Waking a Sleeping Giant

Glenn Dorsey was once a dominant 3-technique defensive tackle whose talents are being wasted in a 3-4 scheme. The Bears should get K.C. on the phone and try to pluck him out of purgatory.

Go back and watch the tape of Glenn Dorsey during his senior year at LSU. He was a beast. His ability to explode off the ball and get penetration on nearly every play consistently disrupted the opposition's ability to run or pass the ball. He was as dominant as any defensive tackle that came before or after him.

For his performance that season, Dorsey received the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Outland Trophy, the Lott Trophy and the Lombardi Award, becoming the only player to have won all four awards. He was also ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2007, the highest of any defensive player. In addition, he was named a two-time All SEC player, a two-time first team All American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Coming into the 2008 draft, Dorsey was considered one of the top talents of the group. The Kansas City Chiefs, who at the time ran a 4-3 defense, drafted him with the fifth overall pick. It was expected that his ability as a 3-technique DT would make him an elite player at the next level.

He wasn't outstanding as a rookie, racking up just 49 tackles and 1 sack, but his potential as a full-time disruptive force was obvious to anyone watching.


DT Glenn Dorsey
Tim Umphrey/Getty

Then came 2009, and the arrival of new head coach Todd Haley, who immediately switched the defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Instead of playing a 3-technique defensive tackle, Dorsey was forced to play a 5-technique defensive end. Since then, he has accrued 3 total sacks.

Chiefs' fans laud his ability as a run stopper in the 3-4. With a player of Dorsey's talent, it's not surprising he's been able to perform at a high level even playing out of position. Yet while he's been good as a 3-4 defensive end, he could be dominant in a 4-3.

Dorsey (6-1, 195) is the same type of one-gap penetrator as Tommie Harris and Warren Sapp. He comes off the ball like a bullet and has quick hands and feet, allowing him to maneuver deftly in the trenches. In the right scheme, Dorsey could be a 10-sack-per-year player and an All Pro. Yet in K.C., he's just "good."

Herm Edwards envisioned Dorsey as the key component to his 4-3 defense when he drafted him. Pressure in a Cover 2 scheme needs to come from the front four, making the 3-technique player one of the most crucial on the team. Most believe Dorsey can still be that player, if given the opportunity.

The Chiefs could probably land a second round pick by trading Dorsey and fill his spot with a bigger player better suited for the 5-technique. One of those potential trading partners should be the Chicago Bears.

It remains to be seen if anyone on Chicago's roster can fill the void left by Harris' departure. Rookie Stephen Paea may not have the quickness to play the 3-technique and Henry Melton is still a project. Both Matt Toeaina and Anthony Adams are nose tackles. Obviously, there's still a big need at defensive tackle for the Bears and the team could fill that hole by offering up a second rounder for Dorsey.

He could then finally get back to being the dominant player he once was, instead of wallowing in purgatory as nothing more than run stopper in a system that doesn't suit him. As for the asking price, if Gaines Adams was worth a second round pick, then Dorsey definitely is worth as much.

GM Jerry Angelo loves having a cadre of defensive linemen, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him make a move. Under the tutelage of defensive line guru Rod Marinelli, Dorsey could turn Chicago's defensive front into an elite unit.

Instead of scouring the free agent scrap heap once the lockout is lifted, Angelo would be wise to get on the phone and see if Chiefs GM Scott Pioli wants to make a deal.

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