Around the NFC South

Time for an afternoon dash through some headlines around the NFC South.

The Panthers returned to practice after their bye and had some good news. Wide receiver Steve Smith, who missed one game with an ankle injury, was back at work.

You have to look long and hard for any positives on Carolina’s season so far. But we found a story that points out the kicking game has been a plus for the Panthers.

The Dunta Robinson hit and subsequent fine is a big topic all around the league. Phil Foley’s got a take where he puts up a pretty strong defense for Robinson.

Tampa Bay rookie defensive tackle Gerald McCoy made it very clear fans should not expect him to be Warren Sapp right off the bat. He’s right. First off, McCoy has an entirely different body type than Sapp. If anyone should be compared to Sapp in that regard it’s second-round draft pick Brian Price. McCoy’s also right when he points out that guys like Sapp and Ronde Barber weren’t instant superstars. I covered the rookie seasons of both and they were pretty much non-factors.

Speaking of Price, he sat out Wednesday's practice with a pelvis injury and fullback Earnest Graham sat out Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, members of the Falcons’ secondary say they have not received the T-shirts reportedly sent to them by Chad Ochocinco. Either way, Atlanta receiver Roddy White said if Johnson did send the shirts, that’s “disrespectful." That’s one thing I like about White. While I’ve often written that most big-name wide receivers are prima donnas, I don’t think White falls into that category. He’s got a touch of ego, but it’s not nearly as obvious with him as it is with other receivers.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and his wife have named their newborn son Bowen Christopher Brees.