Monday, January 30, 2012
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
Let's take a look at the Monday morning headlines from around the NFC South.
In the aftermath of Tampa Bay’s disastrous 4-12 season, there’s been some media talk that work ethic was a problem for quarterback Josh Freeman, running back LeGarrette Blount and receiver Mike Williams. Charlie Campbell talked with former members of Tampa Bay’s coaching staff. They unequivocally denied there were any issues with Freeman’s work ethic. That’s something anyone who spent any time around the Bucs could have told you. But they didn’t dispute there were problems with Blount and Williams. Those same former coaches complained about an overall lack of talent on the roster in 2011. Funny, but those were the same coaches that were pounding their chests and talking about how they got the Bucs to overachieve when they went 10-6 with a similar roster in 2010.
D. Orlando Ledbetter runs through Atlanta’s list of potential free agents. We all know it includes defensive end John Abraham, linebacker Curtis Lofton and cornerback Brent Grimes. But he also points out wide receiver Harry Douglas, who might be tricky to keep. With Roddy White and Julio Jones clearly the top two receivers in Atlanta, Douglas could end up leaving. He’s stuck as the third receiver in Atlanta, but could have a chance to start elsewhere.
For the first time since coming into the league in 1995, the Carolina Panthers are refining their logo. The colors are staying the same, but there are some minor changes.
Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton was intercepted three times in Sunday night’s Pro Bowl.
You rarely see the drop kick used in the NFL. But the Pro Bowl isn’t a very serious game, so it’s open to experimentation. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees attempted a drop kick Sunday and didn’t come close to making it.
Ira Kaufman has a to-do-list for new Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano. It starts with assembling a coaching staff. That’s a good starting point. Schiano has to act quickly here. Most NFL teams have filled their staffs, and there might not be a lot of experienced NFL coaches out there. Schiano has said he probably will bring some assistants from Rutgers. But he also needs to look long and hard and get some quality NFL assistants.