Hitting the NFC South links

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
11:31
AM ET
Time for a quick run through some headlines from around the NFC South.

Former New England safety James Sanders is visiting the Falcons on Tuesday. This would be a logical fit. Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff used to work for the Patriots and knows Sanders well. The Falcons like their young starting safeties, Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, but don’t have much depth behind them. A guy like Sanders could provide some quality insurance and can play both safety positions.

Carolina tight end Jeremy Shockey might have saved the life of reserve tight end Ben Hartsock. After getting a piece of meat caught in his throat, Hartsock was having trouble breathing. Shockey saw what was happening and applied the Heimlich Maneuver. That dislodged the piece of meat and Hartsock was fine.

It sounds like New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has made linebacker Martez Wilson his main project among this year’s rookies. Williams can ride rookies hard and Wilson appears to be getting the brunt of that. But Wilson said he’s been told by veterans to take that as a sign that Williams likes him and sees potential.

Ira Kaufman has some fascinating statistics on the Bucs. You may think they’re a good offensive team, mostly because they are. But they don’t start fast. Last season, the Bucs scored only 43 first-quarter points. This is nothing new. Go back as far as the Jon Gruden days and you’ll see the Bucs have a streak of 54 consecutive games in which they haven’t scored more than seven points in the first quarter. The last time they did score more than seven points in the first quarter came on Nov. 25, 2007.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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