Four years ago, the Saints’ first-round draft pick was the son of a former NFL player who grew up in Arizona and went to the San Francisco area for college.
So far, Cam Jordan has worked out pretty well for them.
Now, the Saints are hoping history repeats itself with the selection of offensive tackle Andrus Peat.
Like Jordan, Peat’s father is an NFL veteran — offensive tackle Todd Peat, who played seven years with the Cardinals and Raiders.
And like Jordan, Andrus Pete is from Chandler, Arizona, in suburban Phoenix although they went to different high schools.
And like Jordan, Peat played collegiately in the Bay Area, although Peat went to Stanford and Jordan to Cal.
The two are acquainted, Peat said Thursday, and they’ll be going head-to-head in practice, although Peat is likely to play guard as a rookie at least instead of left tackle, which he has been since he began in organized football.
As a bonus for both Peat and Jordan — they’ll open the season in their home state when the Saints play at Arizona on Sept. 13.
It will be a happy homecoming for Peat, who said he dealt with high expectations within his family that carried over to his being a five-star recruit out of Corona del Sol High School.
“I’ve always had high expectations with my dad playing,” Peat said. “And I’ve tired to learn as much as I can from him and take his advice because he’s been there.”
Peat isn’t the only football player in his family.
Older brother Todd Jr., a nose tackle, started at Nebraska, but after two years transferred to Eastern Arizona Junior College. Younger brother Cassius is a Michigan State signee.
At Stanford, Peat was a psychology major, a trait he said helped him as a player plus perhaps down the road.
“I just thought it was something that was interesting to me,” he said. “Also, I’m thinking later of going into sports psychology, something in that area.”
Saints coach Sean Payton has been know to employ psychological tools with players such as handing out baseball bats on the week of big games and also posting motivational cartoons in the players’ lockers.
“I really hadn’t heard anything about that,” Peat said. “That sounds pretty cool.”
More than that, Stanford players are known for their intellect, another trait Peat said he feels will help him in the NFL.
“I feel like I’m a pretty quick learner,” he said. “I have always studied really hard on my playbook.
“That should make it a pretty good transition for me coming in and learning everything.”
Also, some of the blocking schemes used at Stanford are similar to that of the Saints, particularly the inside and outside zones.
At the same time, Peat, the first Stanford player drafted by the Saints since Toi Cook and Thomas Henley both went to the team in 1987, added that Stanford players shouldn’t be projected as “soft” just because of the school’s academic reputation.
“I feel like coach (Jim) Harbaugh and Coach (David) Shaw did a great job of preparing us physically and mentally for the next level,” he said. “It’s the blue-collar mentality that we are going to be the toughest guys on the field.
“It’s that kind of mindset. The guys at Stanford really helped me out, playing with a lot of smart guys and tough guys.”