Texas allowed more yards last season than any other team in school history. But that, for the most part, was not Kenny Vaccaro's fault.
When addressing Manny Diaz's dismissal on the heels of the Longhorns' loss to BYU, the current New Orleans Saints safety did not point the finger at his former defensive coordinator -- but on the players themselves.
"I don't blame the coach," Vaccaro told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I blame the players, honestly. I think he's a good coach and I think the mentality at Texas isn't where it needs to be right now."
Less than 24 hours after Texas allowed a school-record 550 rushing yards in a humiliating 40-21 loss to BYU last weekend, Diaz was reassigned and replaced by former Longhorns defensive coordinator Greg Robinson last weekend. It marked the first in-season coaching change made by Mack Brown in his 16-year tenure at Texas.
"That's not on the coaching," Vaccaro said of the Longhorns' dreadful defensive performance last Saturday. "You just got to be disciplined. I know exactly what happened. Somebody wasn't taking the dive, somebody wasn't taking the pitch and somebody wasn't taking the quarterback. I don't think necessarily it was [Diaz's] fault. I think those senior leaders have to get together and get this going because that stuff was ridiculous."
Vaccaro made similar comments at various points last season, when Texas' tackling troubles began. As he did this week, he did not call out any players specifically but was steadfast in his defense of Diaz.
"He's not coaching the wrong things," Vaccaro said. "Everything he teaches will help you succeed on defense. It's not like he's teaching stuff that's unsound. I don't blame him on all of this stuff. I blame maybe some of the recruiting and some of the type of players they're bringing in. I blame the mental, the attitude about it."