Longtime NFL lineman explains why Saints are perfect team for Taliese Fuaga to thrive

Rookie offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga will play a big role for the New Orleans Saints, but there’s a belief that he was drafted into an incredible situation.
New Orleans Saints OTA Offseason Workout
New Orleans Saints OTA Offseason Workout / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints selected offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga with the 14th-overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Since making the selection, the Saints haven’t been shy about the expectations they are placing on Fuaga. Since arriving, he has lined up as the starting left tackle. Despite the fact that Fuaga is a rookie, and played right tackle in college at Oregon State, New Orleans is asking him to take on the challenge of being a staring left tackle in the NFL.

There’s no doubt that this is a massive challenge, however, there’s a belief that Fuaga and the Saints are equipped to conquer this challenge. Former NFL lineman Marshall Newhouse recently spoke with NFL analyst Mina Kimes about why Fuaga is the X-factor for the Saints, and why New Orleans is an incredible situation for him.

Newhouse admitted that going from the right side to the left side is a difficult transition that people often underestimate. However, Newhouse argues that Fuaga will be able to make the transition, largely because he’ll be playing in an offensive scheme where offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak will make his life easier.

Klint Kubiak will play a big role in Taliese Fuaga’s transition into an NFL left tackle

Marshall Newhouse played in the NFL for 11 seasons, mostly as a tackle, so he knows what it’s like being on the end of an offensive line. While acknowledging the uphill battle that Fuaga is facing, Newhouse explained how Kubiak’s scheme will help the rookie lineman. He broke down what he calls “arbitraging pass rush situations.”

Essentially, the offense is designed in a way that it limits edge rushers from frequently pinning their ears back and rushing the passer. This is done through creative play calls, mixing in misdirections, play actions, bootlegs, unique run plays, and more. Edge rushers will constantly be on their toes, unsure of what’s coming, so they’ll rarely be able to take advantage of Fuaga’s inexperience.

The Saints defense, who just finished competing against Kubiak’s offense in minicamp, spoke on this with the media. Linebacker Pete Werner and defensive coordinator Joe Woods explained that the offense has a lot of moving parts that challenge a defense’s focus and attention to detail. That could be the key to a successful rookie season for Taliese Fuaga.