After Further Review: Vaccaro gets physical, practice five recap - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

After Further Review: Vaccaro gets physical, practice five recap


Metairie, La. - In just his fifth practice as a pro, first round pick Kenny Vaccaro is already making a name for himself.

Simply put, the day belonged to Vaccaro as he was seemingly everywhere Tuesday. He dropped deep into coverage. He covered slot receivers and tight end off the line. He blitzed. He hit. And he hit hard.

One thing that is abundantly clear when watching Vaccaro is no matter the drill, he likes contact.

Vaccaro leveled Pierre Thomas on a draw play. Later he went up with Jimmy Graham on a pass. Both players had simultaneous possession of the ball but Vaccaro ended up with the ball when they were untangled. The physical nature seemed to agitate Graham a little bit. But it suited Vaccaro just fine.

Sometimes his aggression can get the best of him. He can be susceptible to double moves in the open field and constant contact down field can lead to a lot of pass interference penalties. And of course in today's NFL sometimes big hits can lead to personal foul penalties and fines.

However, as I've said before, if the Saints can channel that aggression the right way, he can be a special player for this team.

Play of the Day

I'm giving this play not because of the result but because of the pre-snap brilliance of Drew Brees.

The defense was clearly blitzing. So Brees used a hard count to get them to show their hand as to who was coming after him. He then recognized the one-on-one coverage on the outside of Vaccaro on Graham. Brees placed the ball beautifully to Graham but unfortunately Graham couldn't come down with the ball.

Other Observations

- The defense showed a lot of different exotic looks at practice. One play in particular the Saints had five players standing up at the line of scrimmage. Not a single player hand their hand in the dirt.

- All eyes were on Rufus Johnson, Chase Thomas and Eric Martin with Martez Wilson out for the next 2-4 weeks. Johnson has great burst off the edge. Thomas has picked up things quickly and even got some first team reps today. But I'd have to give the overall nod at least this point in camp to Martin. Martin was with the second team with Wilson before he was injured. He's been consistent and shown speed and physicality thus far.

- Baraka Atkins is also in the mix for that outside linebacker slot.

- With Curtis Lofton out and Jonathan Vilma missing certain reps with stitches in his nose, Ramon Humber and David Hawthorne got most of the reps with the first team at inside linebacker.

- Vilma needed those stitches after a collision with Mark Ingram during Monday's practice.

- Corey White had a nice interception off a tipped Ryan Griffin pass.

- Luke McCown was back with the second team at quarterback. McCown has also been holding for Garret Hartley during field goals. He had one of the best passes of the day when he hit Nick Toon in stride on a deep route.

- Cam Jordan is the best player in the Saints front seven and maybe their entire defense. He is relentless up the field and has great awareness to sniff out plays. For example, on one play Jordan rushed up the field and had enough presence of mind to peel off his blocker and knock Darren Sproles off his route. As I combed through the video, I didn't realize just how high of a motor Jordan has.

- After hitting each other for five practices, tempers finally flared Tuesday between Andy Tanner and Rod Sweeting. The scuffle was quickly broken up.

- Charles Brown is the favorite to win the left tackle job but he struggled Tuesday in individual drills against Johnson and Martin.

- The Saints released former ULM product Brent Leonard and signed wide receiver Tim Toone.

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