NFC South: Training Camp Chatter

The NFC South chat just wrapped up over on SportsNation and I’ll post some highlights and the transcript on this blog later this afternoon. However, we’re not done chatting about the NFC South for the day.

Just talked to the boss of Training Camp Chatter and I’m going to dive in there at 3 p.m. ET. This is the final day of Training Camp Chatter, which I’ve enjoyed tremendously throughout the preseason. In fact, in honor of the final day, I might even jump in a bit early and stay a bit late. Here’s the link to join us.

One other programming note, now that I’m done with my travels for training camps, the NFC South chat on SportsNation should continue Fridays at 1 p.m. ET through the rest of the preseason and regular season – although there might be a time or two where we have to adjust for scheduling conflicts.

NFC South programming notes

August, 13, 2010
I’m working out of NFC South blog headquarters in Tampa on Friday and just thought I’d give you a preview of what’s on the horizon.

First off, it will be a very chatty Friday. We will resume our regular NFC South chat on SportsNation at 1 p.m. ET. This is the one that goes for a full hour and we’ve got lots to talk about after the Panthers and Saints each opened their preseasons on Thursday night and the Falcons and Buccaneers are about to do the same. I also will jump into Training Camp Chatter at some point today. Stay tuned for an announcement once I get an exact time.

We already had some video on the Saints after their game with the Patriots. Since I wasn’t able to watch the game, I’m about to surf around the coverage and gather up a links package to discuss that game.

Also, I’ve got a tape recorder full of stuff on the Falcons and Buccaneers. I’ll be transcribing all that and working on the Camp Confidential segments for Atlanta and Tampa Bay that are scheduled to run next week.
TAMPA, Fla. -- I'm out at One Buccaneer Place and have a little window before the Derrick Brooks retirement ceremony. I'm going to take that opportunity to jump into Training Camp Chatter for about 10 minutes at 12:45 p.m.

If you can join us, here's the link.

NFC South programming notes

August, 12, 2010
TAMPA, Fla. -- I’m about to head over to One Buccaneer Place for what should be a busy day.

I’ll be taking in Tampa Bay’s morning practice and doing some interviews for the Camp Confidential segment on the Buccaneers that is scheduled to run next week. I’ll also try to share a few more instant observations, but time’s going to be short in the early afternoon.

The Bucs are hosting Derrick Brooks’ official retirement news conference and I’ll be attending that. I’ll have some highlights and thoughts on the Brooks ceremony sometime around the middle of the afternoon.

I’ll also give you a heads-up on when I’ll take my daily plunge into Training Camp Chatter. My guess is it will be sometime toward the late afternoon, but I’ll let you know once we schedule a time.

A couple of other programming notes: Don’t forget the Panthers are playing the Ravens on ESPN tonight. Also, our regular NFC South chat (not to be confused with Training Camp Chatter) will resume Friday at 1 p.m. ET and we’ll have a full hour to catch up on what I’ve seen at all four NFC South camps.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- One of the strengths I see in Atlanta coach Mike Smith is his ability to read his team.

In that regard, he reminds me of Carolina’s John Fox. Both of them know when to hit the accelerator and when to apply the brakes. Smith is hitting the brakes this morning.

After two days of intense combined practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Falcons are going easy this morning. That was part of the plan all along and Smith even pushed back the start of practice 30 minutes Wednesday morning. The Falcons are out on the field now and they’re in shorts with no pads.

With a preseason game Friday night against Kansas City, Smith is done pushing his team for a few days. I’m heading out to watch practice now. I suspect it won’t last long, but I’ve got a couple interviews scheduled after the Falcons get done. I’ll be back with some more this afternoon and will give you a heads-up on when I’ll be jumping into Training Camp Chatter this afternoon.

In the meantime, here’s a little item where Daniel Cox from the team’s official website asked me for some quick observations on what I’ve seen out of the Falcons so far.

Training Camp Chatter at 1:45 p.m.

August, 10, 2010
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- I’ll be posting some observations on the Atlanta Falcons in just a bit. But, first, I wanted to alert you that I’ll be jumping into Training Camp Chatter at 1:45 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

If you can join us, here’s the link.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars are about to begin the third of their four joint practices, which conclude this afternoon. I’ve been told this morning’s session is supposed to be the most aggressive of the four, so it should be interesting.

I’m heading out to the practice field right now. I’ll be back with observations after I finish watching practice and doing interviews. Should be sometime close to noon.

I also will be jumping into Training Camp Chatter at some point this afternoon. I’ll post an alert on the blog once I get an exact time on that.

Camp Chatter at 1:30 p.m.

August, 9, 2010
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Just a quick alert to let you know I'll be jumping into Training Camp Chatter at 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday.

Here's the link. Hope to see you there.
Just a quick heads-up to let you know I'll be taking my turn on Training Camp Chatter at 2 p.m. ET.

Lots to talk about as Rickey Jackson goes into the Hall of Fame, camps are getting more intense with scrimmages and I'm preparing for my trip to see the Atlanta Falcons on Monday.

If you can join us, here's the link.
Sorry for the short notice, but I just got my instructions to jump into Training Camp Chatter at 2:15 p.m. ET on Friday.

If you can join us, here's the link.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Just finished watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice and we’ll be meeting with coach Raheem Morris in just a bit. I’ll be back with some of what he had to say.

But first, a few quick observations and notes:
  • The Bucs just announced they have signed cornerback Darrell Pasco and released defensive back Matt O’Hanlon.
  • I kept hearing good things from inside the Bucs about linebacker Quincy Black during the offseason. That’s only getting stronger. I saw Black light up fullback Ryan Purvis with a big hit.
  • Sean Jones seemed to get most of the first-team work at strong safety this morning, but the starting job hasn’t been decided yet. The Bucs have been rotating Jones and incumbent Sabby Piscitelli.
  • There’s been a lot of buzz about fourth-round draft pick Mike Williams and not nearly as much about second-round choice Arrelious Benn. Both have a shot to be starting wide receivers. Let the Benn buzz begin. He made a great catch this morning, diving in the end zone to catch a pass from Josh Johnson. Observers say Benn’s been starting to show a bit more the last few practices.
  • Speaking of Williams, I saw a couple more flashy plays out there today. Second-year pro Sammie Stroughter also made some plays and the Buccaneers are pretty happy with what they’ve seen from Reggie Brown, who has a chance to start. All that’s putting heat on veterans Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall. I’m guessing only one of them makes the roster.
  • I saw cornerback Aqib Talib make a very nice interception this morning. That’s a reminder that this guy is as physically talented as any cornerback in the league. If he can stay focused and consistent, Talib has a chance to be a special player.
  • I’ll have an item a little later on how Tampa Bay safety Cody Grimm is getting the day off from practice Saturday. He’s getting a free pass to go up to Ohio to watch his father, Russ Grimm, get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • I'll jump into Training Camp Chatter at some point later this afternoon. I haven't had a chance to figure out the schedule on that just yet, but I'll post a heads-up and try to give you at least a 30-minute warning.

NFC South programming notes

August, 6, 2010
Just a few programming notes to let you know the NFC South blog plans for the next few days.

I’ll be heading out to One Buccaneer Place to watch the Bucs practice Friday morning. I’ll post some early observations and anything else of note on the Bucs. But my main purpose out there will be to start gathering information for Tampa Bay’s turn in our Camp Confidential series. The Bucs will be featured Aug. 17.

Also, there will be no NFC South chat Friday on SportsNation because I’ll be tied up with interviews during our regular time slot. However, I will jump into Training Camp Chatter at some point this afternoon and chat for 10 to 15 minutes. I’ll give you a heads-up on the time. I expect to do a full NFC South chat next Friday when I’m done making the rounds of training camps.

Today’s stop at Tampa Bay’s practice will be the first of several. I’ll be in Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday as the Falcons practice with the Jaguars and also will catch at least a bit of Wednesday’s practice with just the Falcons. After that, I’ll come back home to Tampa and make a few more visits to the Bucs.

Also, I haven't had a chance to dive into the mailbag as I've been traveling from city to city. But I hope to get in there and answer some of your questions over the weekend. If you have new questions, fire away.

NFC South Camp Chatter at 3 p.m.

August, 5, 2010
Just a quick heads-up to let you know I’ll be taking my daily turn on Training Camp Chatter at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. If you have time to talk some NFC South, here’s the link.

Join Camp Chatter at 4:40 p.m.

August, 4, 2010
I just arrived at NFC South Blog headquarters and will be catching up on what’s going on around the division.

But I wanted to give you a heads-up that I’ll be taking my daily turn on Training Camp Chatter at 4:40 p.m. ET. If you can join us, here’s the link.

Camp Chatter coming at 3:05 p.m.

August, 3, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Before I head out to the afternoon practice for the Carolina Panthers, I’m going to jump into Training Camp Chatter for a few minutes.

I’ll hop in there at 3:05 p.m. ET and offer some observations from here and field any questions from around the NFC South. Here’s the link, if you have time to join us.