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papz 08-01-2012 11:54 AM

Secret Superstar: Zach Strief, OT, New Orleans Saints
 
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It hasn’t been an offseason to remember for the Saints, but all is not lost in the Big Easy. Aside from having a roster stacked with some obvious talent and big-name stars, they also have some players who have been quietly impressive; flying under the radar yet integral to their success. The team has patched some of the weaker spots on the roster during free agency, and assuming they can get Drew Brees signed, things figure to be well once again for the Saints on the field at least.

Arguably, the least-heralded member of that high-octane, dominant offense is right tackle Zach Strief, but that should change because Strief is the New Orleans Saints’ Secret Superstar.

Low Profile Beginnings

Despite being such a large man, Zach Strief has been able to remain incognito for his entire football playing career. He was ranked as the 73rd best offensive lineman in the country in the Rivals 100 as a recruit, and earned a scholarship to Northwestern. Despite starting 40 games for the Wildcats and becoming the first lineman from the college to earn All-America honors in 22 years, Strief lasted all the way to the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft, with 209 players being selected ahead of him.

From that point on he was little more than a backup for the Saints for five seasons, though he also served as the New Orleans sixth offensive lineman/heavy tight end, and would see significant snaps in some games in this role. The occasional start he saw in relief of injured starters at tackle resulted in some mixed performances. They ranged from the very good to some clear struggles, but until 2011 he never had a chance to start more than one game at a time.

Like so many other players buried on depth charts, we never got to see what he could do in an extended run as a starter. Nonetheless, he was an important enough player for the Saints to keep him on the roster. After an injury-plagued 2010 season, the Saints opted to part ways with their long-time right tackle Jon Stinchcomb before 2011 began, and penciled in Strief as his replacement.

Full article.

Rugby Saint II 08-01-2012 01:22 PM

He's growing on me.

CharityMike 08-01-2012 03:28 PM

Lets just hope he continues to build off the last half of last year. I think he will do just fine.

Boutte 08-01-2012 05:31 PM

I always thought he would be a solid starter. He looked good when called on to fill in for injured players.The Saints keep finding and developing talent on the O side. Wish they were as lucky on the D side.

FinSaint 08-01-2012 05:41 PM

He is an OK RT, but definitely the weak link in the otherwise solid - at least in the interior - O-line.

I'm hoping that Marcel Jones will take the starting RT job away from him in 2013.


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