Random NFC South thoughts from the sky

October, 11, 2010
10/11/10
2:27
PM ET
Some random NFC South thoughts that I jotted down on the plane and spoke into my recorder on the drive home from the airport.
  • Caught a little bit of Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on SIRIUS NFL Radio and they were talking about the Atlanta Falcons being the best team in the NFC. I’m with them. That was already one of the thoughts I wrote down on the plane as I looked at the NFC standings this morning. No, I’m not ready to fully write off the Saints, but they’ve got some issues right now. I look around the rest of the NFC and I don’t see a team that’s more well-rounded or better coached than the Falcons right now.
  • Speaking of airports, I ran into a personnel executive from an NFL team in an airport a few weeks ago and we started chatting about Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman. After watching the highlights of Freeman’s performance in Sunday’s victory against Cleveland, that conversation came back to me. I asked the personnel guy to compare Freeman to another quarterback and I threw out the name Donovan McNabb. The personnel man said there are some similarities, but said Freeman’s size makes him different than McNabb. He thought a little more and came up with an observation I thought was pretty strong. He said Freeman is on the way to becoming what Daunte Culpepper "could have been''. He then added that Freeman is a more “cerebral and mature’’ version of Culpepper and is getting better coaching than Culpepper did through much of his short-lived career that now has him in the United Football League.
  • As I flew out of Charlotte this morning, I was pondering Carolina’s quarterback situation. Are the Panthers better off starting Jimmy Clausen or Matt Moore when they come back from the bye? I really couldn’t come to a conclusion. I think Clausen can develop into a decent NFL starter in time, but I worry that throwing him out there with the current supporting cast might ruin him forever.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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