NFC South: Kemal Ishmael

NFC South links: Revis soaks up Tampa

May, 21, 2013
5/21/13
11:00
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Atlanta Falcons

Coach Mike Smith reveals the process of persuading Tony Gonzalez to return to the Falcons for one more season, including a personal visit to Gonzalez' home in California.

Five finalists, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, are in the running to build the new $1 billion stadium for the Falcons.

Which player is the wildcard to boost the Falcons' pass rush? Jay Adams, of the team's website, says look no further than Stansly Maponga.

Central Florida’s Kemal Ishmael "looks to have all the potential in the world on paper, and comes into next week’s start of OTAs with a solid college career," Adams reports.

Carolina Panthers

On Tuesday, the Panthers begin their first of 10 OTAs, and CarolinaPanthers.com writer Max Henson lists five storylines to watch, focusing on Mike Shula running the offense and cornerback depth. Also, the Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person lists his own OTA storylines, including Jon Beason's status, and areas for Cam Newton to work on.

The Salt Lake Tribune profiles Panthers' first-round pick Star Lotulelei, who was "once a 'lazy' student, by his coach’s account, Star is now a husband, father and good example to a brother, Lowell, who will follow him in the University of Utah’s program. Lotulelei also is about to become only the sixth first-round draft choice from a Utah high school."

Defensive tackle Colin Cole, who signed with the Panthers in February, is working hard to return from injury and show he can be a starter again.

New Orleans Saints

A potential bidder for Super Bowl LII in 2018 includes New Orleans. The Times-Picayune's Jeff Duncan writes "New Orleans is expected to go 'all in' for the event, which would highlight the city's yearlong tricentennial celebration."

The Saints began their transition to a 3-4 defense with defensive captain Will Smith working at outside linebacker, rather than the defensive end spot.

New Orleans has waived defensive end Braylon Broughton. His roster spot will be filled by defensive tackle Isaako Aaitui.

How Sean Payton's third defensive coordinator in three seasons handles the defense after last season is one of the major questions on the field as the Saints begin OTAs Tuesday, according to the Times-Picayune's Larry Holder.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis talks with NFL.com's Andrea Kremer about his attitude toward returning to the field with a new team and in a new city. Revis: "This ain't like New York. Sunny all day, every day."

Following the first practice of OTAs on Monday, Bucs coach Greg Schiano told local reporters that there is no quarterback controversy in Tampa Bay. “We have our starting quarterback. It's Josh Freeman,” Schiano said.

This is the age of the young quarterback, writes NFL.com, which is counting down the top 10 quarterbacks 25 or under during the next two weeks. The series kicks off Tuesday with Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman, who is a talented quarterback, but "can be a different player from quarter-to-quarter, game-to-game."

Falcons sign four draft picks

May, 17, 2013
5/17/13
4:30
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The Atlanta Falcons jumped into the business of signing draft picks Friday.

The team announced it has signed defensive ends Malliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga, and safeties Kemal Ishmael and Zeke Motta. Goodman was a fourth-round pick and Maponga was chosen in the fifth round. Ishmael and Motta both were seventh-round picks.

Cornerback Desmond Trufant (first round), cornerback Robert Alford (second round), tight end Levine Toilolo (fourth round), and quarterback Sean Renfree (seventh round) remain unsigned.

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