Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Let’s take a look at some Wednesday morning headlines from around the NFC South:
There’s some good news for the Falcons as they prepare to head to San Diego on Friday for Sunday’s game with the Chargers. They’re 5-0 in West Coast games under coach Mike Smith.
When asked about running back Michael Turner charged with DUI, Smith said he’s disappointed anytime a negative light is cast upon the organization. But Smith wouldn’t comment much further and wouldn’t say if Turner will face team discipline. There really isn’t much Smith can do right now. He has to wait and let the legal system run its course.
Rookie cornerback Josh Norman said he expects Eli Manning and the Giants to target him Thursday night. Of course they will. Norman’s a fifth-round draft pick with promise, but lots to prove. The Giants already know veteran Chris Gamble can play, but they’re going to find out about Norman.
Quarterback Cam Newton said Thursday night’s game with the Giants is no different than any other. But it is on prime-time television and it is against the defending Super Bowl champions. It’s probably the biggest game on Carolina’s schedule. But you have to commend the second-year quarterback for at least acting like the game is no big deal. Newton is a guy that played in some pretty high-profile games in college.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Elbert Mack is back. The Saints have re-signed the cornerback who was with them in the preseason and previously played in Tampa Bay. With cornerback Johnny Patrick banged up, the Saints need depth and Mack knows the system. The Saints released receiver Adrian Arrington off injured reserve to make room for Mack.
The legal team for New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma plans to paint former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo, who has told the NFL a bounty program existed and provided details, as an unreliable witness. I’d expect nothing less. Vilma’s lawyers get paid to defend their client and it’s only natural to expect them to attack Cerullo’s credibility.
The NFL released a statement, saying Cerullo is credible and that his statements have been backed up by other sources. The league also commended Cerullo for coming forward to talk about the bounty program.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
It appears the Bucs are sticking with Demar Dotson as their starting right tackle. Dotson got the start in place of an injured Jeremy Trueblood on Sunday and performed reasonably well. Even though Trueblood has had time to recover from the injury, it appears the Bucs again will go with Dotson on Sunday at Dallas. This should come as a relief to many Tampa Bay fans, who point to Trueblood anytime something goes wrong on the offensive line.
Scott Reynolds reports that defensive end Da’Quan Bowers has become a student of the game while being sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon. Nothing wrong with that. Bowers is gifted physically and studying the game should only help him become a better player. The Bucs are hoping Bowers can return around the middle of the season.