Saints first round draft pick Kenny Vaccaro discusses his new team

AP Photo
AP Photo

New Orleans, La. - With the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected safety Kenny Vaccaro out of the University of Texas.  The following is his teleconference with the media, as transcribed by the team:

Q: I know you visited with the Saints during this process. How do you feel like you fit in with this team considering on defense, they've had two starting safeties for a little while?

A: "I'm excited to come down there and play. It was my last visit and I just had a really good feeling walking out of there that I might be a Saint. I'm excited to get down there and play some football."

Q: How do you feel like you will fit in with this defense?

A: "I'm versatile (and) I can do a lot of different things. I don't think I have a lot of limitations. I can cover and (handle) run support so I think I can bring that to the team."

Q: You played both free and strong safety at Texas. Do you know how the Saints plan to use you?

A: "I don't even know. I plan on doing whatever they tell me to do."

Q: Throughout this process how much were the Saints in touch with you?

A: "My agent usually does all the talking to the teams and stuff, but yes they showed interest the whole process and the visit went really well for me so I had a good feeling."

Q: What are some of the things you need to work on?

A: "I think you can always get better as far as tackling technique the way the rules are changing. You have to fit guys in different areas, so you have to change your technique. But like I said, I've perfected my craft and my goal is to be the most complete safety I can be and I think I have gotten to that point."

Q: You only had five interceptions in three years at Texas, was that more because offenses were throwing away from you or the system at Texas?

A: "I was always the nickel and a lot of times when maybe an interception was thrown (it was) because I was locking up the slot receiver on the other side of the field. I actually got offered a spot as a receiver when I first got there so my ball skills are pretty good and I think that's the reason."

Q: What were your impressions of Rob Ryan?

A: "We talked a little bit at lunch and I just told my agent that I would love to come and play for him. We hit it off. He is a high energy guy, laid back, but takes football seriously and that's the type of person I am to the team."

Q: What was the last 24 hours like being in New York City?

A: "I have been kind of anxious and nervous. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be because I have been working for this my whole life and it's my time for me to take it to the next level."

Q: What do you think your strengths are and what are some things you need to work on?

A: "Strengths I'd say just being able to a number of things, free safety, strong safety, nickel and just being compete and being able to come up and hit. Like I said, you can always fix your tackling technique as a weakness because the game is changing, especially in the NFL."

Q: What do you think about joining a defense that struggled last year?

A: "I am going to come in and help that. Obviously they felt like that they needed to fix that and I understand that is what they drafted me for, so that's my plan. If I can make an impact early on whether that be special teams (or defense), whatever they want me to do I'm going to do."

Q: Who helped you pick out your suit?

A: "My agent had a girl that he's worked with the past couple of years, so we used her to help design my suit."

Q: Did you and Eric Reid have any friendly wagers about which safety would be taken first?

A: "Not really, we are good friends but we didn't discuss as far as draft boards and how it was going to go, we have just been trying to enjoy this whole process."

Q: Do you have a preference between free or strong safety?

A: "I honestly don't. I've played up, down, sideways, I've played everything in college so honestly I'm comfortable. I think that's what I can bring to the team. I'm comfortable in any position they put me in."

Q: Didn't you play some linebacker in college too?

A: "Yes, I played some linebacker. We had some struggles early on stopping the run so I played nickel, I covered the slot, but I also could cancel the running gaps and help the linebackers out."

Q: Did you get the sense that Rob Ryan's defense will allow you to move all around the field?

A: "That's the plan, that's what I did the past four years. Put me in a position to succeed and I'll do it for you."

Q: Last time the Saints drafted a player from the University of Texas in the first round, Ricky Williams was headed this way. Have you met him?

A: "YesI've met him. He actually works for Longhorn Network now so I have done some commentary with him and sat down with him, talked football on Pro Day actually, so we had the chance to meet."

Q: Would you talk about your off the field concerns?

A: "Early in my career at Texas, it was immaturity stuff. I came to school at 17 from a small town to a big city and kind of had to slow my roll, but I'm good now. I have a son and I understand that every decision I make I'm making for two people and I am not going to give up football for anything. I'm clean and completely focused on football."