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Monday, December 1, 2008
NFC South stock watch

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Here's a look at whose stock is rising and falling in the NFC South.

UP

Michael Turner. The Atlanta running back outperformed LaDainian Tomlinson, the guy he backed up for four years. There are a lot of names getting thrown around for Most Valuable Player. Maybe it's time to start including Turner's name in that conversation.

Steve Smith. The Carolina receiver had been somewhat quiet in recent weeks as Jake Delhomme slumped. But great players make great plays. If you haven't seen the replay of Smith's catch near the end zone against the Packers, you owe it to yourself to see it.

Raheem Mooris and Larry Coyer. With defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin apparently heading to the University of Tennessee, these two assistants already are on Tampa Bay's staff and either one would be a logical replacement.

Mike Smith. If this guy's not coach of the year, there shouldn't be a coach of the year award.

Jeff Garcia. The quarterback is going to take the Bucs to the playoffs for the second straight season. He might not return because coach Jon Gruden has a wandering eye for quarterbacks. But Garcia sure is putting together some nice film for 31 other teams to watch.

Roddy White. The Atlanta receiver went over 1,000 yards for the second straight season. The next step for this guy might be a Pro Bowl berth.

DOWN

Drew Brees. His three interceptions Sunday kind of looked like a college player falling out of the Heisman Trophy race with one bad game. In this case, it's the MVP race and Brees' poor throws weren't the only reason. The Saints' season pretty much ended Sunday and an MVP isn't going to come from a team that doesn't make the playoffs.

Deuce McAllister. Sunday might have been the end for one of the most popular players in New Orleans history. We should know soon if McAllister will draw a suspension. If he does, his time with the Saints likely is over. He barely played Sunday in a game where rain made the field a mess. If McAllister had anything left, this would have been the kind of game to give him 30 carries.

Joey Galloway. The Tampa Bay receiver is an afterthought in this offense. Retirement or release after the season seems to be his next career options.