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44Champs 08-18-2011 11:44 AM

Our Offensive (literally) Tackles
Right now, OT looks to be the weakest area on our team.
It's not comforting to think that Bushrod is the best OT that we have. Then we have Brown and Strief - who else? I'm kinda surprised that the coaches didn't address this position more strongly in FA (unless there weren't any OT's available). If we had just ONE solid OT, I think we'd have the best O-Line in the NFL, hands down. I trust Loomis and our coaches, but I just hope that someone steps up!

lumm0x 08-18-2011 12:53 PM

I guess it's a good thing we have two of the best guards in the league and a veteran center who has been a perenial pro bowler not to mention one of the smartest coaches and QB's in the game. They'll find ways to give help by chipping with TE's and backs. Or roll outs away from pressure when they have to leave a tackle man up. I will say that Shockey's blocking may be something we sorely miss and may be more an issue in our blocking scheme than our tackles being Bushrod/Strief as opposed to Bushrod/Stinch from last year.

xan 08-18-2011 12:57 PM

I agree. OT has been extremely weak since 2006. Even during the SB year, game plans were structured to minimize damage from the edges.

Why we didn't do much to address in the narrow FA window is curious. Hell, just ONE tackle would have been a dramatic improvement.

Speedy Ron 08-18-2011 01:01 PM

In Payton I trust

SaintsBro 08-18-2011 01:04 PM

My theory on it is that Jammal Brown went down EARLY in the 2009 season, and they sort of did pretty well with Zach Strief and Jermon Bushrod and the chip blocking, even if Drew was occasionally jitterbugging around back there a bit more than usual. But then it was suddenly like, "hey we just won a SUPER BOWL!" so the tackles position sorta became less important to the team. I mean the conventional football wisdom is always sort of that, you protect your star QB's blind side with a big beefy left tackle, and then the QB traditionally takes his O line out for steak on the weeknights. But Drew is not really that kind of "traditional" stand-still quarterback and the Saints aren't that kind of offense. And let's get real for a sec, our coach is kinda dazzled by toys or offensive weapons, he is not a "three yards and a cloud of dust" type of coach. So I think big bulky O-linemen are just not really on his radar. And I suspect it's also part economics and cap room, as well.

BUT I think the real downside to this weakness, comes in what I call "scary" or "mean" games -- things like DeMarcus Ware in the Cowboys game in '09, or the second half of the Vikings NFC championship game in particular, where it's brutal, rough football with big mean ugly guys getting all up in Drew's face. Sometimes in games like that, I can sense that Drew does start to look kinda uncomfortable back there. ESPECIALLY the second half of the Vikings game! And that worries me, I feel like that's the situation where having a big burly offensive tackle out there would probably help.

darstep 08-18-2011 01:15 PM

These days strong + agile rules the day. Most of the good pass rushers are strong and can motor the corner, and if they get you on your heels, they can push your big ash straight back into the QB. That's got to be one of the toughest jobs out there. A running game puts a lot of that to rest. They just can't tee off like they were doing us last year. String a few 7 and 12 yard runs together and I might be able to handle that corner. I think Bushrod did pretty good and will do OK this year. He has, IMO, and will win most of the battles on his side of the field, not to mention on Drew's blind side of the field. Maybe they will do something when the rosters get thin around the league. But how much can really be said for the guys that are available once all the rosters are thinned out?

strato 08-18-2011 01:49 PM


Rugby Saint II 08-18-2011 02:31 PM

Two out of five positions on the Oline are weak. 2/5 is a failing grade where I come from. I trust Loomis and Payton but dang they're making me nervous as Hell!

neugey 08-18-2011 04:11 PM

I'm not real worried. There are several other teams starting journeymen or rookies at OT this year with an abbreviated training camp. What we don't lack is stability, Bushrod and Strief know the system and the offense. Strief can have a chance to shine as a full-time lineman now.

Maverick2299 08-18-2011 04:12 PM

Kreutz is the wild card, he has potential to be great. He know bushrod, he is ok, nothing special but serviceable. The RT is the mystery area.

But we still have three pre-season games to find out how bad or good the O-line is.

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