Around the NFC South

September, 20, 2012
9/20/12
10:47
AM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Time for a look at the headlines from around the division.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said the secondary doesn’t deserve all the blame for Eli Manning throwing for 510 yards Sunday. He said the front seven of the defense could have given the secondary a lot more help.

It appears as if the Bucs are going to stick with Demar Dotson as their starting right tackle. Jeremy Trueblood had his chance under the new regime and didn’t make the most of it.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel said he’s looking forward to the atmosphere in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. I’m not sure he’ll be so fascinated on Sunday when he’s trying to get his team lined up before the play clock expires.

Although the numbers still are prolific, Nakia Hogan points out the New Orleans passing game hasn’t been as sharp as in the past. It’s been held back by dropped passes, penalties and missed assignments.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

The Panthers want to upgrade Bank of America Stadium with new video boards and escalators. It’s not clear if the team will seek public funding. The stadium, which opened in 1996, was built without any taxpayer money.

In his third season, Brandon LaFell has emerged as a solid No. 2 receiver. He might be the best complement to Steve Smith the Panthers have had since Muhsin Muhammad.

ATLANTA FALCONS

Cornerback Christopher Owens is going through the league’s concussion protocol. I’d guess it’s very unlikely he’ll be ready to play Sunday at San Diego. That means either Dominique Franks or Robert McClain likely will have to take over as the nickel back.

Although he’s off to a slow start and was charged with DUI on Tuesday, Mark Bradley writes that it’s not time for the Falcons to unload Michael Turner. His point is that the Falcons still need a running game and that’s very true. Turner might not be what he was in the past, but the Falcons need him (and Jacquizz Rodgers) to supply a bit of a running game to keep defenses honest against Atlanta’s passing game.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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