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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- I’m about to head out to watch the second day of Carolina’s minicamp and will be back with more on the Panthers this afternoon.

But, for now, let’s take a look at some news and notes from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Coach Mike Smith said linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon, who have been held out of OTAs as they recover from injuries, have a good chance to return to action during next week’s minicamp.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Receiver Domenik Hixon (hamstring) and running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle) are sitting out minicamp. Coach Ron Rivera said Stewart, who had offseason surgery on both ankles, is progressing, but stopped short of definitively saying the running back will be ready for the start of training camp. DeAngelo Williams has been getting all the first-team work in minicamp.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The team signed veteran cornerback Chris Carr. This move is all about adding depth. Carr isn’t a strong candidate to start, but he has a chance to make the roster because the Saints could use an experienced backup cornerback and special-teams player.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Quarterback Josh Freeman said the comfort level is much higher for the offense as it gets ready for the second season in coordinator Mike Sullivan’s system. That may be very significant. Freeman has had three different coordinators and four different quarterback coaches in his short career. Maybe a little continuity will lead to more consistent play from Freeman.