This former seventh-round draft pick has successfully held down the starting right tackle position since 2011, also serving as an offensive team captain the past two campaigns. In 2013, the former Northwestern standout blocked for an offense finish ranked fourth in the NFL in net yards per game (399.4). After serving as a capable reserve at both tackle positions and 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 109 career games with 45 starts. Strief is also one of the Saints’ most community-minded players, involving himself in numerous charitable and educational programs and events.
NFL CAREER – This former seventh-round draft pick has successfully held down the starting right tackle position since 2011, also serving as an offensive team captain the past two campaigns. In 2013, the former Northwestern standout blocked for an offense finish ranked fourth in the NFL in net yards per game (399.4). After serving as a capable reserve at both tackle positions and 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 109 career games with 45 starts. 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 one-year contract (RFA), 4/12/10; Re-signed to one-year contract (RFA), 4/13/09; Signed to three-year contract, 7/20/06; Selected in the seventh round (210th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.
HONORS – 2013: ESPN.com All-Pro (John Clayton); 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).
2013 – One of six season-long team captains. Started all 15 games he appeared in at right tackle, missing contest at New England, Oct. 13, due to an ankle injury. Also opened both postseason contests. Blocked for an offense that ranked fourth in the NFL in net yards per game (399.4)…Helped the offense put together 465 net yards vs. Miami, Sept. 30…Contributed to an offensive line that paved the way for an NFL-record 40 first downs and franchise record 625 net yards and helped RB Mark Ingram rush for a career-high 145 yards…In NFC Wild Card Playoff at Philadelphia, 1/4/14, blocked for a rushing offense that gained 185 yards. 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 what was then 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 (knee)…Also appeared in NFC Wild Card Playoff at Seattle 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 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 Jon 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 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.
Zach Strief spoke at Ethel Schoeffner Elementary on Friday, April 11, 2014. (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton talks about OT Zach Strief at the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints Zach Strief speaks with reporters on Monday, January 13, 2014 (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints OL Zach Strief speaks with reporters after practice on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. (New Orleans Saints video)