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Monday, January 17, 2011
Hitting the NFC South links

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

On the first Monday of the offseason in the NFC South, let's take a look at some headlines from across the division.

As we wait for Carolina’s Ron Rivera to fill out his coaching staff, you can scratch off the name of one guy who might have been on the radar. That’s Mike McCoy. He’s staying in Denver as the offensive coordinator on John Fox’s new staff. There is lots of history here. McCoy was on Fox’s Carolina staff as quarterbacks coach from 2002 until he was hired as offensive coordinator in Denver in 2009. Interestingly, when Dan Henning was fired after the 2006 season, there were some people within the Panthers who though McCoy should have been elevated to offensive coordinator. Instead, Fox passed him over and went out and hired Jeff Davidson. In hindsight, making McCoy his offensive coordinator might have kept Fox in Carolina. Now, he’s got him as offensive coordinator in Denver.

Speaking of filling coaching staffs and the Panthers, they reportedly are interested in Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator. McDermott recently was fired by Philadelphia. Carolina officials, like officials from other teams, will be scouting college all-star games the next two weeks. But they'll also be doing interviews with potential Rivera assistants while they are on the road.

Atlanta receiver Roddy White apologized to fans via Twitter for the Falcons’ performance in Saturday night’s loss to Green Bay.

Speaking of apologies, Atlanta coach Mike Smith placed the blame for the loss on himself and his coaching staff. But Smith also said he has no plans to make any changes to his staff.

We’ve talked a bit in the past about how a prolonged lockout could hurt the Buccaneers and the Panthers more than the Falcons and the Saints. If a labor agreement isn’t reached by March 3, players won’t be able to work out or even watch film at the team’s facility. Tampa Bay and Carolina are extremely young and the Panthers will have a new coaching staff and new systems on offense and defense. Ira Kaufman takes a detailed look at how a lengthy lockout could hurt the Buccaneers.

The Saints reportedly will not raise ticket prices for 2011, except for 4,500 plaza-level seats that are being upgraded to premium seating as part of the continuing renovations in the Superdome.