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franklin county times

Saints as unpredictable as the rest of the NFL

By By Josh Taylor / staff writer
Aug. 17, 2003
The Saints did something no other team in the NFL did last season.
They beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice. They also took key wins over the Packers, Steelers and 49ers.
The Saints did something else in 2002 that was remarkable. They lost games to Carolina, Detroit, and Cincinnati, three of the league's worst teams. The Saints suffer from what I like to call big shot syndrome.'
We all know what this is. We've all seem teams do this. It's that state of mind when a team thinks they are so good because of a few big wins that they underestimate the little guys.
Coaches always like to say they prepare the same for every game. A quote often heard from coaches is, "We take it one game at a time."
Looking back on the Saints' 2002 season, do you really think they spent as much time preparing for Detroit as they did for Tampa Bay?
Me neither.
Maybe they did spend as much time preparing, but it's a state of mind thing.
It should seem pretty obvious that of all the professional sports leagues, the NFL is the most jumbled. We have had four teams in a row win the Super Bowl in a single turnaround year. It's almost impossible to build and sustain a dynasty in the current NFL.
This is the upset league. NFL might as well stand for the "No Favorites League.'
With this being said, the Saints need to realize that every single game on their schedule requires the same amount of effort and the same Whatever It Takes' mentality to win.
If the Saints had this type of attitude last season they would probably all be sporting large Super Bowl rings on their fingers right now.
Tough Division
People like to say that their division is tougher than the other guys. Looking at the numbers, I'd have to say that the AFC East is definitely the toughest in the NFL.
In 2002, the Jets, Patriots, and Dolphins all finished at 9-7 while the Bills were 8-8. While these are not stellar records compared to some other teams, no other division had this level of parity.
Also, two of the Jets' and Patriots' losses came at the hands of other AFC East opponents. The Dolphins and Bills lost four games each to AFC East opponents.
It's a little like the SEC in college football. A lot of these teams are good teams, they just beat up on each other a lot. The AFC East will definitely be an interesting conference to watch.
Remember Dorsey?
Do you happen to remember that guy who was the quarterback at the University of Miami in their last national championship win? That's right, his name was Ken Dorsey.
Dorsey only lost one game in his last two years at Miami and that was to Ohio State in another national championship game.
It seems like a quarterback with this kind of record would cause a lot of stir in the NFL. Not so for the young Dorsey. He was drafted in a
late round by the San Francisco 49ers without much hype. His size probably had a lot to do with it.
The funny thing is that in the off-season Dorsey put on about 20 pounds. So far he has played in two preseason games and won both
of them. He has looked like a very capable NFL quarterback.
Consider the quarterbacks who have gone through San Francisco. Joe Montana was followed by Steve Young, and now there is Jeff Garcia. Has any other team in the NFL had this much luck picking quarterbacks? Could Dorsey be the next on this list?
Only time can answer these questions. One thing is for sure: the 49ers probably got a better deal than they or anyone else thought with Dorsey.
The trend in today's NFL seems to be finding the quarterback who plays like
a running back. These guys sure are fun to watch, but who's winning the Super Bowls?
Overall, I think being a smart quarterback is better than being a running quarterback.
Dorsey proved he was a smart quarterback with two years of phenomenal play at Miami. Where he goes from here is up to him and whoever is willing to believe in him.

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