NFC South: Adam Schefter

Checking out the expert picks

December, 14, 2012
ESPN’s panel of experts are evenly split on Sunday’s game between the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

Seven are picking the Falcons to win and seven are picking the Giants.

The other games involving NFC South teams aren’t nearly as close in the eyes of the panelists.

They have the New Orleans Saints as the overwhelming favorite against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Adam Schefter was the only panelist to pick Tampa Bay. I’m mildly surprised by this one. The Bucs have been in a slump of late, but it’s not like New Orleans has been on a roll. I think Tampa Bay has shot to win this one.

Only three panelists (Schefter, Tom Jackson and Mike Ditka) chose the Carolina Panthers to win their game at the San Diego Chargers. I’m also a little surprised by this one. Carolina is coming off a big win against Atlanta and quarterback Cam Newton and the defense have played better recently. The Panthers also seem to be playing hard to help coach Ron Rivera keep his job, so I can also see Carolina pulling off the upset.

Checking out the experts' picks

November, 15, 2012
I went to check on the ESPN NFL Expert Picks expecting the panel to be unanimous in this week’s games involving NFC South teams.

But it turns out that’s the case in only one game. The panel was unanimous in its choice of the Atlanta Falcons over the Arizona Cardinals. That makes plenty of sense because the Falcons are very tough at the Georgia Dome and the Cardinals are crumbling after a fast start.

But there was a little bit of division among the panelists when it came to the other two NFC South games.

Twelve panel members are picking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Carolina Panthers and I’d make the same prediction. The Bucs suddenly are hot and the Panthers are having a dismal season. But Keyshawn Johnson, who played for both teams, and Adam Schefter picked the Panthers.

Schefter also went against conventional wisdom in picking the Oakland Raiders to defeat the New Orleans Saints. He and Chris Mortensen are the only two panelists picking against the Saints.
ESPN’s panel of experts isn’t giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Carolina Panthers much chance on Sunday.

Twelve of the 14 panelists are predicting the New Orleans Saints will defeat the Buccaneers. Adam Schefter and Tom Jackson were the only panelists to pick Tampa Bay.

Eleven panelists have Dallas defeating Carolina. The exceptions are Jackson, Eric Allen and Keyshawn Johnson, who, by the way, played for both the Cowboys and Panthers.
We’ve hit you with a lot of predictions in recent days. Get ready for some more. John Clayton, Herm Edwards, Ron Jaworski, Mel Kiper Jr., Chris Mortensen, Bill Polian and Adam Schefter have their predictions on who will play in the Super Bowl.

Only one of the seven has an NFC South team making it to the Super Bowl. It’s Polian, who is going with the Atlanta Falcons. Polian says this is the year Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan truly blossoms.

“I really think Ryan is going to grow under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, and I look for him to take a pretty big leap because of the nature of the offense,’’ Polian said. “It will not be the run-heavy offense of the past. It will be more wide open, and Ryan will get a chance to spread his wings.’’

Ironically, Polian has the Falcons playing the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl. Ryan is forever linked to Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco because they came out in the same draft class. However, Polian’s pick doesn’t come with a totally happy ending for Atlanta fans. He has the Ravens beating the Falcons in the Super Bowl.
ESPN’s panel of predictors is pretty divided on two games involving NFC South teams Sunday.

The split is the closest on the game in London between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Six experts picked the Bucs and four chose the Bears.

In a mild surprise, seven experts chose the 1-5 Carolina Panthers to beat the Washington Redskins. I’m guessing the fact John Beck will be the starting quarterback for the Redskins might have something to do with that.

Eight panel members picked the Lions over the Falcons. But I think there’s a chance Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, who picked the Falcons, could end up being right.

The one thing everyone agreed on is the Saints will win against the Colts on Sunday night. Not surprising. Saints coach Sean Payton is injured, but he’ll still be involved. Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning is hurt and won’t be playing a homecoming game in the city where he grew up.
New Orleans fans, ESPN’s Adam Schefter says in this Insider post that there’s no reason the Saints can’t be a Super Bowl favorite.

Schefter makes it clear that part of that equation entails rookies Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram and Martez Wilson being productive right off the bat. No argument here. If those guys are what everyone seems to think, they should fill some holes the Saints had last season.

Schefter also cites that the Saints could face strong competition in the NFC South from the Falcons and Buccaneers and sings the praises of the draft classes throughout the division.
We gave you an NFC South mailbag over the weekend. But John Clayton and Adam Schefter also answered some NFC South questions in their mailbags.

Clayton provides some interesting historical perspective on Atlanta’s trade up to get wide receiver Julio Jones in this year’s first round. Clayton compares it to 1995 when the San Francisco 49ers took a huge leap to get J.J. Stokes. Although Stokes had a decent career, he never became the player the 49ers envisioned. Part of that might have been because Terrell Owens came along and took away a lot of passes that could have gone toward Stokes.

I’ve been asked many times about the possibility of the Falcons pursuing Minnesota defensive end Ray Edwards when free agency opens. In this Insider post, Schefter gets the same question and says Edwards would be logical guy to go after, but also makes the point that much will depend on the rules of free agency. We don’t know yet if Edwards will be a restricted or unrestricted free agent.

Schefter is also asked about possible landing spots for cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. He says the favorites are in the NFC East, but he also makes mention of the Buccaneers. Don’t rule this one out. If there is a salary cap, the Bucs are going to have more cap room to work with than any team in the league. Coach Raheem Morris also has thrown out a few hints that the Bucs might be more active in free agency this year than they have been in recent years.

Morris addresses QB trade talk

August, 26, 2009
Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- There could be even another element to the quarterback situation for the Buccaneers.

The team could be looking to trade one of its quarterbacks for a draft pick. Coach Raheem Morris wouldn't confirm an report that the Bucs are shopping three of their quarterbacks for a trade, but he didn't deny it either.

"Oh, man, they're Nostradamus," Morris said when asked about the report. "Everybody in this league, all 32 teams around this time start calling front offices. I can't control who calls us. Everybody's interested in everybody's roster and everybody's looking to nit-pick off everybody's roster. Everybody has talent and you're trying to accumulate the best talent on your football team. That's just all that talk is what that is."

But it makes total sense for the Bucs to at least try to find out what the market value might be for Byron Leftwich, Luke McCown or Josh Johnson. They're not about to let go of rookie Josh Freeman, who they call their franchise quarterback.

But that's likely in the future. For now, it appears the Bucs will open the season with either Leftwich or McCown as their starter. They're about even at this point and a potential trade could play into Morris' decision, although the Bucs likely would be able to get only a late-round pick (at best) for any of their quarterbacks.

Leftwich, a former starter in Jacksonville, probably has more trade value because of his experience. McCown has only seven starts. Johnson, a second-year pro, has yet to play in an NFL game and probably wouldn't bring much in a trade.

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