Kristian: Saints' Terron Armstead "night and day" from last season
by Kristian Garic,posted Aug 1 2014 9:27AM
Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead can attest to baptism by fire. Last year, he was thrown into the flames as the team’s starting left tackle in the middle of a play-off run in a huge game against the Carolina Panthers. Replacing Charles Brown, Armstead struggled in the first half of that game, giving up three sacks.
Entering his first full season as the starter, Armstead says it’s a night and day difference in comfort level: “Well, they say the game slows down. It’s just knowing the plays. Hearing the terminology from Drew (Brees) – my first snap I could’ve sworn he was speaking Chinese or Spanish or something. Just letting it slow down, having veterans like Zach Strief, Jahri Evans just being with you and helping you break down film and those type of things, it’s getting easy,” Armstead explained.
He’s not just big left tackle, he’s extremely athletic. The Saints might have struck gold again in the third round in 2013. New Orleans had Armstead penciled in to start this season, and be the tackle of the future. It just so happens the future came a little earlier. One Saints executive described his athleticism to me this way: “He could play tight end, seriously. He could go run down the field and catch passes and probably turn into a Pro Bowler”. Wow!
Fortunately the Saints have a pretty good tight end in Jimmy Graham. In the meantime, Armstead will just run down field and throw a devastating block for a running back or receiver. Armstead says he’s working to perfect his craft as a run blocker and pass protector: “I feel like I’m a more natural run-blocker. I’m picking up the technique in pass blocking more, everything is coming together nicely.”
Armstead also spent some time with one of the all-time greats and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Willie Roaf this off-season. “It was a one day thing. I just had a few questions with him. I hung out with him before. I had a few questions like, ‘Where does he carry his hands? What’s he looking at?’ Those types of things, trying to pick his brain a little bit.”
It’s very early in camp, but the addition of Armstead to the Saints offensive line might just be the difference maker in 2014.
T-Bob and I caught a few minutes with Terron after practice, take a listen: