Larry Holder of CBS directed me (and probably you) to THIS ARTICLE on Pro Football Focus praising Saints’ right tackle Zach Strief as a “secret superstar”. The article didn’t come as a huge surprise really, considering the grades he got for the season from both me and Pro Football Focus. Despite being under the radar and blasted as terrible on a nationally televised broadcast by Cris Collinsworth (which was just ridiculous), Strief graded out at +12.0 on PFF which was good for 8th best in the entire NFL at the tackle position for 2011. I graded him with a 3.06 GPA for the season (anything above 3.00 is extremely high and solid) which was 2nd best on the Saints offensive line, behind Jahri Evans but ahead of Carl Nicks.
when he was still a backup back in January of 2010. Back then, he had the following quote about getting a chance as a starter: “I feel like when given the chance I will be a consistent performer”. Wasn’t that the truth. All he needed was a chance, and now he’s even better than his predecessor Jon Stinchcomb. Stinchcomb was never the strongest or the quickest, but he got by with oustanding technique. That’s something Strief learned from him, but Strief also has superior size and strength to impose himself. Strief also has oustanding lateral movement and quick feet for a 6’7″ guy as enormous as he is. He may not be a household name, but the Saints can rest assured they’ve got a rock solid pro bowl quality right tackle in Strief.
Strief is also one of the real good guys on the Saints, he’s totally submerged in the NOLA culture and community with his wife Mandy (who is from New Orleans) and I consider myself lucky to root for a player like him.