NFC South: Greg Skrepenak

Around the NFC South

September, 16, 2010
It's a pretty busy Thursday afternoon in the NFC South. So let's take a quick trip through what's going on in the division.

Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib reportedly violated the terms of his suspension by watching Sunday’s game from inside Raymond James Stadium. Suspended players are not allowed on team property while they are suspended. Team officials said they had no idea Talib was at the game. He said Wednesday he watched the game on television from his off-season home in Dallas. But the St. Petersburg Times reports Talib was seen signing autographs inside the stadium. I’ve had numerous fans tell me the same thing in my mailbag or that they were sitting in suites near Talib and saw him.

Former Carolina offensive lineman Greg Skrepenak went into a career in politics after his football career. Now, he’s going to jail.

According to the injury report sent out by the Falcons, wide receiver Michael Jenkins did not participate in Thursday’s practice. Jenkins missed the season opener with a shoulder injury and the fact he’s not practicing might mean he’s about to miss his second game. Safety Erik Coleman (knee) also sat out practice.

According to the injury report sent out by the Bucs, tight end Kellen Winslow didn’t practice Thursday. This is not unusual. Winslow’s knee frequently keeps him out of practice as the Bucs rest him for Sundays.

With an extra day off because they don’t play until Monday night, the Saints appear to be getting healthy. Although linebackers Jonathan Vilma and Stanley Arnoux are listed on the injury report, they fully participated in Thursday’s practice. Arnoux had been out since suffering an ankle injury early in camp.

Sunday’s game between Tampa Bay and Carolina sold out before Thursday’s deadline for local television blackouts. The Panthers have a streak of 76 consecutive sellouts.

Here’s a very interesting story on game-day traffic in cities around the NFL. Atlanta and Carolina ranked in the 10 worst.
Talked to an old high school buddy in Pennsylvania earlier today and he happened to mention former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Greg Skrepenak was in the local news.

That prompted me to visit the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader’s website and I ended up stumbling onto another news item related to a former Carolina player besides the Skrepenak story. Skrepenak got into politics after his playing career. Then, he got into trouble.

He’s awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to accepting a bribe while he was a Luzerne County Commissioner. Federal guidelines in this type of case recommend 33 to 41 months in jail.

Just up the road from Wilkes-Barre, another politician with NFL ties has been indicted on corruption chargers. That’s A.J. Munchak, the uncle of Hall of Famer Mike Munchak. The Munchaks don’t have any AFC South ties, but I thought this was interesting in light of Skepenak’s situation.

Anyway, the other story on a former Panther is much more positive. Raghib “Rocket’’ Ismail, who went to high school in Wilkes-Barre, has been hired to broadcast professional bull riding.