NFL CAREER – This former seventh-round draft pick has successfully held down the starting right tackle position since the retirement of Jon Stinchcomb in 2011. In 2012, the former Northwestern standout contributed to a front line that only surrendered 26 sacks, tied for the third fewest in the league, while also helping the offense finish ranked second in the NFL in net yards per game (410.9) and third in scoring (28.8 points per game). After serving as a capable reserve at both tackle positions, as a blocking tight end and on special teams for his first five seasons, Strief has been able to use his tremendous size and strength to his advantage as the starter on right side. He’s played in 94 career games with 30 starts, and is expected to anchor the right side of the offensive line again in 2013. Strief is also one of the Saints’ most community-minded players, involving himself in numerous charitable and educational programs and events.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms, 8/2/11; Re-signed to a one-year contract (RFA), 4/12/10; Re-signed to a one-year contract (RFA), 4/13/09; Signed to a three-year contract, 7/20/06; Selected in the seventh round (210th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.
HONORS – 2012: Jim Finks Good Guy Award (cooperation with local media); 2011: Madden Most Valuable Protectors of the Year (Offensive Line Award); Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award (Week nine, Offensive Line); 2009: Madden Most Valuable Protectors of the Year (Offensive Line Award).
2012 – One of six season-long team captains. Started all 12 games he appeared in at right tackle and missed three contests (weeks 10-12) with a groin injury and week 15 with an ankle injury. Part of an offensive front that gave up only 26 sacks, tied for the third fewest in the league. Blocked for an offense that finished second in the NFL in net yards per game (410.9) and third in scoring (28.8 ppg.)…Helped the offense put together 474 total net yards at Green Bay, Sept. 30…Part of a unit that helped QB Drew Brees set the NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (48) vs. San Diego, Oct. 7…Contributed to an offense that gained 458 total net yards without allowing a sack for the first time in 2012 at Tampa Bay, Oct. 21…Helped the rushing attack gain 140 yards vs. Philadelphia, Nov. 5, while yielding just one sack on the evening. Part of an offensive line that allowed Brees to complete 74.1% of his passes (20-27), while keeping his jersey clean…Contributed to an offensive line that paved the way for a season-high 562 net yards at Dallas, Dec. 23. 2011 – Started all 11 regular season games and both postseason contests he played in at right tackle. Inactive for five games (weeks 4-8) due to knee injury. Part of a line that relinquished only 24 sacks, tied for second fewest in the NFL, giving up only five in the last eight games. Blocked for an offense that finished 2011 setting an NFL single-season record with 7,474 yards, winning the 2011 Madden Protectors Award for the second time in three years…Started the opener at Green Bay, Sept. 8, helping the offense gain 477 total net yards…Suffered knee injury vs. Houston, Sept. 25, which would sideline him for the next five games…Upon his return vs. Tampa Bay, Nov. 6, Strief and the offensive line were awarded the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award for Week 9. They surrendered zero sacks and helped the offense rush for 195 yards…Part of an effort that allowed no sacks for the second consecutive week in an overtime win at Atlanta, Nov. 13…Helped pave the way for 205 yards rushing and 577 net yards of total offense vs. N.Y. Giants, Nov. 28…Contributed to an offense that put together 573 total net yards at Minnesota, Dec. 18, while holding the ball for a season-best 38:49…Part of an effort vs. Atlanta, Dec. 26, where the line blocked for Brees as he set the NFL’s single-season passing yardage record when he threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns…Vs. Carolina, 1/1/12, contributed to the offense setting a team record with 617 total net yards…The following week in NFC Wild Card Playoff vs. Detroit, helped the offense set an NFL postseason record with 626 total net yards, making the Saints the only team in NFL history to have two 600-yard performances in the same season (regular season and postseason). 2010 – Played in 14 games, starting two as a blocking tight end. Inactive for first two regular season contests with a knee injury suffered in training camp…Also appeared in NFC Wild Card Playoff at Seattle, 1/8/11 on special teams and as a blocking tight end. 2009 - Played in all 16 regular season games for the third straight season, primarily on special teams and as an extra blocking tight end and opened two contests at left tackle…Saw extended playing time at left tackle at Buffalo, Sept. 27, after Jermon Bushrod left with an ankle injury and also played on special teams…Started at left tackle vs. N.Y. Jets, Oct. 4, and helped block for the team’s 153 rushing yards and zero sacks allowed in the 24-10 victory…Started at left tackle and played on the line in a rotation, helping to lead the team to a 38-7 win with zero sacks allowed and 183 yards rushing at Tampa Bay, Nov. 23…Played on special teams in first half and took over at right tackle in second half at Carolina, 1/3/10…Played on special teams and as blocking tight end in all three postseason wins. 2008 – Played in all 16 games and received the starting nod at left tackle at Chicago, Dec. 11 in place of an injured Jammal Brown…Also saw extended time at left tackle in contests at Denver, Sept. 21, vs. Atlanta, Dec. 7 and at Detroit, Dec. 21…Played right tackle in second half after Stinchcomb left with back spasms vs. Minnesota, Oct. 6…Appeared on special teams in every contest, and also served as an extra tight end in short yardage situations. 2007 – Played in all 16 games, primarily on special teams, starting at left tackle at Houston, Nov. 18, in place of an injured Brown…Also saw extended time at left tackle vs. St. Louis, Nov. 11, when Brown departed in the first quarter…Periodically played as a tight end in jumbo offensive packages. 2006 – Played in nine games, making his first career start at left tackle at Tampa Bay, Nov. 5. Didn’t allow a sack and was praised by the coaching staff following the contest for a solid performance after seamlessly stepping into the lineup for Brown…Inactive for seven games…Appeared in both postseason games on special teams.
COLLEGE – Anchored Northwestern’s offensive line his final three seasons, starting 40 games at right tackle…Recognized as a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and was consensus second-team All-Big Ten as a senior…A key performer on a record-setting offense that averaged more than 500 net yards per game and ranked fourth nationally…Second-team All-Big Ten in 2004…Became a full-time starter as a sophomore in 2003…Majored in communication studies and minored in business institutions.
PERSONAL – Attended Milford (Ohio) HS, where he allowed zero sacks as a senior and only one as a junior…Also lettered in basketball and track at Milford…Full name: Zachary David Strief…Born Sept. 22, 1983 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
New Orleans Saints OT Zach Strief talks with reporters after practice on Thursday, December 5, 2013 (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints OT Zach Strief speaks with reporters after the team’s game against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, December 2, 2013. (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints tackle Zach Strief talks with Sean Kelley about the New Orleans Saints win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, September 8, 2013. (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints OT Zach Strief talks with reporters after practice on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.