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Roman Harper looks forward to competing with Kenny Vaccaro

Roman Harper, Jason Williams AP

Early this week, Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said that he wouldn’t do anything to make first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro’s transition to the professional ranks more difficult than it needs to be.

He isn’t the only veteran safety in New Orleans to take a welcoming stance toward a player who could conceivably wind up taking his job. Roman Harper said that he expected to see the Saints draft a safety this year and that he was happy with any addition that will help the defense because “it’s not about any particular player” when making decisions about how to get better as a team.

“Of course. And the biggest thing is, we needed to draft a safety at some point this year. I’m what, Year 8? Malcolm is in the last year of his deal. It’s part of the business. If you don’t think that’s gonna happen, you’re wrong,” said Harper, via Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “So I’m looking forward to the competition. I’ve seen some of the things that we’re installing. Looks like we’ve got some different things that we can really make some things go. So it’s gonna be good.”

It’s not an attitude we always see from veteran players when they face their likely replacements, but it is the most realistic one as well as being the one that’s best for the team. There was some question early this offseason about whether or not the Saints would hold onto Harper, who is set to make $5.25 million in 2013. The Saints have already guaranteed half that salary, so Harper’s roster spot is likely safe and all he can really do now is play as well as possible so that he can wash away any lingering memories of a mediocre 2012 season in hopes of securing a job in the years to come.

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12 Responses to “Roman Harper looks forward to competing with Kenny Vaccaro”
  1. garyhd01 says: May 9, 2013 9:56 AM

    what are they supposed to say who dat should be the answer to who stopped anyone while playing defense for the saints good luck Kenny you were on rams fans radar the fans would have been happy to have you

  2. swampdawg80 says: May 9, 2013 9:56 AM

    I just want the defense to be better all around. It’s all I ask. Let’s go Saints!….

  3. darthsaint says: May 9, 2013 10:13 AM

    To Gary’s point. In the real world, you would be right. What else are you going to say.

    But in professional sports, rarely is this the attitude. Unless of course we are talking about a player who is almost ready to retire and recognizes the “passing of the torch” to another.

    I mean, think of many other situations. Favre didn’t acknowledge Rodgers…like literally didn’t talk to the kid. Even made statements like, “it isn’t my job to get him prepared to play in this league” etc.

    Here you have a player, very much in the crosshairs. Who is saying the exact opposite. That is team play, and we expect that attitude, we however rarely get it in today’s professional athletes. And one might argue they don’t owe us that. After all, they are reminded daily this is a business…the rules of sport we grow up with…very much dissapears when compensation in the millions of dollars is made.

  4. thirdistheworrd says: May 9, 2013 10:30 AM

    So do I, I think we have about the same shot at the Saints starting job this year

  5. saintsfan26 says: May 9, 2013 10:57 AM

    I think as Saints fans, we sorta jumped the gun and started calling for Harper to be cut as soon as we signed Vaccaro. After thinking about it for a while, we are definitely better off as a team with Harper than we would be without him. Next year is a different story, but this year it will be nice to have Harper around just in case Vaccaro isn’t quite ready as a rookie yet.

    I believe Vaccaro will be just fine, but still, it will be nice to have Harper there because he is good at certain things. He didn’t go to 2 Pro Bowls by being a bad player. Rob Ryan loves to mix his personnel up and I have no doubt in my mind that he will have Harper, Jenkins and Vaccaro all on the field at the same time quite often.

    Roman Harper is a leader and a great teammate. All of the players like him and respect him. They know he isn’t as bad as his stats indicate. If they believe in him, then so do I. I want to personally apologize to Harper for being a blind sheep and following the crowd that was shouting to release him because of his cap cost. Its not my job to decide if he stays or goes. As long as he keeps wearing that BLACK and GOLD, he has my complete and undivided support. Who Dat! Geaux Harper!

  6. thegronk87 says: May 9, 2013 11:35 AM

    Kenny vaccaro cannot compete with roman harper in number of gray hairs

  7. hor2012 says: May 9, 2013 11:41 AM

    The problem with Roman Harper is that he’s just not very good in coverage. I don’t blame him for what happen in SF the year before last. That was on GW for the call. But, what happened did show that Roman is a liablity in man situations. With the drafting of Vaccaro and Jenkins you have safties that can do it all. Unless, they use harp at LB some and in goal line situations I don’t see a place for him this year.

  8. rabbdogg says: May 9, 2013 11:44 AM

    he is Harper’s replacement …jenkins isn’t going anywhere ….

  9. 87hollywoodhorn says: May 9, 2013 12:10 PM

    harper will be a week by week evaluation. each week his job will be to sit in the middle and punish any sucker who catches a pass and i mean bust their head…yes bounty shots. if he does his job and is a hardhitter, well then, he will be paid.

    but if he doesn’t he should have to forfeit his game check and hand it over to drew brees b/c that man is the most accurate passer in the league and he won 7 games in the league last year. the only qb more accurate than drew brees is whoever throws at roman harper 75% completion rate!

    but it should not be forgotten that the dude roman harper can REALLY bust some heads.

  10. 87hollywoodhorn says: May 9, 2013 12:11 PM

    *some say gregg williams taught him

  11. omegaichiban says: May 9, 2013 1:38 PM

    So safeties, being defensive backs, have to be able to . Harper no longer can. Even @ linebacker, there are coverage responsibilities. So unless you can guarantee him covering a fullback…it might be time for him to move on.

  12. doubleogator says: May 9, 2013 4:58 PM

    Classy statement…

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