If anyone is more destined than Jimmy Graham
to kick the Falcons' asses forever, it's Kenny Vaccaro.
The Falcons have, since last year, been obsessed with "toughness." A lot of that obsession comes from one play in the Saints/Falcons opener of 2013:
That single play launched what the Falcons have unofficially and hilariously called the Toughness Crusade
— which, you know, is a crusade to get tough, or whatever.
It won't help them. Aside from the above attitude-adjusting penalty, Vaccaro was responsible for keeping the ball away from Tony Gonzalez and preserving the Saints' win. Now that Gonzalez is gone, the Saints will be able to deploy Vaccaro in such a way that he helps to shut down the Falcons' admittedly good receivers, Julio Jones and Roddy White.
Atlanta can't really win here. Vaccaro is just that good.
In fact, I believe Vaccaro might be known as the Saints' best defender by the end of this season. That will start this week, when his mere presence — apparently — will cause the Falcons to lose their minds. Here's owner Arthur Blank
“And that play really bothered me, sincerely. It bothered me that none of our players, they all complained, but none of them went to the safety on the Saints and did anything. Not that they would start a fight, but just kind of put their finger in his chest and saying, 'That’s not acceptable.'”
Okay. Sure. Put your finger in Kenny Vaccaro's chest on Sunday. Let's see where it gets you.
The thing is, toughness isn't something you can invent. Some players have a presence on the field. Some players are focal points that make everything around them better. The Falcons, even when they're good, don't have that sort of presence. They don't have many players like that — certainly not their QB.
Vaccaro has that factor. He's what I once referred to as a "real" player
Take a moment and look at what he did just a few weeks ago, during the preseason:
Add to that his interception against Andrew Luck, and you can see he's primed for action.
So, Sunday, be ready for something amazing from Kenny Vaccaro.
Atlanta certainly isn't.