Maybe when he’s finished playing in the league, Terron Armstead will become an official.
Because after a debut that earned him far too much of the wrong kind of acclaim, the Saints rookie left tackle said he hoped to be a little more anonymous this week.
“I plan on it being a whole lot smoother. I plan on you guys not noticing I’m out there,” Armstead joked, via Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.
It was hard not to notice the third-round pick last week, as he was abused by Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, following Saints coach Sean Payton’s curious decision to start an untested player in their biggest game of the year.
“I feel like I played a pretty solid game,” Armstead said. “I had a few mental things that are unacceptable and can’t happen, that needs to be fixed ASAP. But I feel like I had a pretty solid game.”
Payton is sticking with his guns, leaving Armstead in instead of switching back to Charles Brown (who lost his job after he was shelled by Rams defensive end Robert Quinn). And he defended the rookie, who was drafted with the thought of grooming into the left tackle of the future.
“I think one of the things that we saw in the running game, he did a really good job finishing,” Payton said. “I thought we did a good job up front overall. There were a number of times in protection that we were encouraged with. So, when you grade the film out, there’s a handful of things going on with how we protect. We had him for two sacks, but overall, we were pleased. First time out on the road against a good player like he went against and a good front, that’s encouraging. It was real encouraging.”
That’s one way of putting it. Having him not make the highlights this week would be more encouraging still.