NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Breakers (6-4) are just one win away from playing for the USFL championship. But to get there, they must do something they’ve been unable to do all season – beat the Birmingham Stallions (9-1).
However, the league’s all-time leading passer – and former Saint – Bobby Hebert says you can throw regular-season records right out the window come playoff time.
”Because when you look at the final four that’s gonna be in Canton, Ohio, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tom Benson Stadium, so there you have that Saints connection,” Hebert told WGNO Sports.
“But I think Birmingham is the favorite though right now, but they didn’t stay undefeated. All you gotta do it is once. It’s not the best of seven, best of five, you know, how you see in baseball or you look at the NBA. The better team is going to win. but hey, if only you gotta do it one time – that’s all it takes.”
The 11-year NFL veteran from South Lafourche says the league’s reboot lacks the original’s starpower, but that it still provides hopefuls with a coveted second chance to turn pro.
“It’s not like when I first came to the USFL, where they were going out and getting top players that were NFL players and paying them, Heisman trophy winners, hall-of-famers now to this day,” said Hebert, who was named the inaugural championship game MVP, as well as the league’s ‘Most Oustanding Quarterback,’ in 1983. “You look at Reggie White, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie. so, it’s much different. It’s more I would say of a developmental league.”
The “Cajun Cannon” says that while the approach of today’s United States Football League differs from the league that launched nearly 30 years ago, the goal for those playing remains unchanged.
Breakers quarterback Kyle Sloter, who led the league in passing through Week 9, is one of many making waves in pursuit of NFL glory.
“Hey, it’s all about being consistent,” explained Hebert, who threw for a record 10,039 yards during two seasons with the Michigan Panthers and one with the Oakland Invaders before joining the Saints in 1985. “And just by him having success – and if he continues to have success, that will be interesting to see if he gets another opportunity.
“Because ultimately right now, I think even if you are in the USFL, you want to get back to the NFL,” he continued. “Even if you are a top Canadian league football player, the ultimate goal is to get to the NFL. For Sloter, any time you lead anything that bodes well for him.”
When asked if a third time would be the charm for New Orleans after having lost twice to their USFL South Division rival this season, Hebert feels the Breakers will need to make plays on defense to have a chance to advance to the championship game against the winner of the Philadelphia Stars (6-4) and New Jersey Generals (9-1). next week.
I’ve been overall impressed with why I think the Breakers are a playoff team, they’ve been opportunistic,” said Hebert, who now works as a Sports Talk radio host and Saints analyst for WWL Radio. “You know they get turnovers and they get a pretty good pass rush at times, so I think if their defense plays well they have a chance to beat Birmingham.Bobby Hebert
The Breakers play the Stallions in the USFL South semifinal on Saturday at 7 p.m.
New Orleans is 1-3 this season playing on Saturday.