Jun 11, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) leaves the field following organized team activities at the Saints practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Saints Safety Position Improved in 2013 Thanks to Kenny Vaccaro, Jim Leonhard

The New Orleans Saints needed wholesale changes after fielding the worst statistical defense in 2012 and did just that by bringing on defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Immediatley after, the Saints used their first-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft to select Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. Ryan then used free agency to go out and get one of his brother’s former players in Jim Leonhard.

Those two moves alone mean the Saints will be much improved in 2013, both at safety and overall.

Vaccaro is well-known thanks to his status as the best safety in draft class. He’s versatile enough to play all positions in the defensive backfield and has the athletic ability to adapt to NFL speed quickly.



Leonhard is the underrated signing that could put the defense on the right track. He’s all but a lock to make the roster thanks to his past experiences in Rex Ryan’s schemes. At this point in his career he will not be a starter, but if an injury were to occur he would be one heck of an effective solution.

The Saints are obviously going to be better on defense in 2013. You can’t get much worse than what the team did last year (right?). The combination of Vaccaro and Leonhard, in their respective roles, will allow the unit to be much better than you expect.


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Tags: Jim Leonhard Kenny Vaccaro New Orleans Saints

  • Quinten Squires

    Leonhard should start over Harper, who should be cut from the roster; this year.

  • dj

    Dude Vaccaro is going to be a monster in this new Defence… I hope he is the next Troy Poli!

  • BuddySaintly

    Vaccaro is going to have a big season but whose spot is he going to take harper or jenkins

  • louisianakid1954

    New Orleans Saints move guys around and do a lot of rotation, even if a player don’t have a lot of playing time. At lease they are rested one thing for sure Harper will play maybe not all 4 quarters. All the players will play this is what I like about the Saints they play all they guys.

  • Ej White

    If they really want to develop the young defensive players, their going to have to play them come hell or high water early and often. It’s a freaking joke Will Smith is trying to play OLB when he wasn’t quick or fast enough to play DE. With his salary the saints could be developing 3 younger more promising players or keeping Jimmy Graham. Really!!!