Let's take a Sunday morning run through the top headlines around the NFC South:
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano sure made it sound as if rookie Doug Martin has won the starting job at running back. Seriously, did anyone really expect this to play out another way? I know LeGarrette Blount, the starter the last two seasons, talked a lot about how he improved this offseason as a receiver and pass blocker. Maybe Blount did improve some in those areas. But the bottom line is the Bucs traded back into the first round to draft Martin because they believe he’s an all-purpose back and they’re planning to use him like one.
Bradley Handwerger writes that New Orleans defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo did a nice job making some in-game tweaks after a rough start in Saturday night’s preseason game against Houston. That resulted in much more stable play from the defense for the rest of the game. That’s a good sign because Spagnuolo’s going to have to keep adjusting things until injured linebackers David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton get back in the lineup.
D. Orlando Ledbetter has an updated projected depth chart for the Falcons. One thing that stood out to me is that Garrett Reynolds still is No. 1 at right guard. Rookie Peter Konz did get some work with the first team on Friday night. The Falcons need to make a decision on who their starter will be very soon, but it’s looking like they might be leading toward staying cautious and sticking with Reynolds. The other thing that stands out to me is that Dominique Davis is listed as the No. 4 quarterback. I’d be surprised if Davis does not move up to No. 3, ahead of John Parker Wilson.
Carolina’s Mike Tolbert doesn’t have the prototypical body for a fullback/tailback. But Tom Sorensen writes that you shouldn’t sell Tolbert short because of the way he’s built. He’s been proving doubters wrong since he first started playing football.