Reggie Bush has been a big-time underachiever since entering the NFL but the New Orleans Saints running back apparently hasn’t learned humility during his four-year career.

The former Helix High and USC standout still talks about himself like he’s an elite player instead of a player who has just 1,940 career rushing yards – Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans had more rushing yards in 2009 alone – and was just the third-leading rusher (390) on his own team.

“I haven’t lived up to the expectations I set for myself,” Bush said during Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day, “but I know it will come. All I want to do is be the best player ever to play this game, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t feel that way. If I didn’t feel that way when I step on the field, I’d be selling myself short.”

The Saints have fell short of receiving the type of dividends they expected when picking Bush second overall in 2006 and signing him to a six-year deal that included more than $26 million of guaranteed money. New Orleans didn’t give him all that loot for him to be the third rushing option behind guys like Pierre Thomas (793 yards) and Mike Bell (654). Overall, 47 NFL running backs rushed for more yardage than Bush.

Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, occasionally reverts back to his old game-breaker status by doing something spectacular. His playoff performance against the Arizona Cardinals included a dazzling 83-yard punt return to go with an ultra-impressive 46-yard rushing touchdown.

If Bush always played the way he did against the Cardinals, he would be an incredible force. But so far, his NFL career has been more about hype than production.

Bush could start to change that perception by making some big plays in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts.

Freeney addresses situation

Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is trying his best to get his injured ankle in position to at least be a spot player on Super Bowl Sunday.

Freeney described the situation as “very discouraging” but doesn’t want to give up hope of being on the field against the Saints.

“The competitor in me says they’ll never stop me from being on the field,” Freeney said during Tuesday’s media day. “There’s some pain there definitely, with throwing everything at it, all types of techniques, to find the best thing to get this thing as good as possible. You name it, I’ve probably done it.”

The list of things Freeney has tried includes sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber to go with all the usual assortment of therapy that goes with speeding up the healing of an ankle injury.

New deal for Manning coming

Colts owner Jim Irsay said he intends to offer Peyton Manning a contract extension after the season. The contract of the four-time NFL MVP ends after the 2010 campaign.

Manning’s current deal, signed in 2004, was worth $98 million and included a signing bonus of $34.5 million. You can expect the new offer to top $120 million with the signing bonus in the neighborhood of $50 million.


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