Saints News

What will the Saints do now that Armstead is out?

traymond
Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

It appears the Saints will start the season off again with multiple injuries. Now that includes Terron Armstead.

For everyone not aware what the New Orleans Saints starting offensive line would have looked like before these injuries, here it is below. This offensive line includes Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Max Unger, Larry Warford, and Zach Strief. Also having rookie first round selection, tackle Ryan Ramczyk, waiting in the wings, this is a very solid group of linemen. Unfortunately for the Saints, the season won’t exactly start out with all of these linemen.

LT: Terron Armstead

LG: Andrus Peat

C: Max Unger

RG: Larry Warford

RT: Zach Strief

It was reported today by not only Nick Underhill, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport that the New Orleans Saints lost yet another important player. After possibly losing Nick Fairley for good with a heart condition, and having an already injured C Max Unger rehabbing, the injury bug struck again. It was reported earlier that star Left Tackle, Terron Armstead will be missing at least 4 – 6 months with a torn labrum.

Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Unfortunately for Armstead, it almost appears if the tackle is damaged goods at this point. This is Armstead’s second major injury in his career. The first came last season as the tackle injured his knee and only played a total of seven games throughout 2016. As unfortunate as it is to see Armstead being consistently being hurt, this could affect his odds of staying with the Saints in the future.

Don’t get me wrong here folks, I love what Terron Armstead is capable of doing when he is healthy. When available, and healthy, Terron Armstead is able to put the best edge rushers at bay. I guess at this point in the upcoming season it won’t be that way. Yet.

In this week’s article, I’ll be taking a look at the options the Saints currently have, now with Terron Armstead being unable to play. 

1.) Senio Kelemete

NEW ORLEANS, LA – AUGUST 30: Senio Kelemete #65 of the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 30, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – AUGUST 30: Senio Kelemete #65 of the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 30, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Although this isn’t his natural position, Senio Kelemete is a talented offensive lineman with the capability and versatility to play multiple positions. That includes tackle. If the Saints ended up choosing Kelemete at tackle, the Saints projected offensive line would look something like this below.

With this formation, it makes the Saints incredibly vulnerable regarding their offensive line depth. Senio Kelemete, who is known for being an incredibly talented guard, and center, can play tackle with no hesitation. My only concern going forward is what if more injuries occur? If more injuries somehow presented themselves *knock on wood* it wouldn’t be very good for the Saints.

LT: Senio Kelemete

LG: Andrus Peat

C: Max Unger

RG: Larry Warford

RT: Zach Strief

2.) Andrus Peat

Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Andrus Peat (75) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Andrus Peat (75) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The offensive linemen who’ve practically played every position at some point for the Saints, Andrus Peat could be a decent LT replacement. Andrus Peat, the 2015 13th overall selection, has been pretty reliable on the Saints offensive line, now that depends on where he is placed. In my observations of Andrus Peat, I believe Peat is personally best suited as the Saints Left Guard. Peat has played left tackle before and he’s been moderately decent at the position. Now in regards to the right side, Peat has struggled mightily. Luckily as of the Saints offensive line right now, there aren’t any concerns regarding the right side.

If the Saints decided to shift Andrus Peat over to Left Tackle in compared to what he currently plays in Left Guard, the solution wouldn’t be perfect, but it would suffice. Let’s say this is the move that ends up happening, what would then happen is OL Senio Kelemete would then play Left Guard, a position Kelemete is very familiar with. Again my only concern is, similar to the previous formation, it makes the Saints incredibly vulnerable regarding their offensive line depth. At this point the Saints don’t have many options but, something must be done.

LT: Andrus Peat

LG: Senio Kelemete

C: Max Unger

RG: Larry Warford

RT: Zach Strief

3.) Ryan Ramczyk

Sep 3, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk (65) during the Lambeau Field College Classic against the LSU Tigers at Lambeau Field. Wisconsin won 16-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk (65) during the Lambeau Field College Classic against the LSU Tigers at Lambeau Field. Wisconsin won 16-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Last but not least we have Tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Ryan Ramczyk is the Saints a rookie lineman who was selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Although Ramczyk’s natural position is Left Tackle, which he played a lot with the Wisconsin Badgers, there are a few concerns going forward. Let’s get one thing straight folks, I don’t doubt Ramczyk’s talent, or ability to perform. Ramczyk obviously does have experience playing the position. For those who didn’t know, Ramczyk was an All-American Tackle with his college, Wisconsin.

What I am concerned about is the importance of finding the right replacement for this position.

Left tackle, if not the most important position in the NFL regarding the offensive line, is at least a position that should be heavily regarded. If you don’t have a great left tackle your quarterback’s blind spot could be in jeopardy.

Ryan Ramczyk is not only a rookie offensive linemen who hasn’t experienced the premiere talent edge rushers such as Atlanta’s Vic Beasley, Buffalo’s Lorenzo Alexander, and Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter that the NFL has to offer. All of those athletes mentioned are only SOME of the defensive ends the New Orleans Saints will be facing this year. If that doesn’t concern anyone, how about the fact that this rookie offensive lineman is coming off of hip surgery?

Yes, as unfortunate as it may be, it’s true. Ryan Ramczyk is currently rehabbing and getting healthy after having an injured hip. Unfortunately, as great as Ryan Ramczyk may be, I don’t know how comfortable the Saints are in having a rehabbing, rookie offensive linemen starting for the Quarterback’s blind spot on the offensive line.

LT: Ryan Ramczyk

LG: Andrus Peat

C: Max Unger

RG: Larry Warford

RT: Zach Strief

Unfortunately for the New Orleans Saints, this injury is something the team can’t afford to tread lightly over. The Left Tackle position is an important position, and this situation must be dealt with very delicately. Nobody knows what the Saints will do at this point, but it doesn’t hurt to guess. The Saints have some options, but with every decision may come a repercussion. Stay tuned Who Dat Nation as Who Dat Dish, and myself, will keep you updated as this situation unfolds.

facebooktwitterreddit