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Friday, October 7, 2011
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

A look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that the Falcons are on pace for 108 penalties. Last season they had just 58 penalties.

The Times-Picayune has its weekly graphic breaking down Drew Brees’ passing. He’s throwing short and to the left more often than any other area. He had a lot of success with that against Jacksonville, but his two interceptions came in that area.

Mike Triplett writes about how it’s starting to look like Darren Sproles was underutilized in San Diego. With the Saints, he’s getting to do everything and is leading the league in all-purpose yardage.

Although he’s coming off a concussion, Carolina tight end Jeremy Shockey expects to play against the Saints, who released him after last season. New Orleans coach Sean Payton said Shockey is one of his favorite players. Shockey took exception to that and said if that was the case, he’d still be with the Saints.

The field at Bank of America Stadium is back in good shape after absorbing a massive rain storm the last time the Panthers played at home.

Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Greg Olson had praise for backup running back Kregg Lumpkin. Olson hinted Lumpkin could see increased playing time. He could end up sharing the role as third-down back with Earnest Graham.

Ira Kaufman writes that Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams is drawing more coverage in his second season. The Bucs are countering that by throwing to their other receivers and running backs.