By Ashley Dunkak
@AshleyDunkak

ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – For Sunday’s game between the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints, one captain for the Lions will be running back Reggie Bush, who spent five seasons in New Orleans after the Saints drafted him second overall in 2006.

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Lions head coach Jim Caldwell chooses the captains each week, and while Bush said playing against his old team will not give him any extra motivation, he conceded his history in New Orleans was undoubtedly a factor in Caldwell’s selection.

“I’m guessing it’s not a coincidence,” Bush said with a laugh. “It’s not a coincidence at all.

“It just means I’m the captain,” Bush added. “I’m going to treat it like it’s another game. I’m not going to treat it like it’s more than that because we still have a job to do, and I don’t want to get caught trying to do too much, and I think, learning from experience in the past, when I’ve tried to do too much, it never really works out the way you want it to, and you end up making a few mistakes. For me, I’m going to go in to the game with the same mindset I do every game.”

Detroit tight end Brandon Pettigrew also got a chuckle out of the timing of Bush as captain.

“I think it’s perfect,” Pettigrew said. “I think it’s perfect, and I think he’s going to go out there and set the tone and let them know that he’s still here, he’s on a new team, and he’s alive and kicking well.”

Bush said he harbors no resentment toward the Saints for trading him, saying both sides wanted a move to happen. He understands the business aspect of the NFL, particularly after his surprise upon ending up with New Orleans when many people had expected the Houston Texas to draft Bush first overall.

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“I was preparing to go to Houston, and we found out the same way everybody found out, on SportsCenter, and that was that. That was my first real introduction to the business side of football, so I got an introduction really quick,” Bush said. “Like I said, going back to that trade, I was already five years in, I was already well aware of the business side of football, so that’s why that didn’t affect me. I wouldn’t do it any other way. I wouldn’t take anything back because I think the five years I was there, we were able to make history. We were part of the first and only team to win a Super Bowl in New Orleans, and that’s something that’s special.

“The older you grow into this league, you start to realize when you’re done, the things that you take away with you are the friendships and the memories,” Bush added, “and so the friendships that I’ve built down there are friendships that are going to last forever.”

During the game, of course, none of that will be on Bush’s mind.

“Yeah, I’m playing against my former team, and it’s the team that drafted me into the NFL, so I still have a lot of respect for the team and some of the guys that are still there when I was there and Sean Payton and the city, but other than that, I have to mentally separate that from this game,” Bush said. “Once the ball is kicked, they’re just like any other team that we’re playing against, so I have to be able to compartmentalize that.”

Bush missed last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings because of an ankle injury, and he said the team made a smart choice to sit him. The Lions offense has struggled in recent weeks, totaling just 255 yards against the Vikings after putting up only 273 yards against the Bills. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson also missed the Minnesota game and appears likely to miss the Saints game also. With tight ends Joe Fauria and Eric Ebron also battling injuries, the passing game will be limited, so the run game – led by Bush – will be especially critical Sunday.

“We’ll have more of a role,” Bush said. “For us, we want to do a better job at just being more efficient this week than we have been in the last few games. Without our run game, our offense isn’t going to be successful, and we understand that, so it’s on us to make sure that we get it right this week and that we start off the right way, so we’re not so much worried about who’s not here but who’s here and how we can get better.”

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