METAIRIE, La. — Keenan Lewis has no problem with rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro playing tough, physical football on the first day of practice in full pads.
He’s also not going to tell him to cool it with the tossing of teammates to the ground.
“I tell him keep it up,” Lewis said. “That’s his game. When you’ve got a guy who plays tough and fast like that, you don’t want him to slow down. It’s football. I like what I see with Kenny so far.”
Not that anyone should be surprised being that Lewis’ background includes four years with the rough-and-tumble Pittsburgh Steelers system.
Vaccaro, the first-round draft pick out of Texas, was happy to be in pads finally, saying it felt good to get on the field to get the “jitters out” with knee, thigh and shoulder protection on.
And he won’t apologize for his ways.
“That’s just the nature of how I play,” Vaccaro said. “I just wanted to kind of set the tone. I felt like if somebody is physical, everybody is a little bit physical.”
There’s only one problem – coach Sean Payton would like 22-year-old to bring it down a little bit.
“We don’t necessarily want to throw our own players down on the ground,” Payton said. “That’s not the drill. We’ll get some of that cleaned. He’s an instinctive player and I know he’s anxious to be in the pads. One of the things you find with young players is they know and they want to and they feel that sense of urgency to make an impression. The key thing is making it the right way.”