The New Orleans Saints’ offensive line appears to be stacked this season. Here are a few reasons why this unit bears watching.
The New Orleans Saints have a powerhouse scoring unit, there is no denying that. While the last few seasons have been a tough pill for Saints fans to swallow, it would be hard to find many who place blame on the offense for these results. Although a defensive turnaround may be upon us for the 2017 season, the dome has been riddled with disappointment on that side of the ball for years. Recent acquisitions in several areas have increased chances of a playoff run greatly. One of these areas is the offensive line.
The offensive line takes a ton of heat protecting quarterback Drew Brees, but they are often overlooked in the glory of it all. New acquisitions stacked on existing talent might give Brees what he needs to throw the team into Super Bowl LII.
The Saints’ starting center is Max Unger. The former Seahawk recently underwent foot surgery and will miss training camp in a few weeks. Luckily, training camp is not all that necessary for nine year veterans of the league. Unger has been with the Saints for two seasons and played well in 2016. Only allowing 12 total quarterback pressures all season. Coach Sean Payton feels that Max will be ready to play by the end of preseason but the club signed veteran Chris Watt as an insurance policy.
Left guard Andrus Peat is going into his third season in Black and Gold. The 6-7, 316 pound former Stanford standout is a force to be reckoned with. Larry Warford is coming over after four seasons with the Detroit Lions. The 6-3, 332 pound right guard played his best season as a rookie. Following that, his performance has been inconsistent. Warford hopes to find stability in New Orleans where he can earn his first ticket to the Pro Bowl.
Ryan Ramczyk is joining the team this year as a first-round pick of the 2017 draft is left tackle. The 6-6 former All-American lineman may get thrown into the fire this season with left tackle, Terron Armstead out four to six months. Expect to see old faithful on the opposite end of the line. Zach Strief has been with the team since 2006 and is coming off one of his best seasons. Strief has taken Ramczyk under his wing showing him the ropes in New Orleans. Entering his twelfth season in the league, the 33-year-old is hoping to prime his successor.
Misty Mitchell covers the New Orleans Saints for Pro Football Spot. You can follow her on Twitter at @MrsTMitchell1. Looking for more Saints news and features? Like our Saints Facebook page HERE and also follow @spot_saints on Twitter.