NFC South: Tony Oden

Links: Falcons' Rodgers aims to play

June, 24, 2013
Atlanta Falcons

With the addition of Steven Jackson to the Falcons' roster, backup Jacquizz Rodgers maintains a positive attitude toward his potential playing time. “When I get in the game, I’m going to try to make my plays and try to get my number called more often,” Rodgers told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ll try to make every carry and every catch count.”

Rookie cornerback Robert Alford says he's a versatile player who is willing to play anywhere in order to get the Falcons a Super Bowl ring.

Since joining the Falcons in the offseason, Osi Umenyiora has shown the rest of Atlanta’s young defensive ends what it means to be a professional pass-rusher, writes Daniel Cox of the team's website.

Carolina Panthers

J.J. Jansen "understands if fans don’t know his name. He plays a position with little clout: long-snapper," reports the Charlotte Observer's Ben Weinrib.

Undrafted rookie safety Robert Lester accepted the Panthers' free-agent offer, and as the Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person writes, "if Lester’s showing at the team’s three-day minicamp is any indication, it was a decision that could prove to be mutually beneficial."

New Orleans Saints

The Saints need new cornerback Keenan Lewis to stop the big plays, and former Steelers teammate Ike Taylor offers high praise for Lewis and his abilities. SB Nation's Canal Street Chronicles breaks down film on Lewis.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune continues its top 25 players on the Saints series, kicking off Monday with No. 20 defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley.

QB Drew Brees takes to Twitter to calm fears over a fake news story that he'd broken his legs in a car accident.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Unwanted faxes could create a $270M headache for the Buccaneers, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Peter Jamison.

While the Bucs' new defensive backs coach has been afforded some significant luxuries in CB Darrelle Revis and S Dashon Goldson, Tony Oden still has a sizable workload on his hands.

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has focused on his diet in the offseason, dropping 20 pounds.

Around the NFC South

March, 23, 2013
It’s a pretty quiet Saturday morning in the NFC South. But let’s take a run through the headlines that are out there:


Adam Schefter reports the Falcons hope to have defensive end Osi Umenyiora signed by the end of the weekend. The Falcons have been very deliberate in their moves this offseason, so I’m not planning on going too far off the grid this weekend, in case a Umenyiora deal comes down. If it does, the Falcons will have their pass-rusher, and cornerback will be their lone remaining hole.


Although it looked like he might be headed elsewhere, defensive tackle Dwan Edwards reportedly re-signed with the Panthers on Friday night. He’s a strong interior pass-rusher, and his return should help Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy on the outside.


Free-agent linebacker Victor Butler concluded his visit to New Orleans without a contract. It’s unclear if the Saints are still in the mix, but Butler reportedly has a visit with Cleveland scheduled for Monday.


The Bucs basically are starting from scratch at cornerback, which makes you wonder why Myron Lewis is still on the roster. He’s been a bust. But Scott Reynolds writes Lewis will get one more training camp with the team because he still has upside, and the Bucs hope that new secondary coach Tony Oden can help Lewis reach his potential. Anything is possible, but I think that’s a lot to expect from a guy that hasn’t shown many positives. In other words, the Bucs better continue their search for more cornerbacks through a trade, free agency and the draft.

NFC South evening update

January, 30, 2013
NEW ORLEANS -- Let's take a run through the day's headlines from around the division:


With Joe Flacco in the Super Bowl, you knew this question was going to come up. Did the Falcons make the right decision in drafting Matt Ryan over Flacco in 2008? I still say they did. But every time Flacco takes the Ravens deep into the postseason and Ryan doesn’t do the same with the Falcons, the argument for Flacco is going to get stronger.


Baltimore wide receiver Jacoby Jones said he almost signed with the Panthers as a free agent in the offseason. I don’t know that Jones would have made a major difference if he had come to Carolina. I think the Panthers viewed him as nothing more than a No. 3 receiver because they already had settled on Brandon LaFell as the No. 2 guy.


Quarterback Drew Brees made an excellent point when he said the key to the Saints’ switch to a 3-4 defense will be executing it. I don’t know that the Saints currently have the personnel to successfully play a 3-4. But, then again, I don’t think they had the personnel to properly run the 4-3 last season.

Tight end Jimmy Graham says he is recovering well from wrist surgery. I think Graham’s wrist injury was a bigger factor than he ever let on last season and may have been part of the reason he had so many drops.


The Bucs have hired Tony Oden as defensive backs coach. He has his work cut out for him. The Bucs ranked No. 32 in pass defense last season. They’re likely to bring in several new cornerbacks and may have to replace safety Ronde Barber if he decides to retire.

Secondary coach leaves Saints

January, 19, 2012
New Orleans secondary coach Tony Oden is leaving the team to take the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mike Triplett reports.

The Saints are searching for a new defensive coordinator to replace Gregg Williams, who left for the same job in St. Louis. It’s not a given that any potential coordinator would want to keep all of Williams’ former assistants and that may be why Oden was willing to make a lateral move.

Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and Oden grew up together in Ohio, so that may be another reason for the move.

The Saints reportedly have interviewed Steve Spagnuolo for the coordinator position, but coach Sean Payton said the process could last into next week and implied he may interview other candidates at the Senior Bowl.
Lockout or not, the New Orleans Saints aren’t sitting still.

The team announced a few minor changes to its coaching staff Monday afternoon. Tony Oden will be the new secondary coach, replacing Dennis Allen, who left for a coordinator’s position in Denver. Oden previously had been the assistant secondary coach for the last five years.

Mike Mallory, who had been the assistant special teams coach, now will become the assistant secondary coach. John Bonamego has been hired as assistant special teams coach.

Bonamego previously was New Orleans’ special teams coordinator in 2006 and ’07 before spending the last three seasons as special teams coordinator with the Miami Dolphins.

There also have been reports former kicker John Carney could join the New Orleans coaching staff in some capacity. General manager Mickey Loomis told reporters at LSU’s pro day that Carney joining the staff could happen at some point later in the offseason.