Former New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod didn’t waste any time taking his talents to the Windy City, where Aaron Kromer, former offensive line/running back coach for the Saints, is now the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.
New Orleans head coach Sean Payton expressed in earlier interviews that there are two things that keep him up at night: pass rushing and filling the hole that Bushrod left behind.
Meanwhile, in a rival city nearby, the Atlanta Falcons released another significant player from their roster, OT Tyson Clabo. The 6-foot-6, 329-pound beast hasn’t missed not one game for the Falcons since 2007. Clabo is entering into his ninth season and he has proven to be durable, reliable and big, which is right up the Saints’ alley.
Clabo overcame a slow start to regain his spot as the star of Atlanta’s offensive line by the end of the season. He gave up five sacks in the first four games of the 2012-2013 season, but he didn’t give up not a single one for the rest of the season.
Although Clabo is three years older than Bushrod, he is still relatively in his prime and more than capable of protecting Drew Brees‘ blindside. He can also get into the second layer of the defense to block for running backs, which is what Payton enjoys to do. According to ProFootball Talk, the Dallas Cowboys and the Jacksonville Jaguars have reached out to Clabo, but I believe the Saints should be the third team.
If we look at the personnel the Saints have right now as offensive tackle, all have potential but none are proven. Offensive tackles Charles Brown and Marcel Jones both have battled injuries since being drafted, and the New Orleans Saints’ free agency pick up, Jason Smith, is viewed to some as a bust. Brees can only operate with a solid offensive line and they need consistent, durable and reliable players up front.
Jermon Bushrod was a huge loss for the team, but New Orleans can surely bounce back with a Tyson Clabo signing. The Saints’ salary cap situation is in dire straights, but Mickey Loomis is the best in the business, and I believe they should find a way to make it work.