Young players want to impress coaches and teammates by being aggressive in practice, but you never want to injure a player on your own team. But by practicing full throttle all the time, you can put your teammates in harm's way sometimes.
That's the rub, and that's why Saints receiver Joe Morgan is sidelined the rest of the year.
Rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro has a reputation of getting after it in practice. He's trying to earn playing time, perhaps push for a starting spot. He had an altercation with tight end Jimmy Graham early in camp. And during a play in camp, he tackled Morgan and Morgan tore his ACL.
"He was kind of, you know bang bang," quarterback Drew Brees said, according to the team's transcript. "I mean he catches it and Kenny is just there and jumps on his back and in the process of putting his knee down, it kind of buckles on him gets caught in a funny position."
Not the way you want to lose your No. 3 receiver before the first preseason game. But, nobody is blaming Vaccaro, not even the player whose season is lost.
Don't blame @KennyVaccaro4 It was a routine tackle. I admire how feisty a player he is too. He's going be great for us.
— Joseph Morgan (@jmthegreat) August 3, 2013
Morgan's teammates didn't criticize Vaccaro either:
"Sometimes you have those freak incidents where kind of out of everyone's control," Brees said.
Receiver Marques Colston told the Times-Picayune: "He's (Vaccaro) a guy that's out here and he's doing what the coaches ask him to do. Like I said, unfortunately that kind of the nature of this game.
"You can't really fault a guy for practicing hard."
Perhaps not, but it certainly is a cruel blow to Morgan and the Saints, losing a key player because of a tackle in practice.