Time for a look at the top Tuesday morning headlines from around the NFC South:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Stephen Holder writes that if the Bucs do trade running back LeGarrette Blount by Thursday afternoon’s deadline, don’t expect them to get much in compensation. He’s right. Blount’s a guy that originally was passed over by all 32 teams in the draft and he comes with some baggage. If the Bucs do move Blount, I wouldn’t expect them to get more than a late-round draft pick in return.
Coach Greg Schiano praised cornerback Leonard Johnson, who got increased playing time in Minnesota. Johnson could continue to get lots of playing time because there is a FOX Sports report that cornerback Eric Wright soon could face a suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Wright also is dealing with an injury to his Achilles tendon.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
A brief filed by linebacker Jonathan Vilma in an attempt to get former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to recuse himself from appeals hearings contains an e-mail in which former New Orleans assistant Mike Cerullo said he was in meetings where the Saints came up with plans to cover up the alleged bounty program. Cerullo said assistant head coach Joe Vitt was in those meetings.
Coordinator Sean McDermott praised his defense for limiting the Bears to 210 yards of total offense and said that should have been good enough to win the game. He’s got a point and Carolina’s offense certainly could have done more. But I think it still is fair to question Carolina’s decision to go with soft coverage at the end as the Bears drove the field to set up the game-winning field goal.
The Panthers cut ties with Brandon Hogan, waiving the second-year cornerback off injured reserve Monday. The Panthers took a gamble on Hogan when they took him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, even though he tore up his knee in the final game of his college career. The gamble didn’t pay off. Hogan appeared in only three games for Carolina.
The Atlanta run defense had problems early in the season, but held the Eagles to 92 rushing yards on Sunday. D. Orlando Ledbetter points out that part of the reason the Falcons were successful was because they used a lineup with three defensive tackles in obvious run situations. I’d look for the Falcons to continue doing that as the season goes on.