After months of waiting and numerous visits/workouts Kenny Vaccaro now has a new home. The former Saints safety & nickel player stayed on the market much longer than most analysts anticipated. With the “safety market crash of 2018” Vaccaro found himself unemployed with other big name players like Eric Reid (who still remains unsigned).
With injuries popping up before the NFL season has officially begun veterans like Vaccaro are getting the call, and opportunity to start, that they’ve been waiting for. It was the injury to Johnathan Cyprien that opened the door to Tennessee.
Sources: The #Titans are filling their safety void by signing former #Saints FA Kenny Vaccaro. A big addition in August following S Johnathan Cyprien being placed on Injured Reserve. Vaccaro was impressive in the workout, helping him be the choice over several others.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 4, 2018
Vaccaro was with New Orleans for all five years of his NFL career, and he started every game with the Saints from his rookie year until being allowed to walk. Vaccaro was a jack of all trades, master of none on the football field. His above average athletic ability, play strength and downhill play made for some electrifying plays. However, his struggles as a cover man also bring back memories that aren't as enjoyable.
Vaccaro has had his share of injuries as well as problems with the league’s conduct policies. Should he incur another suspension he would be looking at missing ten games. This likely played into his inability to pick up with a team at the start of free agency.
Everyone always talks about red-zone offense, but Kenny Vaccaro was a great help in the #Saints red zone defense.— Deuce Windham (@RevDeuceWindham) August 4, 2018
Here against the #Bears:
-Great hand placement to re-route/torque blocker for an easy shed
-Reads the block of FB, moves to cut off outside
-Quick to RB, tackle pic.twitter.com/sPxvSjf9mY
When played as a buzz defender in Cover 3, in the box as a hybrid role player or as a nickel defender covering tight ends Vaccaro was able to put his strengths to good use and find success. Translating these abilities to being a consistent, singular position player was always one of the hiccups of Vaccaro’s career. His athletic ability didn’t translate to strong zone coverage. When in the box his reads were better than most linebackers during his tenure with the Saints, but when asked to drop back in space that quick processing slowed down.
A change of scenery can often be a good for a player, and hopefully thats the case for Kenny Vaccaro. The Titans and their fans are certainly hoping to have big hits, like the one below, added to their defensive repertoire at his position.
If the #Titans keep plays in front of him, like the #Saints did here, they can anticipate plays like this one. Be wary of coverage assignments— Deuce Windham (@RevDeuceWindham) August 4, 2018
-Decent athletic ability
-Good play strength
-Flows downhill well.
There is an injury history/suspensions, but KV can contribute.. pic.twitter.com/lhiTjXtsdj