Vinnie Sunseri, a rookie safety with the New Orleans Saints, said he isn’t shy about wearing Alabama garb around the Crescent City, a hotbed for LSU football. Sunseri spent three seasons with the Crimson Tide before the Saints selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
“I got to represent Alabama while I’m out in New Orleans,” Sunseri said. “Getting heckled by all these LSU fans and all, but I’m ‘Roll Tide’ ’til I die. I love Alabama.”
From being out in New Orleans, Sunseri recommends Coop’s Place on Decatur Street in the French Quarter for “probably the best fried chicken I’ve had in my life.”
A knee injury limited Sunseri to seven games at Alabama last season. Sunseri said he’s “feeling good” and “getting my feet back underneath me after the surgery.”
Sunseri was one of seven safeties who participated in the Saints’ three-day minicamp last week. The starting spots are set with Kenny Vaccaro returning for his second season at strong safety and former Buffalo Bills Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd at free safety after signing a six-year contract with the Saints in March. Sunseri appears to be competing with CFL-import Marcus Ball to back up Vaccaro.
Sunseri said he’s been trying to learn all he can about NFL secondary play from the New Orleans veterans.
“The guys that they have coming back are unbelievable athletes,” Sunseri said. “You have Champ Bailey, Kenny Vaccaro, Jarius Byrd, Rafael Bush, Corey White. I mean, they are unbelievable guys. They’re talented, smart, they know exactly what to do, how to play certain coverages, and picking their brains as much as you can can really help you. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do — just stay in certain guys’ hip pockets and be like a sponge almost out there and grab as much knowledge as I can from those older guys.”
White, a cornerback, is a former Samford standout. Jacksonville State rookie Pierre Warren also is among the Saints’ safeties.
The Saints open training camp on July 24 at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The Saints will hold 20 practices there, starting on July 25.