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Falcons welcome Cam Newton to division

D. Orlando Ledbetter got some good stuff from the Atlanta Falcons during their unofficial players-only minicamp when it came to the arrival of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in the NFC South.

“Everybody has to prove their worth in this league,” free safety Thomas DeCoud said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the first pick or if you’re Mr. Irrelevant, you have to prove yourself in this league and make your own name.”

Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton said the lockout could hamper Newton’s development.

“Cam Newton is a very athletic quarterback,” Lofton said. “It doesn’t bode very well for him, not being able to go through OTAs and these minicamps and stuff. It’s a lot and they are going to have to cut the playbook down. As a defensive guy, I kind of enjoy that. It kind of gives us the advantage. But he’s going to bring a lot of athleticism to Carolina’s offense.”

The hottest NFC South rivalry right now is Atlanta and New Orleans. For awhile in the middle of the last decade it was Tampa Bay and Carolina. Ever since the Panthers entered the league in 1995, the NFL has wanted the Falcons and Panthers to have a strong rivalry. That's never really blossomed. But file the above quotes away. They could come in handy down the road.