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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas

Time for a morning run through the headlines from around the division:

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Although he interviewed to become head coach of the Chicago Bears, it doesn’t appear as if offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan will be leaving. That’s good news for the Bucs. They’ll get to keep continuity on an offensive staff that will have changes at quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach.

The Bucs are going to get a second representative in the Pro Bowl beyond defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. They just don’t know who it will be yet. Receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin are first alternates. Atlanta receiver Julio Jones and San Francisco running back Frank Gore are playing in the NFC Championship Game and one of them will go to the Super Bowl instead of the Pro Bowl.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Although the last thing New Orleans fans want to see is Atlanta come into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and win the Super Bowl, quarterback Drew Brees isn’t blatantly rooting against the Falcons. He said there’s a certain amount of respect among division opponents and a good showing by Atlanta would be good for the NFC South.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Team owner Jerry Richardson met with city officials to discuss potential renovations to Bank of America Stadium. Although Richardson always has prided himself on the fact the stadium was built without any tax-payer dollars, he is open to public funding to help upgrade the stadium.

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson hinted on Facebook that he’ll follow former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski to the Cleveland Browns. Anderson previously played in Cleveland. There already was a good chance Anderson wouldn’t stay with the Panthers. He is scheduled to become a free agent and the Panthers have a tight salary-cap situation. Third-string quarterback Jimmy Clausen remains under contract at an affordable salary and likely will be bumped up to No. 2.

ATLANTA FALCONS

In this radio interview, running back Jason Snelling looks ahead to the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco.

Mark Bradley writes that the NFC Championship Game will be the biggest sports moment in Atlanta history. That’s relative. The Hawks never have been great and hockey never really mattered in Atlanta. There have been some big games for the Braves through the years and they’ve been the dominant team in Atlanta. But fans have jumped on the Falcons’ bandwagon and this is the first time Atlanta will host an NFC Championship Game.