The Expendables: Starring Saints Right Tackles

Karl Walter

This isn't a movie. This group went from deep to the "Expendables" in the blink of an eye.

Just in time for the Saints to play a defensive group chock full of standouts, the starting and back up right tackles are out with injuries.

The first was starter Zach Strief, who left early with a groin injury in the Saints drubbing of the Eagles three weeks ago. Worry set in a bit for Who Dat Nation as the back up, Charles Brown, took over having only played a limited number of snaps. And when he did play, he was nothing special. Nevertheless, Charles Brown was set to start against division rival Atlanta Falcons.

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. Charles Brown played by far what was the best game of his career. The Falcons pass rush only got to Drew one time that entire game, and it wasn't even on his side! It finally looked like Brown's talent and speed that fans have been hearing about was coming to the forefront. I was looking forward to seeing him in the trenches again the following week against the Raiders.

Brown began the game in the Black Hole dominating the line of scrimmage. Brees had all day to throw, and blocked sufficiently for the running backs. But then, a man was down on the field. It was Charles Brown, who had just suffered a sprained MCL.

I, for one, was extremely concerned because I didn't even know if we had a true third string right tackle. Well, undrafted rookie Bryce Harris stepped in and looked like a disaster, whiffing blocks on the first two plays. To help Harris out, chip blocks by tight ends were put on the rushers opposite him for the rest of the game.

Who Dat Nation was scrambling now. The Saints were on fire, winning five out of their past six games, and two right tackles go down in time for the Smith brothers (Aldon and Justin) and Patrick Willis to come to town, followed by the Falcons' and Giants' quality pass rush. Since the team was missing both Strief and Brown, they recently signed right tackle William Robinson. He has bounced on and off the Saints practice squad, so at least he knows the blocking schemes.

I don't know about you guys, but I am kind of concerned about this position. The next three games feature teams with average to above-average defenses. I guess we just have to see what happens and hope that Vitt provides either Robinson or Harris with plenty of help because Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham won't be saving us this time.

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