Saints’ O-line in synch both on and off the field
New Orleans lineman
With nimble synchronicity, the lumbering duo tapped away in tandem on fake electric guitars while playing the video game Rock Band in the middle of the locker room.
It’s the kind of teamwork that has helped the
“We’re not all alike, but we get along well,” Stinchcomb said after he’d put down the plastic guitar following Wednesday’s practice. “That’s not only on the field, but off, and I know for a fact it carries over because there are times when it’s a heated situation and you’ve got to be able to work with the guys across the O-line.
“There’s always midstream adjustments you have to make. If you don’t work well together, it’s going to bite you,” the right tackle added.
In last weekend’s 48-27 victory over the New York
The 2006 season was their worst as they allowed 23 sacks, still the fourth-lowest total in the NFL. In 2007, they allowed a league-low 16 sacks. Last season they set a franchise low with 13 sacks allowed, which ranked third.
Brees has been sacked four times this season, currently the third-lowest total.
If there was one weakness, it was run blocking, but not any more. The
Stinchcomb said run blocking was “a commitment this entire offseason, training camp, across the board from management on down. We just made a commitment that that’s not going to be a weakness on this offense.”
Brees said continuity has played a big role in the line’s effectiveness. Stinchcomb and right guard
Starting left guard
“Those guys have been together for a while. They know and have a great feel for one another. They have great trust for one another,” Brees said. “Typically that’s the position that takes the longest to develop as a unit because it’s the largest number of guys on the field as a unit. Plus, what I see with our guys is they don’t just come in the facility and are buddy-buddy and then leave and everybody goes their separate ways. These guys are hanging out all the time.”
The offensive linemen found themselves together at so many charity events that they formed an official foundation called OL4NO (Offensive line for New Orleans). They’ve done bike giveaways at Christmas, youth camps and Feed the Children events, to name a few.
They also eat out together every Thursday night.
“It’s never about football, which is nice,” Strief said. “It’s probably unusual a little bit for no one (among the linemen) to be an outsider – and the coaches have done a good job of making sure that, you know, ‘Do these guys get along?’
“We’ve just been together a long time,” Strief continued. “We’ve been in the same meeting room, in the same seats, for three and four years now, and I think we’re all comfortable with each other and that makes it a lot easier to work together.”