NFC South: Jeff Carlson

Hitting the NFC South links

August, 25, 2010
Charlie Campbell writes that Tampa Bay safety Sabby Piscitelli isn’t happy about losing his starting position to Sean Jones. Piscitelli went so far as to suggest that he didn’t think there was even a competition. Sad part is, he’s right. The Bucs brought in Jones because Piscitelli was so bad in 2009. Once Jones was signed, the only real chance Piscitelli had to keep the starting job was to go out and light it up in the preseason and training camp. Piscitelli went on to imply he didn’t see this move coming and you can make your own jokes about how that might relate to his field vision. Oh, and somebody go check to see if Jeremy Zuttah was blind sided by losing his starting guard job to Keydrick Vincent because that move was telegraphed even more visibly.
  • Matt Williamson has his list of the most indispensable players for every team in the league. We’ll have my NFC South list up Thursday afternoon, so I’m not allowed to even hint about where Williamson and I may agree or disagree.
  • Tristan H. Cockroft has some thoughts on Robert Meachem’s value as a fantasy player. Remember, fantasy football is a little different than real football, so don’t take it as a knock when the Saints’ incredible depth in the receiving core is viewed as a negative.
  • Former NFL scout Dave Razzano has a very harsh view of Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman. We’re not allowed to criticize other media, so let’s just say I respectfully disagree with Razzano. I’m not saying Freeman’s ready to take the Bucs to the Super Bowl. But I think the kid has a lot of upside and will be markedly better in his second season.
  • The Saints signed linebacker K.C. Asiodu. Don’t get your hopes up that he’ll play much at linebacker. But Asiodu could get a chance to contribute on special teams because the coverage units have been struggling.
  • D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that Atlanta defensive end Lawrence Sidbury is progressing. That’s a good thing because the Falcons have invested a lot of time and effort in the offseason in coaching up Sidbury. The Falcons want Sidbury to be part of their defensive line rotation.
  • Carolina backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen said he expects to deal with toe pain most of this season. That’s not really a surprise. The Panthers knew Clausen had toe surgery in January and that issues could linger.

Around the NFC South

May, 15, 2010
HARTFORD, Conn. -- As I wait for a flight at Bradley International Airport to begin the trek home to Tampa, it’s time to catch up on some headlines from around the NFC South.

Former Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Carlson takes a look at how rookie defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price might impact the Buccaneers’ defense. He brings up a good point when he says strong play from this tandem could make cornerback Aqib Talib into an All-Pro. Talib has played very well in his first two seasons and that’s come without much help from the pass rush.

John DeShazier brings up an excellent point as he writes that commissioner Roger Goodell still is looking into the allegations that were brought up in a lawsuit against the New Orleans Saints by their former security director. Although the suit now goes private as it’s been sent to arbitration, Goodell’s still going to see all the information. The commissioner has placed a huge emphasis on conduct. If there’s any proof of what’s alleged, the Saints still could face consequences from the league.

Mike Triplett has a nice feature on former New Orleans defensive lineman Norman Hand, who passed away this week. I remember Hand as a player, but never got to know him. Triplett’s got quotes from some former coaches who knew Hand well and referred to him as one of the good guys.

Daniel Cox reports on some of the activities the Atlanta Falcons are involved in with their community. A lot of these events go unnoticed and we in the media frequently get accused of focusing too much on negative things. Unfortunately, that’s part of the nature of the business, but this story is a nice change of pace.

All right, my flight’s getting ready to board, so I’ve got to cut out. We’re in a quiet time of the year, but things should pick up a little next week. The Bucs will have some workouts open to the media and I’ll get out to One Buccaneer Place next week. The Saints have their full minicamp coming in early June and I expect to be there.

Around the NFC South

April, 7, 2010
Linebacker Barrett Ruud, who has been looking for a contract extension for more than a year, said he now is approaching the 2010 season as his final one with Tampa Bay. That’s really the only way Ruud, currently a restricted free agent, can handle this right now. It also would help his case tremendously if he goes out and has a big year. Ruud might have been in line for a huge contract last season if he had made some big plays. He didn’t, but that wasn’t really his fault. If the Bucs could add anything close to a quality defensive tackle in the draft, that should free up Ruud to roam and make some plays.

The Falcons sent out a release a bit earlier with the dates and times for all of their preseason games. But they quickly called back to ask that we hold off a bit on the announcement because one of the games was not fully finalized. As soon as we know it’s official, we’ll let you know.

Former Carolina defensive tackle Damione Lewis officially has signed his new contract with New England.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper gives a slight edge to Ndamukong Suh over Gerald McCoy as the top defensive tackle in the draft. I tend to agree with that, but I think the Bucs would be happy to get either one.

Wide receiver Damian Williams reportedly will have a private workout for the Falcons on Saturday. Atlanta’s brass might want to ask Carolina’s brass about receivers from USC before getting too serious on this one.

The Falcons also reportedly will have workouts with defensive linemen Brian Price and Everson Griffen this weekend. Remember, these are just workouts. This doesn’t mean the Falcons are going to draft all these guys.

The Panthers signed kicker Todd Carter. He’s there as a kickoff specialist. If he shows enough leg, the Panthers might let him handle the void left by Rhys Lloyd’s departure. If not, punter Jason Baker is a fallback option to handle that duty.

Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson writes the team was wise to get quarterback Josh Freeman in last year’s draft rather than waiting until this year to take a quarterback. Completely agree, and as Carlson also points out, Freeman is way ahead of anyone in this year’s draft.

Around the NFC South

March, 5, 2010
On a very busy first day of free agency, we haven't had time to get to everything going on in the NFC South. So let's catch up on some other developments with a quick trip through some headlines.

The battle over “Who Dat’’ takes another twist with a Louisiana corporation filing a lawsuit against the NFL.

D. Orlando Ledbetter’s got a new mock draft up and his pick for the Falcons is a bit of a surprise when most people are assuming the Falcons will draft a defensive end or a linebacker with the No. 19 pick. Instead, Ledbetter’s got them taking center Maurkice Pouncey. Hey, this might not be a bad call. Veteran center Todd McClure is getting older and this could be a need position.

Former Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Carlson has a good overview of how the Bucs sit at his former position. I especially agree with him when he says Josh Johnson can be a quality backup to Josh Freeman. Johnson’s a guy with some talent and some intangibles. He’s a good guy to have behind the franchise quarterback.

Washington general manager Bruce Allen said the Redskins did not pursue free-agent defensive end Julius Peppers.

There was an internet report earlier today that the Buccaneers had “huge’’ interest in Green Bay defensive end Aaron Kampman. There may be some interest there, but nothing is imminent. Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told WDAE’s Steve Duemig that the Bucs aren’t in hot pursuit of anyone. But don’t completely rule out Kampman. He’s an older guy coming off a knee injury. If he sits out there a bit and the price tag drops, then the Kampman scenario could become huge.

You can see the entire transcript of Jake Delhomme’s farewell news conference in Carolina here.

Derrick Brooks acknowledges his playing days likely are over. This should have come a year ago. But the Bucs still need to wrap this up the right way because Brooks is the best player in franchise history. Re-sign him for a day, call a news conference to formally announce his retirement and give him a proper sendoff.

New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita has scheduled a visit with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday. But don’t rule out him re-signing with the Saints.