Thursday, September 8, 2011
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
APPLETON, Wisc. – We’ll have lots more on the New Orleans Saints throughout the day as they get ready for their game with the Green Bay Packers. But, first, let’s take a look at what’s going on across the rest of the NFC South.
Carolina cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, one of the NFC South’s more confident players, said he’s not ready to relinquish his starting spot to newcomer Darius Butler. The plan is for Munnerlyn to start the opener and Butler will be used in nickel packages. But the signing of Butler could be an indication the Panthers are seeking an upgrade on Munnerlyn, who is limited by the fact he’s 5-foot-8. Butler was a second-round pick by the Patriots and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds. But don’t automatically assume Butler’s going to take over the starting job. Munnerlyn’s a competitor and he’s not going to give up the job without a fight.
Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton recently got a surprise phone call. It came from Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick, who offered Newton some advice on adapting to life in the NFL.
Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay tweeted that quarterback Peyton Manning is out for “awhile’’. You can bet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are keeping a close eye on this one. The Bucs host the Colts in Week 4 in a Monday Night Football game. Not having Manning on the field might help the Tampa Bay defense, but it wouldn’t help at the box office, where the Bucs are struggling to sell out games.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan said he believes second-year center Joe Hawley is ready to step in for injured veteran Todd McClure.