- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let's take a look at the Friday morning headlines from around the NFC South.
Jeff Duncan writes that it should come as no surprise that the Saints are painting former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as a rogue coach in their bounty scandal. He’s right. It was obvious from the start that head coach Sean Payton and Williams were not tight. Payton hired Williams as a desperate act. He needed someone to get production out of his defense. It worked well for one season and not so well for the final two. The whole time, Payton and Williams were clashing. But I have a tough time buying that Payton didn’t know about the bounty program that ran for three seasons. Payton knows everything that goes on with the Saints. The NFL report announcing the punishments even expressly stated that assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt was responsible for keeping an eye on Williams and letting Payton know what was going on with the defense.
Ashley Fox writes that Williams should never coach in the NFL again. I don’t think you’ll find many people willing to argue that point right now.
San Francisco receiver Kyle Williams was mentioned by Gregg Williams as a specific target for injury by the Saints. The receivers father, Kenny Williams, is the general manager of the Chicago White Sox and he issued a statement in which he said “it’s probably best I’m never in a room with Gregg Williams."
Former Falcons coach Bobby Petrino has been placed on administrative leave by the University of Arkansas for not disclosing all the details surrounding his recent motorcycle accident.
After it was recently reported that LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, a possible target for Tampa Bay at No. 5 in the draft, posted a low Wonderlic score, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has told all 32 teams to keep the scores confidential or they could end up facing disciplinary action.
Louisiana-Lafayette tight end Ladarius Green recently visited with Tampa Bay. He also said he may visit with the Falcons and Saints. It’s fair to say that all four NFC South teams could be looking to add a backup tight end in the draft.
New Orleans receiver Lance Moore said quarterback Drew Brees should be signed to a long-term contract soon. He’s right. I know the Saints are dealing with some other things right now. But taking care of Brees and making him happy might be the most important move they can make this offseason.
The Buccaneers reportedly are showing some interest in free-agent defensive tackles Amobi Okoye and Derek Landri. It’s pretty obvious the Bucs are simply looking for some depth in their rotation at defensive tackle. They already have Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Roy Miller. But McCoy and Price have had injury problems, so it wouldn’t hurt to add one more guy to the rotation and the price tags for Okoye and Landri aren’t likely to be that high. The Bucs could make a move before the draft. But it also is possible they’ll wait and see if Okoye, Landri or another defensive tackle with experience still is available after the draft.