Saints morning report: Sleepless nights

October, 10, 2013
10/10/13
8:00
AM ET
METAIRIE, La. -- The quote of the day from New Orleans Saints camp on Wednesday came from rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro, while talking about his first chance to go up against the New England Patriots and future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. Vaccaro said he and the rest of the Saints defense won't be lulled into any false sense of security despite the Patriots' recent offensive struggles.

"At the end of the day, Tom Brady is still under center. You can't sleep on anything," Vaccaro said. "Especially me, I'm telling you. They're coming for me. I definitely ain't sleeping."

Vaccaro said he expects the Patriots to target him because he's a rookie. But he said he welcomes that.

"That's just more a chance to make plays, the way I see it," said Vaccaro, who said facing Brady will be one of those welcome-to-the-NFL moments – in a good way.

The first-round draft pick from Texas said it's been "a dream of mine" to play against a guy like Brady.

"But coming into practice, OTAs, training camp, going against (Saints quarterback Drew Brees), he's one of the greats too. So I get to see that every day," Vaccaro said. "But going against Tom Brady, it's going to be a great challenge. With him at quarterback, they can always win games. I don't care who's around him. He can make players better. He's a great competitor. I love seeing a quarterback that gets fiery on the sidelines. I know they'll give him crap for it (in the media). But that kind of gave me the chills, just seeing him that passionate."

Graham making history: Saints tight end Jimmy Graham's 548 receiving yards over the past four games are the most by a tight end in any four-game span in NFL history, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The previous high of 511 was set 52 years ago by the Chargers' Dave Kocourek.

Graham also leads the NFL this year in receiving yards, regardless of position (593). According to ESPN Stats & Information, he is the first player since receiver Jerry Rice with 115 receiving yards per game and six touchdowns through his team's first five games.

Brees making more history: It seems like Brees sets a new NFL record every week. And more often than not, he's breaking one of his own. Although Brees' record-tying streak of nine straight 300-yard passing games was snapped last week, he broke his own NFL record with his 11th straight game with 25 or more completions. Brees now ranks first, second and third on that list (10 games in 2011 and eight games from 2009-2010).

Worth a click:
  • The New Orleans Saints will establish a Ring of Honor for the first time. The first three members will be unveiled in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, Nov. 10.
  • According to a SportsNation poll, fans believe Saints coach Sean Payton and Brees are a better coach/quarterback combo right now than New England's Bill Belichick and Brady. That's a valid choice – and I think I might make the same selection based on what we've seen in 2013 so far. But the poll results definitely have a "What have you done for me lately?" feel to them.
  • NFL.com's Gil Brandt ranks Saints defensive tackle John Jenkins among his top five rookies so far, with Vaccaro an honorable mention.
  • The Associated Press' Brett Martel has a great term for the Saints' pass-catching running backs. He calls Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles "receiving backs." He wrote about how they've been much more effective in that role than as traditional runners so far this season.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.