Let’s take a tour of the Thursday morning headlines from around the NFC South.
Despite piling up 376 yards of offense and 40 points in their season opener, the Falcons aren’t happy with the production they got from their running game. I think it’s a real positive that the Falcons realize this at a time when their passing offense is getting so much hype. I’m all for Atlanta throwing the ball more than previous years, but it’s still important to be able to run the ball in the NFL.
Wide receiver James Rodgers was added to the practice squad. He’s the brother of running back Jacquizz Rodgers. James was with the Falcons in the preseason before being released in the final cutdown.
Joseph Person writes that the Panthers don’t have a lot of warm feelings toward the Saints. That stems back to last season when the Saints beat Carolina 45-17 in Week 17. The Saints played their starters, and some members of the Panthers’ organization felt New Orleans was running up the score unnecessarily as several members of the offense pursued records.
Running back Jonathan Stewart practiced Wednesday and said he’s optimistic he’ll play Sunday against New Orleans. Stewart missed the season opener with an ankle injury, and the Panthers were held to just 10 rushing yards.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
With Devery Henderson dealing with a concussion, Joe Morgan could end up being New Orleans’ third receiver on Sunday. That’s a pretty big step for a guy who was viewed as being on the roster bubble at the end of the preseason. The Saints also re-signed veteran Greg Camarillo for depth, but the Saints might test Morgan out, because he has the potential to get open downfield.
Interim coach Aaron Kromer said many of the Saints, including quarterback Drew Brees, were guilty of trying to do too much in Sunday’s loss to Washington. I think that’s the product of a difficult offseason. The Saints have been hearing a lot of critics say they’ll fold because of the adversity. The Saints need to get back to being themselves, or the critics could end up being right.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Bucs sent backup running back LeGarrette Blount to an out-of-state specialist Wednesday to make sure there were no lingering problems after a big hit in Sunday’s game. Tests showed no series damage. General manager Mark Dominik said Blount had a pinched nerve and is expected to return to practice Thursday.
Left tackle Donald Penn referred to the members of the New York Giants defensive line as “freaks of nature’’. No doubt the Bucs will have their hands full with this group Sunday. But Tampa Bay has a lot of money invested in its offensive line. Even without injured guard Davin Joseph, this line has a chance to be pretty good. We’ll find out how good Sunday.