Thursday, September 22, 2011
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
Time for a look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.
Jason Williams, who was the No. 8 linebacker when the Panthers reduced their roster to 53 players, will take over the starting job in place of the injured Thomas Davis on the weak side.
Scott Fowler writes that second-year receiver Brandon LaFell is starting to make some big plays for the Panthers. It could be only a matter of time before he’s starting.
Atlanta left tackle Sam Baker says he and the rest of the offensive line have to play better. That’s not an understatement. Quarterback Matt Ryan has been taking way too many hits. The pressure is on Baker. I have a feeling that if he doesn’t suddenly come on strong the rest of this season, the Falcons will look for a new left tackle next year.
The NFL told the Saints that a 15-yard penalty on safety Roman Harper for his hit on Jay Cutler should not have been called. That’s small consolation because it’s too late to change anything, but Harper was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week.
Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris said safety Cody Grimm has become "Mr. Reliable." Makes you wonder what the Bucs will do if and when Tanard Jackson is reinstated from a one-year suspension. Jackson is extremely talented, but his off-field issues have made him unreliable.
AFC South colleague Paul Kuharsky has an interesting chart that shows 100-yard rushing games are happening about as frequently as they have in recent years. But 100-yard receiving games are coming in at a much faster pace.