Around the NFC South

Let's take a morning run through some news and notes from around the division:


Pete Prisco writes that running back Steven Jackson has turned to a gluten-free diet as he approaches his 30th birthday. Jackson is well aware that many running backs start slowing down around that age. He believes the new diet will help him recover quickly from the hits he takes on game days.


New general manager Dave Gettleman hasn’t done a lot of interviews since taking the job. But he met with the media Thursday and said he’s happy with what the Panthers accomplished in the offseason. He should be. Gettleman inherited a salary-cap nightmare and got the Panthers out of it. The cap situation prevented him from making any big splashes, but Gettleman was able to sign several mid-level free agents and had what appears to be a good draft class.


A second opinion confirmed that outside linebacker Victor Butler has a torn ACL and he reportedly will have surgery Tuesday. It’s almost certain Butler will sit out this season. Martez Wilson likely will get the first shot at the starting spot Butler was ticketed for.


Maybe coach Greg Schiano really is softening a bit as he prepares for his second season. Instead of having his team work on the field on the final day of mandatory minicamp, the Bucs went to see a movie. That was Schiano’s way of throwing his team a bone for working hard. That’s something Schiano rarely did last year when he worked his team especially hard while trying to establish a new culture.