New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro has been a focal point of trade rumors over the past couple of days, and things didn’t really help his spotlight on Sunday against the Patriots. The team surrendered a whopping 555 total yards to Tom Brady and company, and there was hardly any answers to be found.
“It’s frustrating. I don’t know how many yards we gave up in the passing game, but we kinda knew. I mean. They have an explosive offense, but at the same time we have to execute on defense and do our coaches’ game plan.”
Regarding the trade rumors, Vaccaro was quick to acknowledge them.
“I mean, you try to block them out. But at the same time, I’m on this team. Until something changes, then that’s when you make a move. But right now, I’m focused on the next game. I was focused on my game plan last night, all week I’ve been focused.”
In his post game press conference, head coach Sean Payton didn’t exactly provide any answer that suggested the Saints were against trading their fifth-year safety and former first round pick from 2013. Payton mentioned that it wasn’t unusual for teams to call about positions of depth
“Nothing surprises me. I mean, anytime a GM gets a call, they’re going to ask what are you willing to give? Because no player is indispensable except for quarterbacks and certain players across this league,” Vaccaro said.
Vaccaro understands the business of the NFL, but pointed out that it never bothered him. He mentioned that he received texts from people while studying film asking if he saw the trade rumors, but was responded by saying that blocking it out and being a pro is what you have to do.
Vaccaro, who for all intents and purposes, was benched at times in the second half of action, but it was unclear to him as to why.
“I don’t know. I don’t what happened. I don’t know why I got pulled out the game. I didn’t understand.”
Vaccaro added that nothing was explained to him, as second-year safety Vonn Bell entered the game to take reps away from him.
“Listen. I’ve been here for the last four years. We haven’t played up to par on defense, and I understand how it goes. Obviously I gotta be better, my preparation’s gotta be more consistent. Like I said, the game before I had plays I wanted to get back.”
“I didn’t understand this game and what happened this game at all. I take full responsibility for all that and gotta move on and keep pushing.”
Vaccaro mentioned that Rob Gronkowski had two really great catches that he remembered, and that the next thing he knew he was sitting next to Payton. Payton’s context for Vaccaro’s benching was simple, saying that he felt the team needed to get more consistent play and it went back to the previous week against the Vikings.
Clearly the game didn’t go the way he or the Saints defense intended to, and they’ll have major work to do to improve. The only question now is if Vaccaro will be a part of those plans moving forward.