Rookie DT Glenn Dorsey is a big load for any offensive lineman to handle
Kansas City Chiefs rookie defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was one of the most dominant players in college football during his days at LSU, a beast in the middle of the Tigers' line who simply overmatched his opponents on a regular basis on his way to Outland Trophy, Nagurski Award, Lombardi Award and Lott Award honors.
Flash forward a year, and Dorsey is still a supremely-talented young prospect with his best days ahead of him, but the sheer results have been a little harder to come by. After playing on one of the best collegiate teams in the nation, Dorsey is now a member of a struggling Chiefs team and is dealing with the learning curve every rookie faces as he deals with the increased talent level in the NFL.
"There have been good days and bad days," Dorsey said. "You've got to take it one day at a time. One day you can come out and be great and the next day it isn't working out for you. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and get better every day.
"It's a big difference in speed in the NFL. Everybody's fast, everybody's big, everybody's strong and everybody is one of the best at what they do. That's a big adjustment. You have to make sure you're fundamentally sound and be ready to play every snap."
Dorsey has tallied 23 tackles and one forced fumble so far in 2008 but has yet to record his first sack. While those numbers may not be mind-boggling just yet, one certainly can't blame a lack of effort on Dorsey's part.
"You've got to work hard," he said. "Like I said, everybody's good. In college, you might have been one of the best players on the field, but here, everybody's good. Everybody's talent level is high, so you've got to go in the film room, you've got to work on your technique and you've got to try to be perfect and bring everything that you can on every play to try to get an edge."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden has certainly seen some good things on film from Dorsey and cornerback Brandon Flowers, the Chiefs' second-round pick in 2008.
"He's good. He's a good player," Gruden said of Dorsey. "I tell you, him and Brandon Flowers, they hit the lottery on those two picks. They've done a nice job. It definitely looks like Coach [Herman] Edwards has found the inside presence that he used to have when he was here [in Tampa]."
Despite his seemingly limitless potential, the on-field results for Dorsey and the rest of the 1-6 Chiefs have been hard to come by in 2008. Frustrating as that may be, the young lineman says he loves everything about his current surroundings.
First and foremost, Dorsey feels he's been blessed to spend the earliest part of his NFL career with a head coach who will help him develop.
"I love playing for Coach Herm [Edwards]," Dorsey said. "He's a guy who looks out for our best interests and he's played the game, so he understands the ups and the downs. He's a guy that you can go and talk to about anything. He's a great coach and I feel like we want to play hard for him because he deserves to win because he puts so much into the game, his heart and soul into practice and the game. He's a great coach.
Furthermore, the fans' support of the Chiefs, even in a down year, has given Dorsey energy to feed off of, and the rich tradition in the AFC West has provided him a football-crazed setting in which to kick off his career.
"I love it," Dorsey said. "Our fans are great. They come out and root and cheer us on. We always try to play good for them and play hard for them at home. We've got a home game this week and we're going to try to put our best foot forward.
"[In the AFC West], there's a lot of rivals. I'm learning as I go along. You learn everything, the history of the team. I'm just taking it in stride and it just makes you want to play harder."
Dorsey's focus will be on an NFC South opponent this week, however, as the Bucs pay a visit to Arrowhead Stadium featuring one of the most physical young offensive lines in the league.
"They have great guys all around the board," Dorsey said of the Bucs. "They're a very athletic team, they like to run fast and they're strong. I'm not surprised by much, but I know it's going to be a hard-fought game.
"They're pretty good [on the offensive line]. I've been watching a little film on them. They move well and they like to come out and attack you. It's going to be a hard-fought game."
This week's game won't make or break Dorsey's strides towards greatness, but there is a palpable pressure on the former LSU star and his fellow 2008 draftees to help the Chiefs through the rebuilding process and return to the upper crust of NFL teams.
As overwhelming as that task could potentially be for a rookie, Dorsey said he isn't putting the entire weight of being the "cornerstone" of the Chiefs' future on his shoulders alone. Rather, he and the Chiefs other young players have united as one to assume the responsibility together, and a win over the Bucs would go a long way towards achieving their goals.
"We all take it upon ourselves as a group of guys to try to be the cornerstone," Dorsey said. "It isn't just upon one person. We all try to take it upon each other as a group. We had a meeting last week to say we've got to step up and start playing and be accountable, no matter if we're young or not. We don't feel like we're young. That's over with. We're just trying to come out and establish ourselves and bring it every week."