Saints:Vaccaro to play more nickel?
In the aftermath of the Saint’s defensive meltdown against the Panthers there’s been talk about a role change for second-year safety, Kenny Vaccaro. Head coach Sean Payton reportedly met individually with several players, including Vaccaro, who hinted later that he may be seeing more time at the nickel corner position he thrived at last season, and less at the traditional safety position where he’s struggled this year.
In 2013, Vaccaro only played 30.1% of his snaps at the free safety position and spent the majority of his time in the slot. He missed only three tackles all season, and his resulting 26.7 Tackling Efficiency, ranked third among qualifying safeties. Vaccaro finished out the season on a strong run, recording positive overall grades in six of his final seven full games before fracturing his ankle in Week 16.
This year, Vaccaro’s time at free safety has jumped to 47.4% of his snaps and his time in the slot has been cut in half. The results haven’t been as good. He currently sits at 84th out 86 in our safety rankings with a -16.1 overall grade. In stark contrast to last season, he has missed 18 tackles – one for every 3.3 attempts.
What Vaccaro’s actual role will be this Monday night against the Bears remains to be seen, but no doubt the Saints are hoping he can regain his 2013 form.