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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas

METAIRIE, La. -- I'm about to head out to watch the New Orleans Saints practice and will be back with more on them later. But, in the meantime, here are some odds and ends from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

With right tackle Mike Johnson suffering serious injury to his ankle and leg, the Falcons might have to bring in a veteran in case second-year pro Lamar Holmes isn’t ready to move into the starting lineup. But the market of available veterans is thin right now. The Falcons might be better off waiting to see who comes available when teams start making roster cuts.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Captain Munnerlyn said fellow cornerback Drayton Florence reminds him of former Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble. If Florence can play anywhere near the way Gamble used to, the Panthers will be very happy with this free-agent pickup.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Jeff Duncan writes that outside linebacker Junior Galette is the team’s most important player outside of quarterback Drew Brees. That sounds like a bold statement, but I think Duncan is right. Galette needs to be a force as a pass-rusher for Rob Ryan’s defense to have a chance to succeed.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Tight end Luke Stocker said he has to be more consistent if he’s going to end up as the starter. Stocker missed most of the first two weeks of camp with a calf injury and is easing his way back into practices. But Stocker still has a chance to win the starting job, because the Bucs don’t have a lot of other options at the position.