Around the NFC South

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Time for a quick trip through the NFC South headlines.

  • Carolina receiver Steve Smith, who suffered a shoulder injury only four days ago, made a surprise return to practice Friday morning. Still, I wouldn't expect to see Smith playing in Monday's preseason opener.

  • Mike Triplett has an excellent behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of New Orleans coach Sean Payton.

  • The Bucs are hoping to give quarterbacks Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich each about 12 to 15 snaps in the preseason opener.

  • Daniel Cox looks at how Atlanta's Erik Coleman is making the transition from strong safety to free safety, while also stepping into a leadership role.