NFC South: Myron Rolle

After a decade or so of making it a point to stay out of the public eye, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson suddenly has become a media darling.

It started right before the end of the NFL’s lockout, when Richardson opened up to reporters at a league meeting. And it hasn’t stopped. Richardson’s been talking a lot and that’s wonderful because he’s a fascinating man with lots to offer.

The latest example comes in this interview of Richardson and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did with Charlie Rose of PBS. Richardson often comes across as the bright and witty guy he is.

He repeatedly calls Jones “Coach."

“He wants to be a coach,’’ Richardson said, echoing an observation many fans and media members have made about Jones through the years.

Richardson was insightful as he talked about the labor negotiations and admitting how hard it was to give up hopes of going to an 18-game regular season and talking about the collaborative effort it took to get a deal done.

Richardson also was brutally honest when asked about the chances of Charlotte hosting a Super Bowl and admitting the city and surrounding region don’t meet all the NFL requirements.

“We don’t qualify for the hotels yet,’’ Richardson said. “Yet.’’

But Richardson also walked into some gray area when talking about his predraft interview with No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton.

Richardson asked Newton if he had any tattoos or piercings. The quarterback said no.

“We want to keep it that way," Richardson said he told Newton.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if Richardson has the right to ask those questions. But, remember, there have been reports in recent years about college prospects like Dez Bryant and Myron Rolle being asked questions that might have been even more intrusive. I’ll also leave it up to you to decide if Richardson has the right to tell Newton to “keep it that way." I’ve seen plenty of other Panthers with tattoos through the years.

Richardson’s going to draw some criticism for asking Newton those questions. I just hope he realizes that comes with the territory when you open yourself up to the media. There’s good and bad that can come with that. I just hope Richardson doesn’t hear only the criticism and decide to go back into the bunker for the next decade.

Around the NFC South

February, 27, 2010
There has been some controversy over what a member of the Tampa Bay staff may or may not have asked Florida State defensive back Myron Rolle during an interview at the Senior Bowl. General manager Mark Dominik now has provided the Bucs’ side of the story.

  • New Orleans coach Sean Payton spoke at the combine and said the Saints will be keeping Reggie Bush. That’s what we’ve been saying here for months, even though there’s been speculation elsewhere that Bush could be a casualty because of his high salary. Payton also didn’t make it sound like the team was ready to pounce on free-agent running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
  • Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards is throwing at the combine, but he’s not running because of a hamstring injury. That could hurt him some because a lot of teams think Edwards’ future may be as a receiver or return man.
  • Although the common assumption is the Falcons will take a defensive lineman or defensive back at No. 19, Mark Bradley wonders if they’d be able to pass over Clemson running back C.J. Spiller if he’s available. Good question. Spiller’s something of a local guy. The Falcons have Michael Turner, but backup Jerious Norwood never has played to his potential. This is a move the Falcons could consider.