Hitting the NFC South links

Time for a run through the NFC South headlines.

Offensive tackle Charles Brown hasn’t been taking part in the workouts led by New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. That’s because Brown had back surgery immediately after the season and has been doing his rehabilitation in California. He’s running again and hopes to compete for a starting job this season. If fully healthy, Brown could end up challenging Jermon Bushrod for the starting job at left tackle.

With rookie quarterback Cam Newton joining first-year coach Ron Rivera in Carolina, here’s a look at how similar pairings have fared in the past.

Tampa Bay co-chairman Bryan Glazer offered some optimism about the labor situation to a fan.

Tampa Bay rookie linebacker Mason Foster has elected to work out in Seattle during the lockout. He hasn’t missed much because the workouts organized by quarterback Josh Freeman have been primarily for offensive skill-position players. Foster admits missing offseason time with the coaches isn’t ideal, but said he still thinks he can compete for the starting job at middle linebacker. His chances at that spot will be largely determined by whether free agent Barrett Ruud stays with the team.

Darren Sharper said he’d like to return to New Orleans, but he knows Malcolm Jenkins is the Saints’ future at free safety. Sharper said he has to decide if he wants to accept a spot as a role player and return or look to go somewhere else where he can start.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan is optimistic the lockout will end soon.