Around the NFC South

There's a big focus on New York on Thursday as the Saints appeal their suspensions and punishments for their bounty program and we'll stay on that all day. But let's take a quick run through some other NFC South headlines.

Although he was very close to former Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris, veteran cornerback Ronde Barber said it’s a good thing new coach Greg Schiano is running a tighter ship. He’s right. Morris was a nice guy and was well liked by his players. But it became painfully obvious last season that he wasn’t running a very structured program and at least some of his players were taking advantage of that. It quickly has become obvious that Schiano is running a much more structured program.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan showed up at Augusta National. He wasn’t a spectator for the Masters. He was working as a caddie. Ryan will get back to his regular job April 16, when the Falcons begin their offseason program.

At a gathering to celebrate former Carolina receiver Muhsin Muhammad taking over a restaurant chain, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said it often is difficult for athletes to adjust to the business world. Muhammad might be wise to take some notes from his former boss. Richardson is the ultimate success story of a former player in the business world. Richardson had a brief career as a receiver with the Baltimore Colts in the Johnny Unitas days. He then started a fast-food franchise that grew into a restaurant empire that gave Richardson the resources he needed to start the Panthers as an expansion team in 1995.

In some non-bounty news involving the Saints, a federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit over whether the phrase “Who Dat’’ can be trademarked or is public domain. The case is scheduled to go to trial later this month.

Former Atlanta safety James Sanders has left for Arizona as a free agent. Sanders provided stability in Atlanta’s secondary as William Moore and Thomas DeCoud went through some growing pains. But Moore and DeCoud have progressed and that made Sanders expendable.