Monday, July 30, 2012
NFC South afternoon update
By Pat Yasinskas
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- I’m wrapping up my time here at Falcons’ camp, but we’ll have more on Atlanta in the coming days. The Camp Confidential profile on the Falcons is scheduled to run Thursday.
Meantime, let’s take a look at what else is going on around the division.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
All coaches have quirks, and we’ve been finding out a lot about Greg Schiano ever since he arrived in Tampa Bay. But here’s a new tidbit on Schiano. In this radio interview, he revealed he asks all of his quarterbacks to wear a protective brace on their left leg (all his quarterbacks throw with their right arm). This makes plenty of sense, because that’s the leg that’s most exposed to injury.
We already knew Schiano had a penchant for guys who played for him at Rutgers. One of them, receiver Tiquan Underwood, has been making a positive impression early in camp.
With starter Donald Penn out with an injury, Demar Dotson has been getting the first-team work at left tackle. If Penn’s not ready for the start of the preseason, I don’t think we’ll see quarterback Josh Freeman being left on the field too long.
Coach Ron Rivera has had some success bringing in guys from San Diego, where he was an assistant. There was some hope that defensive end/linebacker Jyles Tucker could join that club, but that’s not going to happen. Tucker left camp to deal with a personal issue, and the Panthers released him.
Quarterback Cam Newton said the rest of the Panthers are doing their best to back up Ryan Kalil after the center purchased a newspaper ad promising a Super Bowl championship. What would you expect Newton and his teammates to say? That Kalil is out of his mind and they don’t want to win a Super Bowl?
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Although he’ll be going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a few days, former New Orleans offensive tackle Willie Roaf told the media he’s not the best player in Saints’ history. He said that honor belongs to current quarterback Drew Brees. No argument here. Roaf was a wonderful player, but he split his career between New Orleans and Kansas City. Besides, he was an offensive lineman. Those guys are important, but not as important as quarterbacks. Besides, the Saints won a Super Bowl title with Brees. The Saints were only a mediocre team during much of Roaf’s tenure.
Jeff Duncan makes a good point as he runs through the history of undrafted free agents that have made the Saints’ roster in recent seasons. At least one undrafted rookie has made the roster each year since 2006. The list includes guys like Lance Moore and Pierre Thomas.