Zach Strief doesn’t know Dez Bryant, but he does know his former team, the New Orleans Saints.
Based on that, Strief, who spent 12 seasons as an offensive tackle for the Saints, believes the team’s signing of Bryant to bolster their receiving corps makes sense.
‘This is not a place where we get on interviews after games and talk about how disappointed we are in our two targets’
Bryant was known for not being shy about expressing his frustration if things weren’t going well when he as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Strief doesn’t anticipate anything similar happening with his new team.
“I don’t think the Saints see that even as a possibility at this point in the season,” Strief told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on SiriusXM Blitz. “I think they know they’re going to be in contention. I think they know that this offense is going to continue to perform at a high level, and I think that Dez will fit in well. I think there’s probably a discussion at some point that this is not a place where we get on interviews after games and talk about how disappointed we are in our two targets. And that might happen in this offense. It happens to everybody in this offense at times.
‘I think it’s about getting better as a football team and the Saints thought they could do that with signing Dez’
“But I know this, it’s a great locker room. It’s been very important to Sean Payton since he got to New Orleans to make sure they’re bringing in the right types of people, the right kind of guys. And even the superstars in that locker room are really good guys. Mike Thomas, Alvin Kamara, two of the hardest-working guys that you’ll ever meet. Drew Brees, obviously, lots been said about Drew and his work ethic and his humility. I think he’ll fall in line with that and ultimately I think it’s about getting better as a football team and the Saints thought they could do that with signing Dez.”
Strief sees the logic in having Bryant’s talent in a receiving corps that has one dominant pass-catcher in Thomas, who leads the team with 70 receptions for 880 yards and five touchdowns, and no other receiver with more than 12 catches.
‘If you lose, God forbid, a guy like Mike Thomas, where is that production going to come from?’
“The Rams this week spent a lot of time double-teaming Mike Thomas or Alvin Kamara kind of back and forth, at times even double-teaming both of them,” Strief said. “And I don’t know that that’s the situation that you want to be in, necessarily. There’s also the reality that if you lose, God forbid, a guy like Mike Thomas, where is that production going to come from?
“And I think there’s kind of two sides to bringing Dez in. I think that he can provide another receiver to take some of that pressure off of Michael, but also be there as a possible number one if something was to happen. You look at Dez and his career, I think a lot of fall-off in numbers came from the fact that that’s a team that had been built on the offensive line and the running game and trying to run the ball and the biggest thing with those teams that that are built like that is don’t turn it over; we have to possess it. And you’re not going to kind of sneak balls into really tight windows in those situations and Dez is not a huge separation receiver. Now he’s got maybe the best quarterback in history at fitting balls into tight spots where he can catch it just like with Mike Thomas.”
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