe News Star reports that if the Saints are going to take a step to the next level in 2009, the key is going to be RB Reggie Bush:
To throw less and run more, the Saints need a healthy Reggie Bush, who missed six games with a knee injury. Pairing Bush and Pierre Thomas might allow the Saints to find what’s been missing of late — a 1,000-yard rusher. They released Deuce McAllister, who posted their last 1,000-yard season in 2006 while working in tandem with Bush and helping the Saints reach their first NFC Championship Game. Thomas stepped in last year and led the team with 625 rushing yards.
“Pierre Thomas is a guy we have a lot of confidence in,” Payton says. “He’s someone that rarely takes minus-yard runs. He moves the pile. He’s intelligent. He’s an extremely good blocker in his blitz pickups.” The Saints will also look at Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton as part of a backfield mix. The injury histories of Bush and McAllister have taught Payton this about backs: “You can never have enough of them.”