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Saints use RB Bush to simulate Dolphins' Wildcat offense in practice

METAIRIE, La. -- Reggie Bush enjoyed running a simulation of the Miami Dolphins' Wildcat offense in practice this week -- and said he even broke out a few long runs with it.

But don't expect the New Orleans Saints to change what has led to their 5-0 start this season.

That's because head coach Sean Payton is unlikely to limit prolific quarterback Drew Brees' involvement in his offense.

Even Bush, one of the Saints' most explosive and versatile running backs, saw no reason to do so, despite the fun he had with the formation. Bush received extensive work on the scout team as the Saints prepare to play Sunday against the Dolphins, the team that runs the Wildcat more consistently and effectively than any other in the NFL.

"I think our offense is OK," Bush said, grinning at his understatement regarding an offense that led the league last season and ranks No. 1 so far in 2009. "I don't think we need to try to fix anything."

In the Wildcat formation, a running back takes a direct shotgun snap and has the option of running, handing off or even throwing, although passes aren't as common. Payton spoke at length about the formation this week, discussing how it effectively helps the offense gain a blocker because there is no traditional quarterback on the field.

Bush said he rarely worked on the scout team in 2008, but he was eager to take the extra work in practice this week.

"We wanted to give our defense the best look, if not try to make it harder so that they're prepared for what they're going to see," Bush said. "The Dolphins run the Wildcat very well."

Knowing they would have to play the Dolphins this season and suspecting that more teams might give the formation a try, the Saints have worked on defending against the Wildcat since offseason workouts started last spring, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said after Thursday's practice.

"We're trying not to get caught off guard, so every single week, every single practice schedule since I've been here, we've had a version of the Wildcat," Williams said. "Are we good enough? We'll see."

Bush said he didn't see his success running out of the formation as a reason for the Saints to be alarmed at how they might do against Ronnie Brown -- or former Saints running back Ricky Williams, who often takes the handoff from Brown.

"You want to break (big runs) now as opposed to during the game so they can see what we need to clean up," Bush said.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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