Two Team Pioneers Enter New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame

Saints Hall of Fame
BALTIMORE - DECEMBER 19: Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens on December 19, 2010 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.The Ravens defeated the Saints 30 to 24. (Photo by: Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)

The year is 2006. Just mere months before, one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history devastates the entire city of New Orleans. Thousands of people are left homeless, thousands move to other cities. For those who remain when the dust settles, one thing keeps you going: the New Orleans Saints.

In the 2006 off-season, three transactions would change the course of the Saints for years to come: the signing of one, if not the greatest quarterback in franchise history, Drew Brees, the drafting of second overall pick Reggie Bush, considered one of the best college football players of all time, and finally, a seventh-round draft pick out of Hofstra University, standout receiver Marques Colston.

The potent attack we know now with the likes of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara began with Bush and Colston. Those two pioneers of the Saints offense will now be enshrined in the team’s Hall of Fame.

Reggie Bush and Marques Colston Enter New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame

In the Beginning

Young, inexperienced and not use to winning are three things to describe the 2006 Saints. A rookie head coach, a quarterback coming off a serious shoulder injury, and young, inexperienced skill players. Not to mention a city that was in ruins after a hurricane.

The 2006 Saints were the epitome of strength and resilience. The people of New Orleans needed the Saints and the Saints needed them back.

The Quiet Storm

Marques “Quiet Storm” Colston became Drew Brees’ go-to target over the course of the 2006 season. The seventh-round selection finished the 2006 season with 70 receptions, 1,038 yards, and eight touchdowns, which is impressive considering Colston was not expected to make an immediate impact.

Over the course of his 10-year career, Colston earned the nickname “Quiet Storm.” Colston was and still is not a vocal guy. But his passion and desire to win was apparent each and every time he stepped between those lines. Colston would come up big when the Saints needed him most. He was pivotal in the 2009 Saints Super Bowl run and is one of the greatest Saints players to ever grace the black and gold.

Mr. Razzle Dazzle

The most electrifying and polarizing college football player ever is Reggie Bush. People can make cases for other players, but there is no player who wanted to be more than number five wearing the scarlet red and gold of the USC Trojans.

When the Saints drafted Bush with the second overall selection in the 2006 draft, season tickets sold out in two hours. Two hours. The hype around Bush was real.

And he did not disappoint his rookie season. Bush took the league by storm rushing for 565 yards and six scores but made his biggest impact in the passing game. The USC star led the Saints in receptions his rookie season with 88 receptions, 742 yards, and two receiving touchdowns. Bush caught at least 40 passes in each of his five seasons with the Saints.

The most memorable Reggie Bush moment came in the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl run. In a game at the Miami Dolphins, the Saints were down 21 points late in the first half. Over the last 30 minutes of the game, the Saints scored 43 points leading to their 46-34 win against the Dolphins to remain undefeated. A late Bush touchdown helped seal the game, an acrobatic dive where Bush flew through the air defying gravity.

Bush and the Saints breakup was not pretty following the 2010 season. But Bush has always remained loyal to the Saints, even on his appearances on ESPN and NFL Network. He helped ignite the use of versatile running backs in the Saints offensive system, paving the way for Darren Sproles and Alvin Kamara.

Last Word

There aren’t two more deserving players to go in this year’s Saints Hall of Fame class than Bush and Colston. Both helped revolutionize the Saints organization and continue to be outstanding role models and men in society. Every Saints player that walks through the doors of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome should thank both Bush and Colston for building the groundwork for the Saints being a perennial powerhouse offense.

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