When you’re an NFL rookie you’re going from big man on campus to low man on the totem pole. Usually rookies keep their head down, handle the hazing the best they can and try to learn as much as possible. Sometimes rookies buck the trend, a few years ago Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant refused to carry veteran Roy Williams pads.
Others let their competitive juices get the best of them.
New Orleans Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro went up and fought for a pass with tight end Jimmy Graham. After the play he threw the ball at Graham’s head.
“It almost turned into a brawl, but we’re both cool,” Vaccaro said. “We understand that we’re just competing and sometimes things get heated.”
While the Eagles have banned tackling to prevent injuries from their training camp, the Saints camp is full of big hitting. Running back Mark Ingram apparently busted open linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s nose earlier this week.
Vaccaro flattened veteran running back Pierre Thomas in a drill that was supposed to be non-contact.
“I love football. I’m reckless,” Vaccaro said. “That’s just the way I am. I have a physical nature. If anything you have to slow me down before you speed me up. I approach every practice like that and it’s not going to stop until somebody says, ‘Hey, relax,’ Every team needs a guy that’s going to be like that — a little craziness, a little edge to him.”
He’s had several other incidents including taking swipes at fullback Austin Johnson and throwing running back Travaris Cadet to the ground by his shoulder pads. No one has told him to calm down yet though.
“Offensive guys obviously don’t like it. I think Rob (Ryan) loves it,” Vaccaro said. “Everybody is watching and everybody sees. Real recognize real.”