Metairie, La. - Sunday marked the first day in full pads for the Saints and rookie defensive back Kenny Vaccaro took advantage, establishing his physical presence amongst teammates.
Here is his conversation with the media after practice, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
How was your first day with the pads?
"It was good. Everyone kind of got their first-day jitters out. There was some popping out there, but it should be better tomorrow."
How would you describe your aggression level out there? Were you getting a little feisty a couple of times?
"It is just the nature of how I play. I just wanted to kind of set the tone. I know I am a rookie, but I feel like if someone is physical, everyone gets physical. I was having fun."
What is it like being out there in the one-on-one drill with the wide receivers?
"It is difficult. Like today, when a guy does a double move, it is really hard. You have to have great eyes, but covering is my favorite thing to do. You just have to be confident and know your technique."
You have spent years watching Drew Brees play the game, and now, all of the sudden, you are on the practice field, in pads, having to defend him. What is the difference?
"I know one thing. You don't get near him. He can place a ball anywhere. You can have a guy covered. I think I saw in one-on-one's yesterday, one of our guys had Lance (Moore) covered in the corner, and he just put it perfectly where only Lance could get it. I understand you have to double cover him."
What is it going to take for you to have a regular consistent role in the secondary? What are your ultimate goals here?
"I think getting the respect of the veterans first, then, no mental errors. I think that I have the physical ability to go out and play with those guys, but I want my team to trust me, and I need to be reliable on every play."
Do you feel like a rookie?
"Not really. I understand that I was drafted to come in and make an impact early. Technically, I am a rookie, but I'm not expected to play like one."
Kenny, you have carried the helmets so far. Any other rookie assignments?