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Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Saints morning report: Props for Strief

By Mike Triplett

Usually the best compliment you can give a right tackle is ignoring him. But the folks at Pro Football Focus shined the spotlight on New Orleans Saints right tackle Zach Strief this week, in a good way.

According to PFF, Strief is now the No. 1-ranked offensive tackle in pass-blocking efficiency this season, with a rating of 97.9. PFF analyst Steve Palazzolo also drafted Strief for his Midseason Pro Bowl team Insider in a mock draft for ESPN.com Insider.

Those are some well-deserved kudos for the eighth-year veteran, who has bounced back nicely after struggling during an injury-plagued 2012 season. Strief missed the Saints’ game two weeks ago at New England with an ankle injury but returned this past Sunday against Buffalo and had a solid performance. According to Stats LLC, Strief has allowed one sack this season and has been flagged for one holding penalty.

The entire Saints offensive line needs to become more consistent in its run blocking. But they’ve been making strides in that department in recent weeks.

Scout the Jets: Make sure and bookmark ESPN.com’s New York Jets blog for everything coming out of Jets camp this week. There has already been a lot of good stuff from Jets coach Rex Ryan, complimenting his brother Rob and Saints quarterback Drew Brees, among other topics. My colleague Rich Cimini and I will break down the matchup at length in our weekly Double Coverage segment on Thursday.

False calls? As chronicled by Pro Football Talk, former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira disagreed with the false-start penalties called against Brees last Sunday against Buffalo. Pereira broke down the back-to-back plays during a segment on Fox Sports 1 and said that referee Terry McAulay got it wrong. Pereira said he saw no indication that Brees was making motions intended to draw the defense offside.

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