Monday, July 8, 2013
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
It’s starting off as a slow day around the NFC South, but there still are a few notes worth taking a look at:
- Six players are eligible for Thursday’s supplemental draft. None are expected to be taken in the early rounds and some scouts are indicating it’s possible that no players will be taken in the supplemental draft.
- Chris Wesseling lists Tampa Bay defensive end Da’Quan Bowers as a player expected to take a big leap in 2013. I’m in full agreement with that and that’s why I had Bowers on my list of the top 25 players in the NFC South. The Bucs obviously are confident Bowers is ready for a breakout year because they let Michael Bennett leave in free agency and haven’t done much else at defensive end.
- D. Orlando Ledbetter has receiver Harry Douglas at No. 18 on his list of the top 25 Falcons. Douglas is a hard guy to gauge. It seems like every year the Falcons think Douglas is ready to take a step forward because defenses have to devote so much attention to their other offensive players. But Douglas has yet to become a consistent playmaker.
- Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Shula said it’s important for the entire offense to get off to a fast start. That didn’t happen last year and was a major reason why the Panthers got off to a 2-8 start. The Panthers went with a more conventional running game down the stretch and finished strong. I’m sure Shula is well aware of that and is building his offense to look a lot like it did in the second half of last season. In other words, I don’t think the Panthers will be going heavy with the read option. I think they’re going to let Cam Newton be a true quarterback.
- Saints owner Tom Benson came in at No. 1 on the Times-Picayune’s list of the 25 most influential sports figures for the fifth straight year. Can’t argue that one since Benson has the market pretty much cornered as he also owns the NBA’s Pelicans. Coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees also are very high on the list.