Around the NFC South

Time for a trip through some NFC South headlines.

There has been some talk about how the Saints’ woes could open the door for the rest of the NFC South. Here’s some more and it focuses on the Panthers and Buccaneers. The Panthers clearly are a team on the rise. I like what the Bucs have done so far and Greg Schiano seems like the kind of coach that could build a winner. I also think the Falcons have a loaded roster and might be motivated by the fact they underachieved. Oh, by the way, I’m not ready to count out the Saints. As long as they have Drew Brees, you know they’re going to score points.

Speaking of the Panthers, Seattle coach Pete Carroll was singing the praises of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.

Bill Parcells said he’d be a hypocrite if he doesn’t consider coaching the Saints. He obviously has strong ties to and a friendship with Sean Payton. Here’s one other thought I had on this. If Parcells doesn’t want to return to the rigors of coaching, maybe he could step into some sort of special assistant role like Butch Davis did in Tampa Bay. Davis has said he’ll work with the coaching staff and front office. Parcells easily could do the same because he has experience in coaching and in the front office. That kind of role also could keep Parcells eligible for immediate election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Detroit coach Jim Schwartz called “the Race to 10’’ that former Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris talked so much about foolish. Schwartz said it doesn’t make sense to lock in on a specific number of regular-season victories. Schwartz said getting to the postseason is important, but what really matters is what a team does once it’s in the playoffs.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the Buccaneers did not violate the “spirit of the rule’’ by spending so little on payroll in the uncapped 2010 season. The Cowboys and Redskins have been penalized for using too much cap space that year. Goodell said the Bucs and any other teams that had low payrolls are not facing any consequences because they didn’t gain any competitive advantage from their approach.