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Saints Roster Countdown 2014: #32 Kenny Vaccaro and #82 Benjamin Watson

The New Orleans Saints are into their second week of training camp practices, where 90 players are competing for the right to wear black and gold in September. And here at CSC, we're counting down the days until the Saints regular season by taking a brief look at the roster. Today we check out #32 (S) Kenny Vaccaro and #82 (TE) Benjamin Watson

Jonathan Ferrey

As we count down from 50 days until the New Orleans Saints begin their regular season in Atlanta, on September 7th, we're getting to know a little bit about those players who have signed on to bring home another Lombardi trophy.

Today, we take a brief look at safety Kenny Vaccaro and tight end Benjamin Watson!

So, with no more ado:

32 DAYS UNTIL ATLANTA!!!

#32 S Kenny Vaccaro (2nd Year)

An impressive athlete, Kenny Vaccaro played basketball and competed in track -- relay team, triple jump, and long jump -- during high school, in addition to playing six different positions in football.  He earned both All-State and All-District first-team honors at defensive back while totaling 235 tackles and five interceptions in three years, and also saw action on offense at wide receiver and running back.

Vaccaro has a habit of making immediate contributions to his football teams.  During his freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin, he appeared in all thirteen games, both as a safety and on special teams.  And after being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the rookie safety made a name for himself while appearing in all fourteen games before breaking his ankle late last season.

In college, the versatile athlete played four different positions, including both safety spots, and appeared in 51 games with 32 starts for the Longhorns, totaling 264 tackles (162 solo), two sacks (16 yards), 16 stops for losses (59 yards), five interceptions for 19 yards in returns, 21 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two blocked punts and 14 special teams tackles (10 solo).  He earned first-team All-American honors as a senior, and All-Big 12 first-team recognition from league coaches in his final two years.

As a rookie with the Saints, the first round pick started all 14 games he appeared in, and totaled 93 tackles (60 solo), one sack, one interception, six passes defensed, one forced fumble and three special teams stops before his season-ending ankle injury.

Many Saints fans will remember the hit he put on Matt Ryan in the season opener against the Falcons, and his contribution to the game-winning interception.  Those two plays have been said to have set the tone for the season for the Saints... and the Falcons.

Contract:
4 yr(s) / $9,424,712. Average: $2,356,178 per year through 2016.


#82 TE Benjamin Watson (11 yrs, 2nd with NO)

Benjamin Watson joined the Saints in 2013, his tenth year in the NFL, and brought a combination of athleticism, ruggedness, and sure hands which teamed incredibly well with Jimmy Graham to give the New Orleans Saints offense a dual threat at the tight end position.

Watson, originally a first round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2004, came to New Orleans after spending three seasons with the Cleveland Browns.  In 2013, he appeared in 15 games with seven starts, and posted 19 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns.  Over the course of his ten-year career, he has appeared in 131 games with 95 starts, and tallied 340 receptions for 4,002 yards (11.8 avg) with 30 touchdowns; and his ability to get open as well as his outstanding leadership make him a solid fit for the Saints both on and off the field.

Contract:
3 yr(s) / $4,950,000. Average: $1,650,00 per year through 2015.