Around the NFC South
July, 11, 2012
By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com
Let's take a run through the Wednesday morning headlines from around the division.
- Every year, training camps are filled with guys that are long shots that have great side stories. I think the most interesting one in the NF South this year is former Montclair State safety Chad Faulcon. Yep, you probably guessed it. He’s going to camp with the Falcons. If it looks like he has a shot to make the roster, I’ll have to get ESPN Stats & Information to start looking to see if he can become the first player to wear the team name on the front and back of his jersey.
- Rick Stroud writes that although coach Greg Schiano probably isn’t happy about Eric Wright’s recent arrest, don’t expect the Buccaneers to part ways with the cornerback they signed back in March. First off, they have to be sensitive to the legal system. Second, they’ve got guaranteed money invested in Wright.
- Bradley Handwerger wonders if new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will help New Orleans safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper improve. He points to how Spagnuolo got decent play out of his safeties in St. Louis. I think Spagnoulo’s scheme will help Jenkins in particular because he’ll be allowed to be a true center fielder. Harper could be more of a challenge. He got to blitz a lot when Gregg Williams was the coordinator. Spagnuolo generally doesn’t blitz defensive backs very often. That could mean more time in coverage for Harper and coverage hasn’t always been his strength.
- Speaking of Jenkins, he’s No. 15 on the Times-Picayune’s ranking of the top 25 Saints.
- Speaking of rankings, AtlantaFieldReport.com has kicker Matt Bryant at No. 18 in its ranking of the top 20 Falcons. I didn’t put any kickers on my NFC South top 25 list, but I did briefly consider Bryant. If I had to put one kicker on my list, he would have been the choice, mainly because he made 93 percent of his field-goal attempts last season.
- Bryan Strickland has his overview of Carolina’s quarterback position. Obviously, Cam Newton is the dominant force here. But we already know he’s got the starting job. If there’s any preseason drama, it will be over the backup job. Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen will compete for that spot during the preseason. Anderson was No. 2 last season, but I don’t think the Panthers would have kept Clausen around if they didn’t at least believe he has a chance to climb the depth chart.