New Orleans — When the Saints travel to take-on the Titans on Sunday, it’ll be a reunion for Kenny Vaccaro, who was drafted by the Saints in 2013. Only two seasons removed from New Orleans, he says he’s still close with a lot of the guys in that Saints locker room.
“Mike Thomas, Vonn, Marshon, Marcus,” Vaccaro listed. “I mean I was there with all those guys– Terron Armstead, Drew. I ended-up getting all their jerseys this off season signed and framed so I would have to trade them any jerseys for this game. But nah, I love those guys.”
“He’s doing great,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees about his former teammate. “Listen, he was a great player for us. He brought a physical brand of play and a mentality. I appreciate those 5 years with Kenny and happy for the success he’s having.”
Vaccaro is in fact having his most successful season since 2015, in regards to individual stats. He ranks 4th in tackles for Tennessee with 74– the most he’s had since his third season in the league. Drew spoke more about what makes him such a special defender.
“He’s a very versatile player,” Brees said. “You go back to his college days and he was basically playing like this nickel, strong safety, hybrid. He’s obviously a very physically player in the run but he’s got good cover skills as well. He ca cover tight ends, backs he’s a great pressure player. You know you see him play in the middle of the field. He’s got good instincts so he’s just a good football player all the way around.”
There was no shortage of respect flowing the other way too, when Vaccaro was asked about Brees.
“In my opinion he’s the best quarterback that’s ever played this game,” Vaccaro said. “From what I’ve seen, the way he approaches the game, not just on the field. All those videos you see of him mentally going through the whole game, it’s all real. I remember him having a certain training table on certain days that he had to get treatment at just because he’s military- surgical. I remember him getting in the cold tub up to his neck and just sitting there. I have a lot of respect for him. A lot, a lot of respect for him. It’s going to be a joy to play against him.”
Vaccaro went-on to say that the key against Brees– or any elite quarterback– is getting pressure on him and making it as difficult as they can on him. But that’s easier said than done. Vaccaro said Brees can put the ball where ever he wants, and that having a target like Thomas makes things even tougher on a defense.