Kenny Vaccaro is good shape. He’s a professional athlete. It’s his job.
He takes care of himself. Plays from whistle to whistle and always looks like the most energized player on the field. But when he works www.billsonlineofficial.com/shop-by-players-preston-brown-jersey-c-1_39.html out with cornerback Delvin Breaux he sees a guy with another gear. A different level of motivation. The way Vaccaro tells it, most would have trouble keeping up with him.
“We’ll do a workout, and then I’ll hit an extra workout with him, and then he’ll go run on the hill like he’s Jerry Rice, Bo Jackson-style behind the facility,” the Saints safety said of Breaux. “It’s crazy the way he’s working. It’s unmatched. It’s up there with the way (Adrian Peterson) works.”
Breaux heard the talk this offseason. It never made sense, but it was out there. When the Saints showed interest in Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, many fans on Twitter seemed to forget Breaux was already on the team. They claimed the Saints didn’t have any good cornerbacks and questioned which member of the secondary could match up with the bigger receivers in the NFC South.
Breaux would be lying if said he didn’t see it. He might not want to show it, but it put a chip on his shoulder. He knows what kind of player he can be when healthy. Last year wasn’t his year, but now he’s on the comeback trail and wants to prove that he’s still the same player he was in 2015.
Just look at what he posted on Twitter www.billsshopofficial.com/shop-by-players-jordan-mills-jersey-c-1_28.html after Thursday’s organized team activity.
“Forgotten NA…. they just need to be REMINDED….”
And here’s a question sent to a reporter from a fan earlier this offseason:
“ok fine. Is (Breaux) really a #1 CB?”
Breaux saw it. He fired back.
“I know I am a #1 corner on any team…”
Just Twitter talk? Ask Breaux about it in person. The same confidence shows up.
“I see that. I try not to pay attention to it,” Breaux said. “At the end of the day, they’re going to see on Sundays.”
Maybe the fans should be forgiven for their short memories. Breaux was only healthy for about the first half of the season opener against the Oakland Raiders before he broke his fibula. He eventually came back and appeared in six games, but he never seemed to get all the way back. It was, for the most part, a lost year given the expectations he carried with him into the season.
But 2015 shouldn’t be forgotten. It wasn’t that long ago when many people here expected Breaux to develop into one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. By the end of the season, the rest of the league was starting to take notice and shared similar expectations.
If you need reminding go back and watch Kenyan Drake Womens Jersey again. The potential is there. It pops off the screen, and yet there was also room for growth. The Giants beat him twice on pick plays, and Jacksonville got him on one later in the season. Certainly, Breaux could fix the issue by being more physical at the line when he recognizes the play or by calling for a switch. It’s fixable. He also lost a ball in the lights against Tampa Bay for a 54-yard reception and gave up catches of 87 and 46 yards after falling while in coverage of Indianapolis’ T.Y. Hilton.
Those were the only hiccups. Overall, Breaux was directly responsible for 37 receptions on 78 targets (47.4 percent) for 557 yards. He was by far the best cornerback New Orleans had that season, and 187 of those yards came on three freak plays.
And as far as who will cover the big receivers within the division, the answer is, as it was before, Breaux. Just go back to an October game against the Falcons during his rookie year. The cornerback matched up with Atlanta’s Julio Jones on 34 plays. Jones caught two passes for 9 yards with Breaux in coverage. Sure, the receiver was listed with an ankle injury that week, but he looked fine racking up four catches for 84 yards against New Orleans’ other corners.
Can Breaux return to that level? He thinks so – and then some.
“My confidence level is at an Eric Rowe Jersey all-time high,” Breaux said. “I worked my behind off this offseason. It’s time to be that Pro Bowl or All-Pro-type guy. I’ve just been working, man.”
There’s a hill to climb for Breaux to get to that level. The potential is there. He just needs to find a way to get to the top. That’s when people will remember and forget they ever carried doubts.