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Old 02-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers



Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro (Revere/Getty Images)

By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.net
Posted Feb 26, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS – It was way back under the sunny skies of May 23, during the first week of OTAs, on the South Side of Pittsburgh, when the Steelers ...

... – specifically free safety Ryan Clark – were having some fun with one another.
After one of Todd Haley’s plays ended in frustration for his quarterback, Clark hollered across the field to coach Mike Tomlin that “if your quarterback’s going to hold the ball that long, you better draft more offensive linemen next year!”

To which Tomlin replied, “I’m going safety – free safety!”

Well, hello, there, Kenny Vaccaro.

The Steelers sat down with Vaccaro, the safety out of Texas, for a formal interview at the NFL Combine, which no doubt tested Vaccaro’s knowledge of whatever Dick LeBeau might throw at him in a South Side meeting room.

No word on how well Vaccaro fared in the battery of tests, but judging from the way he came off to the media – a poised and intelligent winner – Vaccaro did well with Tomlin, LeBeau and Co.

“Vaccaro, to me, is a really good football player on tape,” said draft analyst Mike Mayock during a Combine press conference. “I’ll be surprised if he gets past the top 15 or so.”

Perhaps the Steelers, who are scheduled to draft 17th, are hoping to be part of the “or so.”

Presently, their starting safeties either can’t play in Denver (33-year-old Clark) or are injury prone (soon-to-be 32-year-old Troy Polamalu).

Vaccaro can play both free and strong safety, and would fit right into the depth chart as a backup safety since both Will Allen and Ryan Mundy are unrestricted free agents. He was also Texas’s Special Teams MVP as a sophomore.

And Vaccaro can cover slot receivers. He’s been lauded by scouts for the job he did on WVU slot receiver Tavon Austin, who did have 108 yards of offense against Texas. But against Oklahoma and highly regarded free safety Tony Jefferson, Austin had 426 combined offensive yards.

“Me and Tavon were going at it all game,” said Vaccaro. “He’s a great player but I think I did pretty good. I mean, he’s one of the most explosive players in the country and I think I was right there with him.”

Vaccaro measured 6-0, 214 pounds at the Combine.

The nephew of former NFL cornerback A.J. Johnson opted against coming out for the draft last year after receiving a second-round grade from the NFL’s Draft Advisory Committee, and Vaccaro came back and made 91 tackles (ESPN.com) with 2 interceptions as a senior.

He’s had only 5 interceptions in his four-year career (2½-year starter) but Vaccaro has the size, speed and blitzing ability to become the playmaking type of safety LeBeau and Carnell Lake can groom behind either Clark or Polamalu.

“I think people are starting to appreciate safeties more, now that tight ends are changing to freaks and controlling the middle of the field,” Vaccaro said. “You’ve got to have a safety who can cover and come up and hit.”

Got to. Even if it means taking one in the first round.

http://pit.scout.com/2/1269779.html
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

I could deal with that mock.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

Everyone knows that I love Elam.

But...

As I was saying in another thread, I'd be very happy with Vaccaro. How do I explain this... Ah, okay. Not that either of these young safeties is at this level, but Elam versus Vaccaro is akin to Polamslu versus Reed: personal preference (both are HOF-level). I personally like Elam, but I'm smart enough to know that Vaccaro is arguably just as good (both are amazing).
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

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Originally Posted by teegre View Post
Everyone knows that I love Elam.

But...

As I was saying in another thread, I'd be very happy with Vaccaro. How do I explain this... Ah, okay. Not that either of these young safeties is at this level, but Elam versus Vaccaro is akin to Polamslu versus Reed: personal preference (both are HOF-level). I personally like Elam, but I'm smart enough to know that Vaccaro is arguably just as good (both are amazing).
Move over, I'm hopping on your bandwagon! Completely agree with you!
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

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Move over, I'm hopping on your bandwagon! Completely agree with you!
Plenty of room... hopefully, Colbert & Tomlin will join us.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

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Plenty of room... hopefully, Colbert & Tomlin will join us.
I have a really good feeling that they will. I really do. Ive liked Vaccaro all along and I really think he would be a great addition. I also think he can play either S position which gives them the ability to draft a FS in a later round. I dont know if Elam is versatile in the same way, he may be, Im just more familiar with Vaccaro in that respect.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

I'd be happy with him. I especially like hearing that he can play either spot. Versatility is always a plus. I think we draft a safety in either round one or two. I think one good enough will land in our laps and it's obvious that management and the coaching staff want one and we do need one with Troy and Ryan over 30.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

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I'd be happy with him. I especially like hearing that he can play either spot. Versatility is always a plus. I think we draft a safety in either round one or two. I think one good enough will land in our laps and it's obvious that management and the coaching staff want one and we do need one with Troy and Ryan over 30.
Keep in mind that is my belief. He has skills much like Troy, his major weakness is, like Troy there are times where instead of wrapping a guy up, he tries to drive through them. CBS Sports has Vaccaro listed with the FS's but as a SS. He mostly played FS but it is believed he had the skillset to play either position. That versatility may be unique to Pittsburgh given how they use Troy. Not being an expert I cant say for sure.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

We would have to move up
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Kenny Vaccaro Ideal Fit for Interested Steelers

Would love this pick!!! Or Elam??!!
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