Saints offensive line coach has been “super impressed” by Cesar Ruiz
The New Orleans Saints took Cesar Ruiz with their first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and they appear to be having no regrets about that decision.
There’s no denying that the selection of Michigan’s center Cesar Ruiz shocked some Saints’ fans. They were expected Patrick Queen or potentially a player to bolster the team’s receiving corps or secondary.
What they got has far from disappointed.
Since Ruiz’s addition, the team has been able to release Larry Warford, saving around $8 million in cap space. Whether that additional space will be used to bolster their current roster or extend some players on expiring contracts is still yet to be seen.
Ruiz has been with the organization just a few months, but he has already started to impress his coaching staff, primarily the team’s offensive line coach Dan Roushar.
“Saints offensive line coach Dan Roushar said he was ‘super impressed’ not only with how well Ruiz adapted to virtual learning but also picked up the Saints playbook,” WWL Radio’s Amos Morale II wrote.
Roushar found value in Ruiz and Sean Payton was clearly ready for the move, one that will either shift Erik McCoy to guard or force Ruiz into a different position, although he’s comfortable at guard as well.
“We recognize he was a heck of a center the last couple years at Michigan and we recognize his value in that area. And I think it’s between Sean’s (Payton) direction and as we see this thing taking shape the ability to make a move with Erik and slide Cesar and or go the other direction with it. Those things will be determined as we come to camp and attack this thing,” Roushar continued.
Ruiz left Michigan after his third season, knowing he was ready for the spotlight. Now projected to be a starter, Ruiz will join a line that has experience together and will expect nothing but the best from the rookie.
McCoy fit seamlessly, and the goal is for Ruiz to as well. Without an offseason program to get him acquainted with his team, McCoy’s ability to study and work on his own both on the field and in the weight room will be of utmost importance.
Ruiz is expected to be a staple of this line for quite some time, and his addition should help a line that was blamed for the team’s early postseason exit in 2019.