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Top NFC South position battles

All of the NFC South teams have played two preseason games, but there still are competitions going on for key jobs with each team. Let’s take a look at the top undecided competitions.

New Orleans’ weakside linebacker. Veteran Scott Shanle is trying to hold off Jonathan Casillas. The Saints know they can always turn back to Shanle and get steady play. But they’re giving Casillas every shot to win the job because he’s younger, faster and that means he has the potential to bring big plays.

Carolina’s quarterback. It’s obvious the Panthers want to go with rookie Cam Newton. He hasn’t done anything to pull away from Jimmy Clausen in the first two preseason games. All Newton has to do is play respectably and not make any huge mistakes in the third preseason game with Cincinnati and the job will be his.

Tampa Bay’s middle linebacker. Sort of like Carolina and Newton, the Bucs would like to just hand this job to rookie Mason Foster. He has all sorts of potential, but he hasn’t pulled away from the competition just yet. Tyrone McKenzie remains as a fallback option, but the Bucs will only go that way if Foster really struggles in the third preseason game.

Atlanta’s nickelback. This one’s really close as both Dominique Franks and Christopher Owens have done some good things. Franks might have a slight edge right now, but either player can win this job with a strong showing in the third preseason game.