D’IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - When we first interviewed Zach Strief last April, the former New Orleans Saints offensive lineman confirmed his candidacy for the team’s radio play-by-play announcer job.
In between his visits to the Coast, Strief had a front-row seat to the biggest moments of the 2018 Saints season.
“It was awesome, first of all, because the Saints were so good,” Strief told WLOX during a recent visit to the D’Iberville Buffalo Wild Wings. “Deuce (McAllister, Strief’s partner in the broadcast booth) and I have a blast, we really do. I think both of us love the organization, love the Saints, and we hope that that comes through in the broadcast that we’re just two fans.”
Providing the soundtrack for 14 wins, Strief enjoyed a banner first season with WWL Radio, even if it didn’t end as he would have hoped.
“I don’t know that you ever get over it," Strief said of the Saints’ 26-23 overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game. "Now, you gotta move on from it, and I’ve moved on from it, but I don’t know that you ever get over it.”
Strief was openly critical of how Roger Goodell handled the “Nola No-Call,” and thinks making NFL referees full-time employees can help prevent these situations in the future. However, those changes wouldn’t make what happened last month hurt any less.
“Some of the best moments in those players lives would have occurred, and they don’t ever get to have those," said Strief, who won Super Bowl XLIV with the Saints back in 2010. "You hope for guys like Drew Brees and Sean Payton, that they get an opportunity to go back and it doesn’t define their legacy that they weren’t able to get back to the Super Bowl.”
Still, Strief is optimistic that Brees’ last real chance at a Super Bowl didn’t end in overtime against the Rams, and that, with some luck and minor improvements to the roster, New Orleans can get one more shot at the big game.
“A lot goes in to getting to a Super Bowl, a lot goes in to getting deep into the playoffs. But, in terms of talent, ability, coaching staff in place to get them there, there’s no reason why they can’t," Strief said. "I think they’d like to add another pass catching option or a tight end, but really what I think they’re gonna do is bring in depth. They’re gonna bring in competition, so that’s a good place to be if you’re a Saints fan. They’re not looking for a bunch of starters. I think they’re looking to improve the back end of your roster.”