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NFC South evening update

11/5/2012

As we get ready for Monday night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, let’s take a look at some headlines from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Jeff Schultz writes that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s name is at least being tossed out there in connection with the University of Kentucky’s coaching job. I have a hard time seeing Koetter having any interest in this one when he’s about three or four Atlanta wins away from having a shot as a head coach in the NFL, where the pay is a lot better than the college ranks. Besides, unless Koetter can go out and land another Sam Bowie at center and another Rex Chapman at shooting guard, I don’t think he can win with the Wildcats.

Coach Mike Smith said the knee injury to defensive tackle Peria Jerry doesn’t appear to be serious. But it does appear to be convenient. Corey Peters, who is working toward increased playing time after missing six games with an injury, should continue to get more time and Jerry can slide back into a backup role.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

The NFL came out Monday and said the officiating crew made a mistake on allowing DeAngelo Williams’ 30-yard touchdown run to count in Sunday’s victory at Washington. The league said Williams stepped out of bounds at the 17-yard line. Truth is, it doesn’t matter now. Williams got credit for the touchdown Sunday and that’s not going to change.

Coach Ron Rivera said he wants his team focused on trying to get a win and not on a reunion with former Carolina coach and current Denver coach John Fox. I don’t think there’s much to worry about here. Carolina has had a lot of turnover since Fox left after the 2010 season. And I’m thinking that even the players that were with Fox don’t have particularly strong feelings for him after a 2-14 finish in his last season.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Bradley Handwerger reports the Saints are allowed to negotiate a new contract with coach Sean Payton even while he is serving a season-long suspension. Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s something fishy here. If Payton, whose contract extension was agreed to more than a year ago, hasn’t worked out a deal by now, I have to wonder if he set himself up to be a free agent. I have a feeling this saga is going to drag on.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Right tackle Demar Dotson said the offensive line quieted any “naysayers’’ in Sunday’s victory at Oakland. How can anyone be saying “nay’’ about Tampa Bay’s offensive line after Doug Martin rushed for 251 yards and four touchdowns?