The Many Saints of New Orleans: The Offensive Line

The New Orleans Saints invest highly in its offensive line, and dividends are in the wins and losses.  These Many Saints of New Orleans are essential for the team's winning ways in 2021.
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New Orleans Saints offensive linemen Terron Armstead and Calvin Throckmorton attended the 2021 O-Line Masterminds Summit in Frisco, TX, this weekend. 

Each year, creators Duke Manyweather and Philadelphia Eagles' Lane Johnson invite the top offensive linemen and coaches of the past and present to help, coach, and mentor young o-line players.

Many Saints of New Orleans Offensive Line

The New Orleans Saints invest highly in its offensive line, and dividends are in the wins and losses. The case of Ryan Ramczyk's 5-year, $96M contract extension, first-round selections on guards Andrus Peat (2015) and Cesar Ruiz, and second-rounder center Erik McCoy, with one of the best left tackles in all of football, Terron Armstead, points to the quality players the Saints have on the o-line.

Talented quarterbacks have entered the NFL, and some had abruptly ended their careers when their teams neglected the offensive line play.

SAINTS O-LINE KEPT THE TEAM WINNING SANS BREES

Analyze how the Saints sustained winning without Brees.

10-2 is the win-loss record of the New Orleans Saints quarterbacks while replacing Drew Brees in the starting line-up after being injured for the past 15 seasons. A winning record.

One can argue the common denominator is Sean Payton. Perhaps a majority of the credit goes to coach Payton.  

However, there's an unsung hero. The New Orleans Saints' offensive line.

  • Teddy Bridgewater was sacked 12 times on 46 blitzes, 22 hurries, 44 pressures, at a 20% sack rate in 2019. (5-0 record)

Bridgewater benefited from the Saints having the league's lowest pressure rate in 2.5 seconds or less at 16.5%. The combination of a quick passing game with one of the NFL's best pass-blocking lines has given Brees the lowest pressure rate in the NFL (24.9%).

  • Taysom Hill had 14 sacks on 41 blitzes, 10 hurries, 37 pressures, at a 24.3% sack rate in 2020. (3-1 record)

The guard position was a liability for Taysom Hill. PFF gave low grades for the New Orleans guards Andrus Peat (58.8 pass-blocking grade), Cesar Ruiz (43.4 pass-blocking grade), and Nick Easton (46.6 pass-blocking grade) for the season. Inside the rankings lies a part of the answer for Hill's 14 sacks. 

Hill also contributed to the sack from indecision, fumbles, and running into tacklers.

Ram and Ruiz blocking together

THE SAINTS O-LINE'S MISSION

Offensive linemen's responsibility is to set the barrier of protection for quarterbacks or bulldoze openings for running backs. 

The fame and media attention goes to the skill players, but the guys in the trenches battle defenses to consistently have the Saints' offense in the Top 10 of the NFL. 

The offensive line must work together and are the most integral unit for a football team's wins or losses.

In New Orleans, the o-line is one of the most underappreciated groups, but without them, Sean Payton's teams wouldn't be perennial winners in the NFL.

Winston or Hill will benefit from the extra time, protection, and intelligent play of the Saints' offensive line performers. And, it's a good indicator the 2021-22 Saints can return for another run at the Lombardi Trophy in Los Angeles this upcoming February 2022.


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