- Aug 1, 1997
- Reaction score
- Sunset, La
By John DeShazier | Senior Writer - NewOrleansSaints.com
There will be an asterisk next to Kenny Vaccaro’s 2016 season, one in which the New Orleans Saints’ safety missed the final four games due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
The suspension abbreviated a season that was shaping up to be one of Vaccaro’s most productive, in terms of his usage. Whether he was lining up in the box as a linebacker, deep as a safety or on the line as a rush end, the fourth-year player showed a level of versatility that he previously had exhibited, but hadn’t as often been on display since his rookie year. He finished with 68 tackles, two interceptions, five passes defensed, a sack, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
As Vaccaro developed into more of a leader (his experience as a Saint now exceeds every member of the secondary), his ferocity hasn’t calmed and his knowledge of the defense has grown. Few are asked to fill all the roles he does; likely, few are capable of doing so.
The suspension was a setback; it didn’t lessen the Saints’ faith in Vaccaro, nor the belief that he will continue to be a play-maker in future seasons.
BEST GAME: Vaccaro had a handful of standout games in ’16, but none stood out more than the wreckage he caused against Denver in a 25-23 loss. He literally appeared to line up everywhere against the Broncos and finished with nine tackles (seven solo), a sack and an interception he returned for 30 yards...
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