The New Orleans Saints offensive line was one of the teams strongest areas in 2010, a group of guys known to be very cohesive, and the proof was there for all to see.
This group only allowed quarterback Drew Brees to be sacked 48 times, including the playoff’s, since the beginning of the 2009 season.
However this off season, the Saints chose not to resign long time starters — center Jonathan Goodwin and right tackle Jon Stinchcomb.
That move created some uncertainties on an offensive line where there have been none for a few years.
The Saints choose instead to dive into free agency and promote linemen that were currently on their roster.
New Orleans started by moving Zach Strief, a six year vet, to the starting right tackles spot. Charles Brown then became the back up to Strief.
Once starting center Jonathan Goodwin turned down the Saints offer and signed a free agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers everyone thought coach Payton would move Matt Tenant, the Saints 5th round pick in 2010, in to the starting center role.
But the Saints went in another direction and signed Chicago Bear center Olin Kreutz, a 14 year vet to a one year contract instead.
So far the Saints have allowed Brees to be sacked four times in two games, that number will have to get better as the season goes along if they want to contend for the championship.
The Texans, who were ranked 26th in defense in 2010, hired defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to turn the defense around, and so far they have looked impressive against the Miami Dolphins and Payton-less Indianapolis Colts.
The Saints offensive line will have their hands full this Sunday when trying to handle the Texans, a unit that has momentum on their side and stud linebacker Mario Williams.
But each week the Saints newly assigned offensive line is getting better and better, and it will not be long before they are the strong group of guys that the Saints envisioned when they allowed Stinchcomb and Goodwin to leave.
This weeks game against the Texans is going to be tough, but the Saints offensive line will show two things. These guys have already started to come together as a unit, and that they will not allow the Texans to sack Drew Brees in this game.
Who Dat gonna beat them Saints, NO ONE…