NFC South: Thomas Austin

Around the NFC South

July, 23, 2013
Time for a morning look at the top headlines from around the division:


D. Orlando Ledbetter reports that both sides are optimistic first-round draft pick Desmond Trufant will be signed before the start of training camp Thursday. Under the current labor agreement, there shouldn’t be any reason for holdouts since salaries are basically slotted.


The Panthers made a couple of minor roster moves as they get ready for camp. They waived offensive lineman Thomas Austin and placed receiver Lamont Bryant on the non-football injury list. Bryant is eligible to be activated any time before the final roster cuts.


Katherine Terrell has an overview of the situation at outside linebacker. Will Smith and Martez Wilson are scheduled to go to camp as the starters and the team is hoping they can generate a consistent pass rush. Don’t be surprised if Junior Galette, who also has some pass-rushing skills, earns some playing time.


Roy Cummings has a list of five under-the-radar players. He starts it off with fifth-round draft pick Steven Means, who played linebacker in college but is making the transition to defensive end. If Means has a strong training camp, he has a chance to earn time in the rotation behind starters Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers.

Looking at Panthers' offensive snaps

February, 12, 2013
Carolina veteran left tackle Jordan Gross showed no signs of wearing down in 2012. Gross appeared in all but four of the Panthers’ 1,030 offensive plays.

Gross was on the field for a team-high 99.61 percent of the offensive snaps.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the breakdown of percentage of offensive playing time for the Panthers. (You might want to pay close attention to how little the Panthers used high-paid running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.)

NFC South afternoon update

October, 11, 2012
With the Panthers and Saints on their bye weeks, it’s been a relatively quiet day in the NFC South. But let’s look at the headlines that have popped up around the division.
  • Let’s start with the totally expected. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed that Sunday’s game with the Kansas City Chiefs has not sold out. You know the drill -- the game can’t be shown on live television within 75 miles of Tampa.
  • Tampa Bay defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, who has been on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, is eligible to begin practice as soon as next week. Coach Greg Schiano wouldn’t go into the exact plan for Bowers, but said he remains optimistic the defensive end will play this season. That would be a big boost for the Bucs, who recently lost starting defensive end Adrian Clayborn to a season-ending injury.
  • The Panthers filled center Ryan Kalil’s roster spot by signing center Thomas Austin. He spent part of last season with Houston and was on New England’s practice squad earlier this year. Geoff Hangartner, who had been playing right guard, will slide into Kalil’s starting job and the Panthers will decide between Garry Williams and Jeff Byers at right guard.
  • Atlanta outside linebacker Stephen Nicholas sat out Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury. But Nicholas was able to participate on a limited basis in Thursday’s session.