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Mixed reviews on Kenny Vaccaro's comments; Payton likes his passion

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro was outspoken about his growing frustrations after Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Among other topics, Vaccaro said the Saints' defensive chemistry hasn't been the same this season after losing so many veterans in the offseason and that he's been "embarrassed" by how undisciplined the Saints look on defense.

Saints linebacker and captain Curtis Lofton said he doesn't think such frustrations should be handled through the media.

"He's not the only player that feels that way, and there's been numerous guys that have expressed the same feelings. But there's a different type of way of doing it," Lofton said. "That's how it's been handled in the past, and that's how it needs to be handled in the future, too."

But coach Sean Payton said he didn't have a problem with anything Vaccaro said.

In fact, Payton said he appreciated how "important” the game is to Vaccaro, who demonstrated that through both his words and his play on the field.

"I heard and read everything he said. And it's that frustration. But when you watched that game towards the end when there's a pretty good chance that the score's gonna finish in [the Bengals'] favor, I love watching how he's playing," Payton said. "When you put that tape on later in the game when it appears that you know what the result is, watching the effort and watching the energy, that's a good evaluation. And I love the attitude and the toughness he brings.

"And the frustration that comes with it. And quite honestly, everything he said, nothing was really out of line. It was just that frustration of wanting to get the results and wanting to win. So absolutely [I welcome those comments]. It's important to him.”

Emotion and energy are obviously traits Payton is seeking in his team after he admitted that they were too "flat" in Sunday's loss.

Vaccaro, meanwhile, has been more up and down this year than expected -- something else he was outspoken about last week. But the second-year pro has shown general improvement throughout the season. And he did appear to play well despite the Saints' struggles on Sunday. Even Pro Football Focus, which had him as the lowest-rated safety in the NFL heading into Sunday's game, singled him out for his strong play with no missed tackles and three solo stops.