(WVUE) - There's no way to definitively say the Greenbrier played any role in the Saints' three straight 7-9 seasons.
What can be said is by the time the 2016 season ended, it sure didn't look good.
So, the choice was obvious: it was time to come home.
Whether or not you believe the Greenbrier effect was real or just a lazy excuse, there's no denying facts. And the facts are the Saints were 21-27 when their training camp was domiciled in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. They were 55-25 from 2009-2013 when Metairie was their training camp home.
Sometimes perception has to be reality.
Personally, I never had a problem with West Virginia. The weather was great, and the people were friendly. But the move there became more symbolic of an organization that started to drift.
When Sean Payton took the job with the Saints in 2006, his home stadium wasn't even ready to play in. He held one of most brutal camps in the NFL in Jackson, Mississippi. By his eighth season in New Orleans, training camp was at a five-star resort.
Somewhere, their identity was lost. In the process, the rest of league caught up.
The good news is the Saints are aware of the problem. There would be nothing worse than denial at this point. Now they're coming home, at least for this year.
It won't guarantee success. But it does guarantee the organization is taking the last three years seriously.