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Friday, April 25, 2008

Stay away from Dorsey, Saints

BATON ROUGE - There has been some talk that the New Orleans Saints would like to trade up from their No. 10 spot in the first round of the NFL Draft Saturday to acquire LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who has a very good chance of being selected by the St. Louis Rams with the second pick.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis could not hide his enthusiasm for Dorsey at LSU's Pro Day last month. Dorsey is the type of player the Saints' sorrowful defense desperately needs. All he knows is winning in his four years at LSU, too, so that could do nothing but help the Saints.

Unfortunately, the Saints are the exact opposite of consistency, and should that continue I'd hate to see Dorsey subjected to the malaise that is Saints history. As much excitement as coach Sean Payton has created in his two seasons in New Orleans, he has only three more wins and one less loss than Nick Saban had in his two years with the Miami Dolphins. And most everyone sees Saban as a failure in Miami.

Payton is 18-16 as the Saints coach with a 1-1 mark in the playoffs. Saban was 15-17 with the Dolphins in a clearly better division and probably a better conference.

Payton has the exact same record that Jim Haslett had after two years. Each went 11-7 in year one, including a 1-1 trip to the playoffs. Haslett had exactly one more winning season after his first year before finally getting fired after the 2005 season. Haslett and Payton both benefitted from inheriting the easy schedule of teams that went 3-13 before them.

Who knows? Maybe Payton will end up being a consistent winner, but Saints history tells another story. The Saints have not had back-to-back winning seasons since 1991 and 1992 under coach Jim Mora. Since 1967, the only three-year winning run was 1987 through 1989. There were five years between their last two playoff seasons. Before the 2000 playoff appearance, there were seven non-playoff years.

It may not even be the best professional sports organization in the city with the New Orleans Hornets looking like one of the best teams in the NBA at the moment. The Hornets are a little friendlier as well. They're not skimming off the top of the state's budget quite as blatantly as the Saints have been for most of this decade like no other professional sports franchise in history.

If the Saints could get their act together, Dorsey as a Saint would be a great story. Here's a guy who grew up in Gonzales - right in the middle of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. He won a national championship with LSU in the Louisiana Superdome, where the Saints play. It could be perfect. But just the way the Saints are and have been worries me. I'd hate to see a guy with the class of a Glenn Dorsey end up with such a franchise.

Go elsewhere, young man.


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