Super Bowl champ Zach Strief talks ‘being a New Orleanian’ ahead of training camp

NEW ORLEANS -- Training camp moves back to home base this year and begins Thursday at the practice facility in Metairie.

Super Bowl champ Zach Strief was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft. After backing up Jon Stinchcomb for five years, in the 2011 season he became the team's starting right tackle and part of the Saints' offensive line that won the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award as the best offensive line in the NFL.

He is a three-sport-star, earning varsity letters in both track and basketball. Adding to his list of many accomplishments, he also has his own cook book titled "When you're the biggest guy on the team."

"My favorite recipe in that book is probably the shrimp and grits because it was released after the BP oil spill and after we won the Super Bowl. I got to cook that recipe for people at the White House. It was a great way for me to show that the Gulf had recovered and we were ready to serve again," said Strief. "But my favorite meal to cook is definitely spaghetti and meatballs, I'm 50% Italian. My mom is Sicilian, so if I'm feeling nostalgic that's the route I'd go."

Streif has played with the Saints his entire career, but says if he could play for one other team it would be the New England Patriots.

"There's definitely some curiosity in the Patriots, we sit here and people talk about Tom Brady and I wouldn't trade Drew Brees for anybody, ever. But Coach Payton has admired Coach Belichick for so long and so many of the things that we do we have brought from him," said Strief.

Catch the Saints during camp this year at their first open practice on Saturday at 8:50 a.m.