Andrus Peat continues to thrive as versatile offensive lineman

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Saints LG andrus Peat vs. Bucs
(Photo: Parker Waters)

Andrus Peat has been a key component of the winning formula for the New Orleans Saints.

Groomed to be an NFL offensive lineman by his father Todd Peat, Andrus had an extra edge in becoming a success. Todd played six years in the NFL with the Cardinals and Raiders during the late ’80’s and early ’90’s.

Ironically, the younger Peat didn’t play peewee football but hit the ground running when he arrived in high school.

“Once I started playing, I watched film with my dad,” Peat explained. “He had me taking hundreds of pass sets in my back yard. He gave me valuable lessons and knowledge from his years in the League. He had a lot experience and just listening and learning from him helped me a lot.”

At Corona dei Sol High School in Arizona), Peat became a five-star recruit who was rated the second best lineman in the 2011 recruiting class. He considered 38 scholarship offers from the nation’s top programs before deciding on Stanford.

Peat played as a true freshman for the Cardinal and eventually earned the 2014 Morris Trophy as the best offensive lineman in the PAC-12. He left college early, taken by the Saints as the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Scouts were enamored with his footwork, flexibility and power. He uses his hands very well and thrives as a drive blocker while also praised for his cerebral approach to the game.

Now part of a unit that has allowed a NFC low 20 sacks each of the past two seasons, Peat is a reliable left guard who can swing out to tackle when needed. The blue collar approach under 33-year coaching veteran Dan Roushar, the offensive line coach in New Orleans, suits Peat well.

“It’s all about how we work and prepare,” Andrus said about the Saints offensive line and its impressive numbers. “Our guys come in and work everyday. We get great coaching from Coach Roushar. He does a great job of putting us in the right positions.”

Peat has been inserted at left tackle when starter Terron Armstead has been sidelined with injuries. In fact, he spelled him this past week against Jacksonville. Although it’s quite the challenge to quickly fill in on the quarterback’s blind side, Peat is used to it now.

“It’s muscle memory. I played left tackle in college and high school until I got here. Just falling back on muscle memory. I always get extra work at OT everyday after practice, so I’m prepared if something ever happens. It’s all about preparation, being ready for whatever happens.”

Todd Peat played alongside some outstanding linemen in the NFL including Luis Sharpe, Lance Smith and Derek Kennard with the Cardinals as well as Don Mosebar and Max Montoya during his time with the Raiders. As for Andrus, his inspiration comes from someone of a more modern vintage.

“I watched a lot of old Cardinal and Raiders film but a player that I really liked and watched closely was Jonathan Ogden. He was my favorite o-lineman to watch,” noted Peat.

Ogden was an 11-time Pro Bowler with the Ravens who is now in both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Peat earned a spot in the 2019 Pro Bowl last February, but he keeps accolades in proper perspective. “It was great to have that Pro Bowl experience, but my main focus is just helping this team be the best we can be. All of the other awards don’t matter to me.”

The 6-foot-7, 316 pounder suffered a broken fibula and high ankle sprain in the 2017 playoffs against the Carolina Panthers and missed the heartbreaking New Orleans loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The injury has heightened his awareness about what is needed off the field to be healthy and productive. This past offseason, Peat was able to focus on a full regimen unlike the previous offseason full of rehab.

“Coming into the season, it’s important to stay healthy and being able to train properly. I had an entire offseason where I was healthy enough to train rather than rehab. I’m always about trying to improve on technique and get better everyday.”

Big No. 75 does not take his career or the backing of the Who Dat Nation for granted.

“This is one of the best fan bases in all sports. It’s a blessing to be able to play here, for this city. It’s just been awesome.”

Peat will be a free agent after this season but that hasn’t changed his focus. It’s one day at a time with eyes on the Lombarbi Trophy for Peat right now.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau

CCS/Fox Sports/ESPN/WFAN

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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