Behind the Facemask: Cameron Jordan/Zach Strief
Jordan was selected by the Saints in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. After playing college football at the University of California, Jordan immediately entered the starting lineup for the Saints. Jordan appeared in 16 games with 15 starts as a rookie and recorded 59 tackles (27 solo) while adding one sack, six pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
How difficult has it been to have multiple defensive coordinators in the same number of years?
“Technically, this is my fourth defensive coordinator in four years. Starting in my junior year of college, my defensive coordinator left. Then we had Coach Clancy, who was the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals when they went to the Super Bowl my senior year of college. Coming in to my rookie year, we had Coach Williams and now we have Spags (Steve Spagnuolo). It has been a change for me every year. It is fun to get in to a new defense, to get a quick dive. This one, I definitely feel more comfortable in. I can relate to this one. I have the same dreams and aspirations that the coach has for me. Hopefully they mesh together well.”
Evaluate your progress in learning the new system.
“It is definitely not easy to say the least. They are so many different things for the d-line to do. There are so many opportunities. It is exciting but at the same time, you have to get in your study book. I feel pretty comfortable in it already but I will let the coaches tell you how comfortable they think I am in it. I think I am doing pretty well.”
On Thursday, fans were able to submit questions for T Zach Strief.
Strief was selected by the Saints in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft. After spending five seasons as a reserve, Strief made the move to the starting right tackle position in 2011. He was able to use his size and strength to help pave the way for an offense that recorded an NFL-record 7,474 total net yards. The offensive line as a unit only allowed 24 sacks last season, tied for the second-lowest total in the league, and only five in the last eight games. Strief has played in 82 games with 16 starts in his career and has been a part of an offensive line that won the Madden Most Valuable Protectors of the Year in 2009 and 2011.
What do you prefer: run blocking or pass blocking?
“I think all linemen like run blocking because as a lineman you want physical contact. That is what you like about football. It is less obvious when you get beat in the running game. You want to grind in there and you don’t want to get Drew (Brees) hit. We throw the ball so much that I think sometimes you are more comfortable in the passing game because we are doing it more.”
Who is the most challenging pass-rusher to face in the NFC South?
“I think you look at a guy like John Abraham. He is a veteran guy, he is a pass-rusher. He is a pure pass-rushing guy. For me, those get-off guys, the guys that can get off the ball and gain ground and get on your edge are always a little bit harder for me. Obviously, a guy that has been around that long and has that many sacks is a great player. He is a guy that will probably be considered for the Hall of Fame one day. It is hard to say someone other than him.”
What is your toughest match-up here in camp?
“I would say Cam Jordan. I think he has done an awesome job this offseason. I think he is stronger. He has more awareness as a pass-rusher. I think that our rush patterns are wildly improved from last year in terms of those guys getting to the points in a pass-rush instead of just running. You look at a guy like Cameron Jordan, a big, physical guy, strong guy, that is getting across your face, getting in front of the quarterback, pushing the pocket, I think he has had a really good camp and I am excited to see him play this year.”
Both those guys appear to be very sharp. Strief seems to have been a lunch pail guy all his life and now he is reaping his rewards. Jordan is going to be a beast friends. You just watch and see.:smile:
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