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Thursday, July 28, 2011
Hitting the NFC South links

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

As we try to stay on top of the frenzy, let's take another run through the latest headlines around the NFC South.

Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy will miss at least the first two weeks of training camp after suffering injuries in a recent motorcycle accident in Tennessee. Don’t be surprised if there are more stories similar to this around the league as players report to training camp. Teams couldn’t have contact with players during the lockout, so it’s possible there are other unknown injuries out there.

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman briefed offensive coordinator Greg Olson on what the team accomplished in players-only workouts while dining with a group of players and coaches. Also at the dinner were free-agent offensive linemen Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood, which would indicate the Bucs want to re-sign both.

Jeff Duncan writes that part of the reason Reggie Bush left New Orleans for Miami is because he wants to be “the man’’. Time will tell if Bush can handle that role after being a role player and often injured in New Orleans. Duncan also reports that Tampa Bay was in the mix in trade talks about Bush.

Although many assume the South Beach scene might be another reason Bush wanted to go to Miami, he told Lynn Hoppes that’s not the case. Bush said he’s not into partying.

In this Insider post, Football Outsiders ranks the Buccaneers as the league’s No. 1 organization. That’s based on talent that’s under 25. Freeman is 23, so that’s about 80 percent of the reason the Bucs are No. 1.

National Football League Players Association president Kevin Mawae said players are still fighting for amnesty for off-field incidents during the lockout. He said that’s one of the final pieces in play as the final edition of the new labor agreement is being worked out. Players don’t want to be subject to the league’s personal conduct policy during the time they were locked out. If they get their way, that could be good news for Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib, who was charged with aggravated assault in Texas in March.