NFC South programming notes

The Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers all got their preseasons started Friday night. On Saturday night, the Carolina Panthers open the Ron Rivera/Cam Newton era when they play the New York Giants at 8.

I’ll be watching the game closely and will provide you with general observations on the Panthers as soon as it’s over. But my plan is to provide a more specific post earlier.

Jimmy Clausen is expected to start at quarterback and Newton is likely to follow them. As soon as Newton and Clausen are done playing, I’ll post an item on how their performances might have impacted the competition for the starting job. I don’t think I need to wait to see Derek Anderson or Tony Pike, because they’re not in the mix to start. If either Pike or Anderson does anything significant, we’ll get to that in the postgame observations.

Looking ahead, we’ve already run our Camp Confidential profiles on the Panthers, Saints and Falcons, and that means the Buccaneers are the only one left. I’ve been in and out of Tampa Bay’s camp several times between road trips to see the other teams and already have some stuff gathered.

But my plan is to go out to watch Tampa Bay practice and do some interviews Sunday and Monday. I’ll probably hit you with a few notes on those days, but the Camp Confidential segment on the Bucs is scheduled to run Wednesday.