In terms of headlines that we haven’t already touched on, it’s been a pretty light day in the NFC South. But let’s take a look at what’s out there.
The Saints announced that next week’s minicamp practices are open to the public and free. Here’s the schedule.
I’ve said all along it’s highly unlikely New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees will sit out the season. But what happens to the Saints if Brees somehow does end up sitting out? One writer says they won’t win more than four or five games. I wrote last week that a record around .500 is more likely in that scenario.
D. Orlando Ledbetter has a depth chart on the Falcons after their first open organized team activity. Obviously, this is all very preliminary. I’d look for the depth chart to change, especially on the offensive line and at middle linebacker, as the Falcons get into training camp and the preseason. I really think the Falcons would like to start Joe Hawley at center, rookie Peter Konz at guard and second-year pro Akeem Dent at middle linebacker. This is a veteran team and the front office and coaching staff want to insert some fresh legs at those positions.
Jay Adams writes about the rule change that will allow fans to watch the same replay that the game official is watching when there is a replay challenge. I like the idea. It takes the mystery out of whether or not the official might be watching something different than what the fans are seeing on stadium video screens.
Although he’s a first-round pick, Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly isn’t getting any special treatment. The rookie has been carrying his own helmet, as well as those of veteran linebackers Jon Beason, James Anderson and Thomas Davis to and from the practice field. That might not sound like a huge deal. But for those that aren’t familiar with the walk from the practice field to the locker room at Bank of America Stadium, I’m guessing it’s at least a quarter of a mile and there’s a fairly steep hill on the way back to the stadium, so Kuechly’s chore -- especially after practice -- isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Gary Shelton has a list of "seven players who have to be magnificent for the Bucs to matter again." The list starts off with the obvious suspects, but it also gets into some young players who have to make instant impacts and it closes with a guy who may not even be around when the season opens.