Bush fined by NFL for his shoes

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Orleans rookie running back Reggie Bush drew more than just rave reviews for his fancy footwork Saturday in the Saints’ preseason victory over the Tennessee Titans.

He also drew a fine.

The NFL objected to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft wearing his new Adidas cleats. The league only allows players to wear Nike or Reebok shoes during games because of a marketing partnership.

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Both Bush and the top pick in the draft, defensive end Mario Williams of North Carolina State, have signed endorsement deals with Adidas. The shoes in question are black with gold highlights and logo.

The fine was thought to be $10,000, but Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, originally said he was unsure of the total. He confirmed the fine after Monday’s afternoon practice.

“Adidas took care of it,” Bush said of the fine.

Bush rushed for 59 yards on six carries and caught two passes for 10 yards in his pro debut. The former Southern Cal back played about a quarter.

For a few brief plays, Reggie Bush and Vince Young justified the hype.

The New Orleans Saints tailback and the Tennessee Titans quarterback, in the spotlight since a January showdown for the college football national championship and taken second and third in the NFL Draft, made brief appearances in their first preseason game Saturday night.

The Saints won 19-16, but everyone focused more on the high-profile rookies than the final score.

Bush dazzled fans and fellow players with a 44-yard change-of-direction run that set up a Saints field goal. Young also showed fancy footwork, rushing for 28 yards and three first downs.

“He is an amazing talent,” Saints wide receiver Joe Horn said of Bush, the Heisman Trophy winner from Southern Cal. “I don’t see any reason he can’t do it in the NFL. He’s got a burst a lot of people don’t know about, but they’ll figure it out.”

The Titans saw all they needed to as Bush started around the left side on his 44-yard run. He was bottled in, shifted to his right, beat several defenders to the corner and turned upfield. It was the kind of play Bush became known for at Southern Cal.

“I think he’s going to be an electric player,” Titans linebacker David Thornton said.

Neither Bush nor Young were consistent, however.

And both play behind struggling offensive lines on teams that picked in the top three of the draft.