Hitting the NFC South links

August, 10, 2011
8/10/11
10:32
AM ET
METAIRIE, La. -- Let’s take a quick look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

It took longer than either side really wanted, but Jason Snelling is back with the Falcons. Here’s a good overview of all the different things the versatile running back can do.

Speaking of versatility, Armanti Edwards is going to get a chance to show it with the Panthers this season. Unlike predecessor John Fox, new coach Ron Rivera believes Edwards belongs in the NFL. Rivera’s going to get him on the field as a return man and a receiver and you might see the former college quarterback doing some other things.

Jon Saraceno writes that Darren Sproles is going to be the key to New Orleans’ revamped running game. I agree. I think Sproles is going to do all the things Reggie Bush did and he might even do some of them even better. But I also think rookie Mark Ingram is going to be a very big part of this running game.

Kudos to Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik for doing something most coaches and front-office executives rarely do. He told the truth publicly, simply by saying no when asked if the Bucs were interested in running back Tiki Barber, who wants to come out of retirement. The Bucs quietly have let it be known for months that they had no interest. But rumblings still were flying simply because Barber’s brother, Ronde, plays for the Bucs and it would have been a nice storyline for fans to put the twins together. But that never was a consideration. Now, Dominik’s answer should put an end to any remaining speculation.

Carolina receiver Steve Smith suffered a cut near the base of his middle finger Tuesday. There were no broken bones, but stitches were required. Smith is expected to miss about a week to 10 days of practice.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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