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New Orleans Saints 2016 season recap: Kenny Vaccaro

Suspension cut short a strong campaign

A look at Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro throughout the 2016 season.

There will be an asterisk next to Kenny Vaccaro's2016 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.

BEST QUOTE:"I think D.A. (Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen) has a lot of confidence in me. Literally, (against Carolina), I played every position on the field except defensive tackle, and I think that's just him believing in me. I don't think that he thinks there's any limit with me. He asks me to do a lot of things and I try to do them as best I can.

"It means a lot to me. I think versatility is key. I think that's what you want in all your players, regardless of the position. And if it can help this defense get back to where it needs to be, then I'll do it. You may not get all the glory sometimes, you may not get the stats you want, but you're helping this team get better." – Vaccaro

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