- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Time for an afternoon look at some odds and ends from around the division:
Atlanta fans might want to check out Charlie Campbell’s latest 2014 mock draft. I say that not due to the fact Campbell has the Falcons taking Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. I say that because of where Campbell has the Falcons picking. He has them at No. 32. You know what that means.
The Falcons signed fullback Patrick DiMarco on Thursday. DiMarco played in five games for Kansas City last year. The Falcons have Bradie Ewing ticketed for the starting fullback job, but DiMarco has a chance to stick as a backup.
Coach Ron Rivera made a good point when he said the communication in the offseason program is the best it has been in his three years. The lockout prevented an offseason program in Rivera’s first season and the communication on defense is better than last year now that middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is firmly established as a leader. But that also means Rivera doesn’t have a lot of margin for error. He needs to win this year.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has made it clear that one of his main objectives is to bolster the pass rush as the team switches to a 3-4 scheme. Mike Triplett notes that there were times in Thursday’s workout when outside linebackers Will Smith, Martez Wilson and Junior Galette were on the field together and a lot of times when no true defensive tackles were on the field. The Saints didn’t make any dramatic moves to add pass-rushers in the offseason, but I think there are some guys on the roster that can get after the quarterback. It will be up to Ryan to help put them in the right position.
Rookie left tackle Terron Armstead worked with the first-team offense Thursday while Jason Smith ran with the second team and Charles Brown worked with the third team. I wouldn’t read too much into this just yet. I’d imagine the Saints are going to shuffle those three a lot in minicamp and training camp and see who steps up the most.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
In this Insider post, Chris Sprow has some fodder for the ongoing debate over whether Josh Freeman is the long-term answer at quarterback. Sprow points out that even though Freeman’s pure numbers may look gaudy to this point in his career, those numbers no longer are an accurate way of measuring a quarterback.