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Sunday, August 7, 2011
Hitting the NFC South links

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Let's take a stroll through the Sunday morning headlines from around the NFC South.

Defensive end Jeff Charleston has re-signed with the Saints. No big surprise here. Charleston’s a solid backup and the Saints wanted to keep him all along. Even though they drafted Cameron Jordan and have veterans Will Smith and Alex Brown, there still is a role for Charleston. Plus, coach Sean Payton has said that expects Smith will have to serve a four-game suspension this season, so that only made it more important to keep Charleston.

Bradley Handwerger writes that New Orleans receiver Adrian Arrington might have trouble making the roster. Arrington’s been missing time with an ankle injury. The Saints are set with their top four receivers and several young players have been having good camps. One of them could edge Arrington for the fifth-receiver spot.

Some fine work by my friend Steve Reed. He’s got a five-part series that looks back at the history of the Carolina Panthers. It’s a must-read for any Carolina fan.

With Tracy Porter missing time with an injury, second-year cornerback Patrick Robinson has been getting a lot of first-team work with the Saints. Robinson didn’t do much as a rookie last season. But neither did Malcolm Jenkins the year before that. Jenkins emerged as an impact player last season. I’m expecting Robinson to follow a similar path this season. At worst, he’ll be the nickel back. But Porter and fellow starter Jabari Greer each have a history that includes some injuries, and Robinson could end up starting.

Carolina receiver Steve Smith said the new offense of coordinator Rob Chudzinski is refreshing. It’s important to keep Smith happy. If he’s content, he could be a very valuable weapon for Cam Newton.

Tampa Bay co-chairman Bryan Glazer was asked Saturday night if he’s expecting sellouts this season. The Bucs didn’t sell out a single-home game last season, and those games couldn’t be carried on local television. Glazer made it sound like some games could sell out, but not all of them.

With the addition of Keith Millard and Grade Stretz as defensive line coaches, the Tampa Bay defensive linemen will be using new stances.

It’s not official or straight from the coaching staff. But D. Orlando Ledbetter has a projected depth chart for the Falcons that’s based on his own observations after watching all the camp practices.