(Eds: With AP Photos.) By BRETT MARTEL AP Sports Writer As Saints players dumped belongings from their lockers into huge brown bags, right tackle Zach Strief said he wished he could look forward to a new season devoid of questions about the bounty scandal.
The seven-year veteran and offensive captain knows better than that.
He expects everything the Saints do when Sean Payton returns in 2013 to be compared to how the team struggled while its coach was suspended in 2012.
''I'm sure it'll come up again next year when it's not even an issue because now it's his first year back,'' Strief said. ''So it'll probably take two years to really get away from it.''
That doesn't mean it will take two years to return to the playoffs.
Although the Saints (7-9) never did quite recover from an 0-4 start, those first four losses all were by single digits, and they went 7-5 the rest of the way.
Given that Drew Brees passed for a whopping 5,177 yards and 43 touchdowns, and that both Marques Colst...