As we wait for Tuesday night’s release of the NFL regular-season schedule, let’s take a quick run through some NFC South notes.
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano didn’t last too long into his first minicamp before clearly letting his players know things are going to be different. Schiano, who has a reputation for being very organized, didn’t like the way some of his players were lined up as they began stretching. “Football is about details -- toes on the edge, toes on the edge!’’ Schiano shouted. I don’t know if Schiano will end up being a successful NFL coach, but it already is obvious he’s about as different from predecessor Raheem Morris as a coach can be.
Speaking of the Bucs and their toes, kicker Connor Barth was a notable no show as minicamp began. Barth is carrying the franchise tag and has yet to sign his tender. Barth clearly wants a long-term deal and I believe the Bucs want him to be their kicker for a long time. They have plenty of salary-cap room to work with, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a long-term deal comes between now and the start of training camp. If Barth ends up playing for the tender, he’ll make $2.654 million, which isn’t bad money for a kicker. The Bucs just announced that they have claimed kicker Kai Forbath off waivers from Dallas. Unless things get really ugly in the negotiations with Barth, Forbath probably won't end up staying with the Bucs for long.
Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, the man who released audiotapes of former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams talking to his players the night before last season’s playoff game in San Francisco, has talked to the media several times about why he did what he did. Now, Pamphilon has gone on camera to explain himself. Pamphilon also says he isn’t trying to “strong arm’’ NFL commissioner Roger Goodell into an interview in exchange for a copy of the tapes. But Pamphilon says he really, really would like to ask Goodell one question.
The Falcons have announced their schedule for minicamps and offseason workouts.
Friend and former co-worker Scott Fowler predicts the Panthers will get at least one and likely two nationally-televised games. I’ll go out on a limb and say before the night is over Carolina has at least two and possibly three prime-time games. Quarterback Cam Newton draws attention and the NFL and television networks like attention.
North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples said he visited with two NFC South teams. He visited the Bucs where he got to catch up with his former college coach Butch Davis, who is working as a senior advisor. But don’t look for Coples to end up with the Bucs who have more pressing needs than defensive ends. Coples also visited the Panthers and sounded like that meeting went well. I think it’s at least possible Coples could end up with the Panthers.
Peter King has his mock draft out. He has the Bucs taking LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne at No. 5. Absolutely no argument with that one. He has the Panthers taking Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. I agree partly. If the Panthers decide to go with a defensive tackle and Cox is available, I think he’ll be the guy. But I’m not sure the Panthers will go with a defensive tackle.
The schedule will be announced at 7 p.m. ET. Start checking back here soon after that. I’ll be posting a quick schedule analysis for each of the four teams as quickly as possible.