On February 7, 2010 in Super Bowl XLIV, New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Zach Strief spent most of his time where he spent most of his career since 2006, on the bench. Not due to poor play, of course, but due to the fact that he was a reserve to 2009 All-Pro offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb. Stinchcomb had been a mainstay at tackle for the Saints since 2006, which was when Strief was drafted, and there was little need to push Strief into a starting role prematurely.
By re-signing him in 2014, it's clear that Strief's time in New Orleans should expect to continue for at least another season. The man once known mostly as "tackle eligible" has grown into a solid offensive tackle, leaving the Saints to question the future of the offensive guard positions more than tackle this offseason, for the first time in recent memory. Strief could have left New Orleans last offseason, but he and the team made the right decision to re-sign. Strief provides stability and leadership, both of which are crucial to a successful offensive line.
Strief's contributions to the 2009 Saints season and subsequent Super Bowl XLIV title are not particularly significant considering his role as a backup/reserve player at the time, but it's obvious he's learned from those experiences and has learned from the stellar linemen who came before him. He may be signed until 2018, but it's extremely unlikely Strief remains with the team through the length of the deal. The Saints need to begin searching for his replacement in the 2016 Draft.