Around the NFC South

December, 18, 2012
12/18/12
10:26
AM ET
Let's take a look at the top Tuesday morning headlines from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Receiver Roddy White said the Falcons are a different team than in recent years. I’ve seen more swagger out of this year’s team. But the real test of "is this team different" will be if the Falcons can win a playoff game.

Cornerback Asante Samuel, who has two Super Bowl rings, said it’s important for the Falcons to carry momentum into the playoffs. Sunday’s win was a good start. If Atlanta can finish strong and secure home-field advantage, it should have everything working in its favor.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Ron Rivera said he doesn’t think a two-game winning streak is enough to keep his job. No, but it could be a step in that direction. If the Panthers play well in their final two games, I think Rivera returns for next season.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Punter Thomas Morstead has been a bright spot in a rough season. Morstead is on pace to break the NFL record for net punting average.

The Saints added safety Phillip Thomas and guard Wayne Tribue to the practice squad.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Receivers coach P.J. Fleck reportedly will become the head coach at Western Michigan. This comes with the territory at this time of year. There’s always movement by assistant coaches, especially a guy like Fleck, whose background was on the college level.

Roy Cummings writes that quarterback Josh Freeman’s recent struggles have been due to communication problems. You could see that on interceptions that were intended for Vincent Jackson and Dallas Clark. But communication problems shouldn’t be an issue 14 games into the season.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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