— Kenny Vaccaro says he believes fellow safety Eric Reid should be on a team playing in the NFL. Needing a job himself Niles Paul Jersey
, the veteran is very happy that the Tennessee Titans signed him instead.
Vaccaro signed a one-year deal with the Titans on Saturday morning and was with them for individual drills at practice at Nissan Stadium hours later. He had been waiting for a team to sign him since his contract with New Orleans expired in March.
“This has been a long time coming for me,” Vaccaro said. “I was waiting on the right opportunity. I was fortunate that one opened up here and that we could get a deal done. I’m ready to work.”
The Titans also signed safety Jason Thompson after placing safety Johnathan Cyprien on injured reserve Friday with a torn left ACL.
Reid, who has been looking for a job since March himself, remains unsigned since his own rookie contract expired in March with the San Francisco 49ers. He filed a claim this spring after visiting with Cincinnati, arguing he was unsigned as a result of collusion by NFL owners over his protests of police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem.
“He’s a great man,” Vaccaro said of Reid. “He’s a good family man, and a great dude. He needs to be on a team. He’ll get on a team. I believe in him.”
Reid was headed to Nashville to work out for the Titans on Friday but reportedly had flight issues. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he’d leave questions on what happened to Reid’s workout to Reid and his agent and general manager Jon Robinson.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see him,” Vrabel said. “So that’s really all I can comment on. I’ll let Eric and his camp comment, and I’ll let Jon take care of it on our end.”
The 6-foot Vaccaro spent the past five years as a starter with New Orleans, starting 67 games with eight interceptions, 7 1/2 sacks and four forced fumbles. The Saints drafted him 15th overall in 2013 out of Texas. Vrabel said Vaccaro didn’t look at times last year like the safety had earlier in his career but had a great workout for the Titans.
“So what we expect is that he’s a pro, and he comes in and learns what to do quickly,” Vrabel said. “We’ll work him in there and see where he can help us. He’s made plays in the National Football League Authentic Joel Iyiegbuniwe Jersey
, and it seems like he’s starting off with a great attitude.”
Vaccaro said he’s a competitive person who knows he has to catch up with his new teammates in a secondary featuring All-Pro safety Kevin Byard and cornerbacks Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson.
“There’s a lot of good players here,” Vaccaro said. “They’re loaded. Dean Pees’ defense, the stuff we’re going to run, it’s just a good fit. I’ve got a good feeling about it. I haven’t got to practice yet. I did a lot of different things at NOLA — nickel, dime, safety, back deep at some point, I’ve been in every situation.”
Thompson has spent time with New England, Chicago, Seattle and Dallas since coming into the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2017.
It wasn't too long ago that veteran receiver Donte Moncrief was buried on Jacksonville's depth chart.
Moncrief had fallen behind Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and even rookie DJ Chark after missing a week of practice because of a sore knee.
Now, four weeks later and following a devastating injury to Lee Oren Burks Color Rush Jersey
, Moncrief might be the team's go-to guy heading into the season opener at the New York Giants.
He certainly is the unwitting leader of that position group and will be counted on to fill a void created when Lee hurt his left knee in the preseason and was placed on injured reserve.
"The young guys, they look at me as an older guy," Moncrief said. "I just told them, 'Anybody can be great.' It just takes the time and passion to go out there and want to be great. Go out there and make plays every day, not just in a game, also in practice, so you can build the trust when it comes down to game time."
The Jaguars trusted Moncrief enough to give him a one-year, $9.6 million contract in free agency. The deal was fully guaranteed, a move general manager Dave Caldwell felt he had to do with so much uncertainty at receiver.
Jacksonville figured Allen Robinson was gone, was unsure Lee would re-sign, and planned to part with Allen Hurns. The team also had no idea it would get Chark in the second round of the draft.
So the Jags targeted Moncrief, hoping his big-play ability would help spread out defenses designed to slow down Jacksonville's run-first approach .
The 6-foot-2 Moncrief caught 152 passes for 1,875 yards and 18 touchdowns in four years with Indianapolis. He missed 11 games the last two seasons because of shoulder and toe injuries. He also endured quarterback chaos, with Andrew Luck Authentic Jordan Akins Jersey
, Jacoby Brissett, Matt Hasselbeck, Scott Tolzien and Josh Freeman throwing him passes.
"Just having a chip on my shoulder to go out and show what I actually can do and have a healthy year and come out here and compete and show the league what I've got," Moncrief said. "I know what I'm capable of and I'm going to hold myself to it."
Jacksonville is counting on it now, especially without Lee.
Still, the team believes Cole, Westbrook and Chark have star potential.
Cole was an undrafted rookie from tiny Kentucky Wesleyan in 2017, a guy admittedly awe-struck by playing in packed NFL stadiums. He was barely noticeable on the field early, catching eight passes for 111 yards in the first seven games. He finished with 42 receptions for 748 yards and three touchdowns, plus a few huge plays in the postseason .
Westbrook, a fourth-round draft pick from Oklahoma in 2017, missed the first nine games of his rookie year because of a sports hernia, caught 27 passes for 339 yards and a TD in seven games.
Cole and Westbrook were in the starting lineup late last season, and it wasn't an ideal situation.
"There were times last year where you kind of got that look in the huddle where it is like Marquise Goodwin Jersey
, 'Hey, I have no idea what you were talking about,'" quarterback Blake Bortles said. "Looking at them this year, they are running out of the huddle before I can finish saying the play because they know what they have."
The Jags expected those guys to make strides in their second seasons, but they didn't want to have to rely on it.
Moncrief, meanwhile, welcomes the pressure of having to perform, especially on a one-year contract that essentially has him prepping for free agency again.
"Everybody in that room can play," Moncrief said. "It's just about stepping up when you're ready to go. ... I just tell them you've been doing this since you were little. It's just football. Make plays, catch the ball, go block, and let everything else fall in place.
"We've got to be special in that room." Womens Tennessee Titans Jerseys