The New Orleans Saints entered the 2011 season with a new patchwork offense line after losing starting center Jonathan Goodwin to the 49ers, and releasing staring right tackle Jon Stinchcomb in the preseason.
Replacing Goodwin was veteran center and ex-Bear Olin Kreutz – a savvy veteran with over 14 years of NFL experience.
Strief emerged the winner, and thus the Saints went forth with their new center and right tackle in place.
In week three the Saints hosted the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – it was a wild come from behind win for New Orleans — but neither Kreutz or Strief emerged from the contest healthy.
Both suffered knee injuries, Strief’s more serious than Kruetz’, and it wasn’t until week six when Kreutz returned to the lineup for one more game as a Saint.
Not only did backup center Brian De La Puente play better than Kruetz in his absence, but Olin began to questions how much he actually wanted to continue playing in the NFL.
So the Saints cut him without much worry, and declared De La Puente the starter for the remainder of the season.