Time for a look at the top Friday headlines around the NFC South.
New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis is ready to get down to serious contract talks with quarterback Drew Brees. Loomis also is likely to try to attempt to keep guard Carl Nicks, receiver Marques Colston and some other free agents, but said it might not be easy. Loomis said figuring out how to stay under the salary cap will be like slicing up a pie.
Former Saints’ player Steve Gleason, who has been diagnosed with ALS, writes an interesting column about how he’s become a fan. Gleason said he, and most players, don’t associate themselves to closely with a team while they’re playing because they often end up getting traded, cut or leaving via free agency. But Gleason said his illness has given him new perspective and allowed him to view the game like a fan.
Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik revealed that most of the candidates the Bucs talked to during their recent coaching search pointed to quarterback Josh Freeman and the young talent on the defensive line as the team's biggest positives. Obviously, that had to include Greg Schiano, who got the job. Anyone looking at the roster objectively would have to start with those two areas as potential strengths. But there’s work to be done. Freeman is talented, but needs to bounce back from a disappointing 2011. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn had a nice rookie year and defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price have the potential to be forces inside, if they can stay healthy.