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Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on METAIRIE, La. – Less than two years into his NFL career, New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro has already experienced the full spectrum of love and hate from NFL analysts. He was widely praised ...

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Old 11-15-2014, 01:08 PM   #1
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Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

METAIRIE, La. – Less than two years into his NFL career, New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro has already experienced the full spectrum of love and hate from NFL analysts.

He was widely praised for his breakout rookie season, finishing third in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting and sending expectations for this year through the roof.

But this year, Vaccaro has taken a lot more heat for what could best be described as too many “aggressive mistakes” – especially his decision to crash down on San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis last week before a 51-yard pass to receiver Michael Crabtree sailed over his head.

Vaccaro has also been credited for missing a league-high 15 tackles by the statistical service Pro Football Focus this year – many of which he admits are accurate, but most of which he says are the result of him trying to chase down tackles everywhere on the field.

As a result, Pro Football Focus has Vaccaro rated dead last among 158 safeties in the NFL.

“I read a lot of stuff, and people are saying, ‘Oh, he’s not doing what he did his rookie year.’ But people don’t understand I’m playing a completely different position,” said Vaccaro, who has switched to a more traditional strong safety role this year after playing mostly in the slot as a rookie and in college at Texas. “And people don’t realize the first four or five games I was hurt (still recovering from last year’s dislocated ankle and a nagging hamstring injury). …

“I don’t think I’m playing up to my potential this year. But I don’t think I’m playing bad. I think the last four or five games I had stretches where I was dominant, honestly.”

Coaches Sean Payton and Rob Ryan backed up that assessment Friday, both suggesting that Vaccaro’s early struggles fell in line with the entire defense’s early struggles. And that they’ve all improved together.

“I think he’s playing really well,” Ryan said. “I think we all started terrible. Out of the gate, we all stunk. So that’s just the way it is. And I stunk. And they weren’t as bad as me, but sometimes they weren’t very good.”

Vaccaro's struggles were both a cause and effect of the team’s struggles. It was the same deal with fellow safety Jairus Byrd.

Most of their missed tackles came in the open field against teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, who were running free through the Saints' defense while tearing up the middle of the field.

“I think I’ve missed entirely too many tackles. But at the same time, you’ve gotta watch the film to see how I’m missing these things,” said Vaccaro, who whiffed on 49ers running back Carlos Hyde during a touchdown run last week – but only after Hyde had slipped through the first two levels of the defense and Vaccaro came over from the other side of the field. “I expect to make every tackle. But at the same time, before you’re gonna criticize me, watch the tape.”

...

“I’ve watched safeties around the league that just sit back there and let everybody else make the play. I’m not like that. I refuse to be like that.”

Entire article: ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports


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Old 11-15-2014, 01:10 PM   #2
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

Wow. Literally one minute apart. lol
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:11 PM   #3
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

I'm glad Tripplette wrote this.

Puts a lot into perspective.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

He's still playing like crap in my eyes, but after reading that its a bit more encouraging that he'll improve, and likely improve quite a bit.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

It's a shame criticism is the only thing he can tackle.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:51 PM   #6
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

Can we plug him back to the position he was in last year? He was a playmaker last year. Not so much this year.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:25 PM   #7
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

He'll be alright. Certainly has the physical ability. Confident he'll put it altogether. Sometimes you have to take a few steps back to go forward. Most of his issues are mental mistakes.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

Originally Posted by Foot Stomper View Post
Can we plug him back to the position he was in last year? He was a playmaker last year. Not so much this year.
Injuries and player turnover.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

Originally Posted by dizzle88 View Post
It's a shame criticism is the only thing he can tackle.
Knew someone would take that shot.

I was about 60% certain it would be you.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:42 PM   #10
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Re: Saints' Kenny Vaccaro tackles criticism head-on

Originally Posted by saintsfan1976 View Post
Knew someone would take that shot.

I was about 60% certain it would be you.
Haha Only 60%? Come on, you know I've been waiting for this kind of opportunity! lol
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