Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
Let's take a look at the top headlines from around the division.
Tom Sorensen makes a compelling case for the Panthers to sign receiver Randy Moss, who says he wants to come out of retirement. As Sorensen points out, the Panthers have shown a little more flexibility lately in being willing to take chances on players with reputations (see Cam Newton and Jeremy Shockey) and there’s no doubt Moss has had some issues in his past. But Moss always had the ability to stretch the field and that’s something the Panthers could use to take coverage away from Steve Smith. But they also think third-year pro Brandon LaFell might be ready to blossom and David Gettis will be returning from an injury.
Speaking of compelling arguments and veteran receivers, John Manasso makes a pretty strong case that the Falcons should sign Hines Ward if, as is expected, he is released by the Pittsburgh Steelers. My first reaction was that the Falcons really don’t need to add a receiver who is about to turn 36. But Manasso points to Ward’s strong roots to the Atlanta area, his reputation as a locker-room leader and his experience as a winner. It’s tough to argue that the Falcons couldn’t use a few more players who have experience winning in the postseason.
Speaking of the Falcons and receivers, Atlanta reportedly has denied Jacksonville’s request to interview receivers coach Terry Robiskie for the same job. Former Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is now Jacksonville’s head coach and he brought quarterbacks coach Bob Bratkowski along with him as offensive coordinator. Those were steps up and weren’t blocked by the Falcons, but this would have been a lateral move for Robiskie and the Falcons don’t want to lose him.
Roy Cummings writes that new Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan was noted for putting players through quirky drills when he was quarterbacks coach of the New York Giants. But the unconventional methods were used to get a conventional result -- sound decision making. That’s what Sullivan will be working to get out of quarterback Josh Freeman.