Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Thursday, January 5, 2012
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Time for a Thursday morning look at the top headlines from around the division.

Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey defended his offensive line against allegations of dirty play. Mularkey said the Falcons are physical but are not instructed to play beyond the whistle.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said that quarterback Cam Newton is capable of winning multiple Super Bowls. It’s possible, as long as the Panthers spruce up their defense.

Ndamukong Suh was suspended when the Lions played the Saints during the regular season. But Suh will be playing in Saturday’s playoff game and that should lead to a fantastic matchup. New Orleans has one of the best interior offensive lines in the league with guards Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans. This will be a classic case of strength on strength.

Gary Shelton writes that none of the available coaching candidates has much of a “wow factor.’’ That’s true. But the Bucs need something other than “wow." They need a coach who will come in and stabilize their franchise.

Atlanta director of player personnel Les Snead is getting some consideration for general manager’s jobs. Chicago and St. Louis are showing some interest. It’s only natural because Snead is good at what he does and is viewed as a rising star in league circles.