Saints Longtime OL Strief Hanging it up
New Orleans Saints OL Zach Strief is calling it a career on Monday after 12 years on the offensive line for the New Orleans Saints.
He broke into the league in 2006 out of Northwestern in the 7th round of the NFL Draft. It's the same year in fact, that Drew Brees began his career as a New Orleans Saint, coming over from the San Diego Chargers.
As a 7th round pick he didn't get a chance to start right away, he had to work his way onto the field from the reserve ranks. He would serve in those ranks for just five seasons until he got a shot at regular playing time in 2011. Since then, Strief has been someone Brees could count on to block the right side of the line, week in and week out.
This past season was a tough one for the 34 year old to endure as he tore his ACL and MCL, ending his season after just two games, and effectively his career.
Here's what Strief had to say via his Instagram account:
He also stated at his press conference today just how much his 12 year career surprised even himself and his love for New Orleans:
"My career here has exceeded my wildest imagination, I didn't think this was going to last through my first August, let alone 12 years.
"My admiration for the New Orleans Saints organization has grown daily throughout my career. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in it; it certainly was not accomplished alone."
In addition, he talked about how Sean Payton gave him a chance to play the game he loved:
"You had more to do with me getting an opportunity here than anyone else, you took a chance on me when no one else would. Your faith in me has changed my life forever."
We'll all miss you Zach, good luck in your next life venture as a Brew Master.