Lingering Issues on the Offensive Line?
Most Saints fans would assume the possible issues on the offensive line will ultimately stem from the eventual retirement of current New Orleans Saints guard, Jahri Evans. In some cases, yes this would be true, the replacement for the guard is an obvious need. Filling the eventual need at guard is a problem in its own. We understand that. But there is another unfortunate issue fans are almost seemingly forgetting. That’s the linemen to the right of Jahri Evans, aging veteran right tackle, Zach Strief.
Don’t get me wrong here folks, Zach Strief has been a cornerstone of this Saints offensive line for some time now. But subtle hints have shown it’s nearing the end of his career in New Orleans.
Now given, the expectations weren’t very high for Strief coming into this past season. After he was made a mockery the year prior, Saints fans weren’t exactly smiling at the realization that Strief would be manning the right side of the line.
The only real example this case needs was on 11/29/15. Unfortunately that day, the Saints lost 24-6. but the real issue was the under performing veteran Strief against one of the premiere edge rushers, J.J. Watt. Zach Strief was present that afternoon, but it was one version of Strief Saints fans wouldn’t like to see any time soon. The point that’s trying to be made here is that Strief has had good games, and bad games.
The questions remains, what version of Zach Strief comes to play come the 2017 season.
Now with the 13th selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected OL Andrus Peat from Stanford to help solidify the offensive line. He was slated as to eventually replace Zach Strief on the line. As perfect as this selection was, with the lack of general depth on the offensive line, Peat was moved to the current spot at left guard. Here’s the current dilemma. Let’s say Strief declines or retires, that leaves Peat coming over to fill that void. Now this action simultaneously leaves a hole at left guard. Either way the Saints need assistance.
Now there are obviously ways the Saints can address this issue this offseason. Of course there is free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft. Stay tuned to see if the New Orleans Saints decide to make any splashes in regards to offensive linemen.
The next discussion that must be addressed is a position the Saints can afford to wait on.