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Former New Orleans Saints player Zach Strief, second from left, talks to WWL color announcer and former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, left, and WWL sports announcer Kristian Garic, right, on WWL Radio moments after Strief was named the Saints play-by-play announcer at the team's Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Strief replaces long-time announcer Jim Henderson, who retired at the end of the season.

WWL Radio made it official Wednesday, on the eve of the first practice of training camp.

Former Saints right tackle Zach Strief is the new voice of the Saints.

Strief, who retired in March after 12 seasons with the team, will handle play-by-play duties, teaming with former Saints running back and current WWL color analyst Deuce McAllister to form one of the only broadcast teams in the league that features two former players in the booth. 

"I love this place; I love this organization," Strief said on air after the announcement was made. "To have an opportunity feel like I'm still representing this organization, that's really special to me and important, I hope I live up to it."

What Strief is trying to do, make the transition from the field to the play-by-play role, is unconventional but not completely unheard of. Three other former NFL players — Dave Logan in Denver, Jimmy Cefalo in Miami and Steve Raible in Seattle — are in the lead play-by-play role, and Raible teams with quarterback Warren Moon as the only other player tandem. 

"We obviously want to build the perfect broadcast, but at the same time, we know it's going to to be a work in progress," McAllister said. "But I'm excited, because to be able to work with him, you have to know him even better than as a player."

Strief and McAllister, who took over for Hokie Gajan in 2016, understand the importance of the broadcast. 

"You've got hundreds, thousands of listeners depending on you to be their ears and to be their eyes," McAllister said. 

For Strief, the opportunity is one he has worked hard to get. He called 100 mock games this offseason as he pursued the role. 

WWL made the announcement at the Saints training facility, and Strief felt an outpouring of love from former teammates, coaches and owner Gayle Benson, who told him her late husband, Tom, would be proud of him, although coach Sean Payton jokingly let Strief know their relationship has now changed.

"You're officially now a member of the media, along with Deuce," Payton said. "And you'll be treated accordingly."

Sources: Zach Strief offered New Orleans Saints radio play-by-play job

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.