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Thursday, February 16, 2012
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Let's take a look at the top headlines from around the division.

A coin flip on Feb. 24 at the scouting combine will determine if the Carolina Panthers or the Miami Dolphins get the No. 8 pick in the NFL draft. At the moment, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers is the trendy pick for the Panthers by draft gurus.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan needs to take the next step and start winning some playoff games. I don’t think Mayock is going out on any big limb there. The general feeling in Atlanta, reaching as high as Falcons owner Arthur Blank, is that having winning seasons isn’t enough. The expectation is that Ryan and the Falcons will start winning playoff games and perhaps challenge for a Super Bowl.

Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo explains why he chose to come to New Orleans over joining the Eagles, despite his deep ties to Philadelphia.

The name of Ohio State assistant Bill Sheridan reportedly has surfaced in Tampa Bay’s search for a defensive coordinator. Sheridan was defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in 2009 and has experience as a linebackers coach in the NFL.

The Bucs recently hired Jimmy Raye as a senior offensive assistant. Here’s a blast from the past on a bizarre incident that took place when Raye was Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator back in the 1980s.