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Around the NFC South

5/12/2013

Time for a Sunday look at what’s going on around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Daniel Cox writes that receiver Julio Jones has had strong performances against the other NFC South teams in his first two seasons. NFC South defensive backfields haven’t been anywhere close to stellar of late. Tampa Bay, Carolina and New Orleans all have made moves in their secondary this offseason, but I doubt any of that will be enough to really slow Jones.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Tom Sorensen has a feature on Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein, who is trying out with the Panthers during this weekend’s minicamp. Like every tryout player, Breitenstein is a long shot. But a long-shot fullback from a nearby college once was an incredible success story for the Panthers. That was Brad Hoover, who had a long and productive career in Carolina.

Here’s a list of all the players attending Carolina’s rookie camp.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

I’d love to share a note or two with you on New Orleans’ rookie camp, but I can’t. The Saints closed their camp to the media. That’s the team’s prerogative. But it seems to me the only people impacted by this are the members of a die-hard fan base who love to see anything that’s written about their favorite team.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

As he announced his retirement, Ronde Barber was asked who could step up and fill the leadership void. He pointed to defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. I think McCoy already has been somewhat of a leader; he has a vocal personality and emerged as one of the best players on the team in 2012. But, with Barber gone, it’s time for McCoy to step forward even more.