Around the NFC South

Time for a look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

Jeff Duncan has a good column about how Thursday night’s game between the Packers and Saints will be a chess match. Some of the best minds in the game will be squaring off when New Orleans coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams go up against Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers. With a bunch of cerebral players on both sides, I think this game has the potential to, at least temporarily, silence the talk about how the lockout will impact the quality of play.

We’ve heard a lot about how the Falcons plan to throw the ball downfield more this season. Quarterback Matt Ryan talks a lot about that and says he needs to be more accurate in those situations.

Anwar S. Richardson writes about how Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris is riding a wave of popularity. Kind of ironic because Morris was not a very popular choice when he was hired to replace Jon Gruden in 2009.

The Saints don’t have to issue an injury report until later Monday, but defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (knee) and defensive end Cameron Jordan (knee) were talking like they’ll be ready for Thursday.

Looks like the Panthers have found the veteran help they were looking for at right guard after losing Geoff Schwartz and Garry Williams to injuries. They’ve signed former Philadelphia guard Max Jean-Gilles. They released Sean Considine to clear the roster spot.

Gary Shelton writes a fine tribute on Lee Roy Selmon. In it, he has a message for Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and all the other young stars in pro sports in Tampa Bay. He says it would be wise for them to act like Selmon. That also would help fill the void that now exists in Tampa Bay.