New Orleans Saints right tackle Zach Strief is willing to jeopardize his job. I repeat, he is willing to jeopardize his starting role with the team if that means helping rookie Andrus Peat, who is fighting behind Strief at the moment, become successful.
Spoken like a captain and a true team player, Zach Strief told the media in a Thursday press conference following the team’s first morning of training camp practices that he will do all he can to assist in the development of the Saints’ first-round pick.
“Andrus (Peat) is no different than anybody else,” Strief said. “He’s a young guy, he’s 21-years-old, he came out as a junior, and he’s going to learn more in this camp about football than he’s probably learned in the previous 21 years.
“That’s a process, and it’s going to take time. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it for him being a first-round pick, the expectations for him are going to be higher. But the time to judge him is down the road, and I think he’s going to work hard for us. I think he’s going to be a real good player.
“More than anything, I want to make sure that he understand that I’m willing to help him, I’m willing to do the things, regardless of whether that is hurting me. That’s just reality, and that’s okay, because I watched someone (Jon Stinchcomb) do it, and I know what it meant to me and how it changed my career. I want to make sure he understands that’s all I want for him too. I want him to be successful, and when I leave here, I want to say we’ve got a string of right tackles that have been successful here.
“I’m sure there are guys in this league that have come in and had a veteran do anything he could to make things uncomfortable for him, and then he turns around and does the same things as a learning response. I like to think that that’s not in my personality, and how do I know? I was very fortunate in the situation I ended up in.”
These are the kind of individuals the NFL needs more of. Zach Strief is a true professional, a team player, and a leader. He understands that nobody is safe and losing your job is part of the game. Of course, we’d like to wish both Strief and Peat the best of luck throughout training camp and on into the regular season.
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