New Orleans Saints training camp is quickly approaching, thankfully. To mentally prepare, we're evaluating each position group to take stock of who is on the roster and determine which players are likely and not so likely to make the final cut.
Today we continue our series with our first defensive position group, the safeties. Below is my evaluation of the current crop of safeties on the roster as they enter training camp. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions on the subject.
Jairus Byrd, Kenny Vaccaro
These two are your starting safety tandem, just like last year. Not much to debate here. The only question is whether or not Byrd can stay healthy enough to show us why the Saints sold the farm to sign him last offseason. Vaccaro also needs to rebound from a down season.
Rafael Bush, Vinnie Sunseri
We can pencil Bush in as the No. 3 safety on the roster. In the event anything should happen to starters Byrd or Vaccaro, Bush is next in line. Hard to imagine he's not on the team come Week 1.
Sunseri doesn't have a great shot at making the team so much for his defensive ability as he does for his work on special teams. He's a hard worker with a lot of grit, which coaches love. They will find a spot for Sunseri on the roster no matter what.
On the Bubble
Kenny Phillips, Pierre Warren
Phillips is a former 2008 first round draft pick who contributed significantly for five years with the NY Giants. But he's been out of football for two straight years trying to get healthy so it's totally questionable as to whether he'll be able to return to his former self.
After being signed to the active roster last November, Warren actually started 6 games and notched two interceptions in that short time. He's a young talent with the ability to make the team this year but hopefully it's more in a backup capacity.
The veteran safety saw limited action last year with the Saints after being signed by the team in November to help an ailing secondary. Sanford's special teams abilities give him a chance to make the roster, but chances are slim if the more talented players ahead of him stay healthy.