Let’s take a look at the Monday morning headlines from around the division.
With Lofa Tatupu dealing with a pectoral injury that will keep him out for at least the start of training camp, D. Orlando Ledbetter speculates on veteran linebackers the Falcons possibly could add. Mike Peterson’s the logical choice. Even though he’s an outside linebacker and Tatupu plays the middle, Peterson would give the Falcons depth and flexibility. He played for Atlanta the last three seasons as a starter and a backup and has been a strong leader. A lot of Atlanta fans are wondering about the possibility of Keith Brooking returning to Atlanta. I think that’s a very long shot. The current regime decided Brooking wasn’t a fit after the 2008 season and his departure didn’t come on the best of terms. There are other veteran linebackers out there that could be better fits.
Here’s an overview of Atlanta’s situation at wide receiver. The first three are set with Roddy White and Julio Jones as the starters and Harry Douglas as the slot guy. But it’s wide open after that. We have yet to see much of Kerry Meier. But the Falcons remain high on him and I think this could be the year Meier becomes a factor.
Now that the Carolina Panthers have a new logo, they’re holding an on-line auction to sell some items bearing the old logo. The proceeds will go to charity.
The Times-Picayune continues its countdown of the top 25 Saints with guard Jahri Evans at No. 3. Can’t argue that one. Evans is one of the best guards in the league and may have to emerge as even more of a leader with fellow guard Carl Nicks gone to Tampa Bay through free agency.
Bradley Handwerger asks and answers the question of if Drew Brees will show any rust after missing the offseason program while negotiating a new contract. That’s a legitimate concern with a lot of players. But, as Handwerger writes, it shouldn’t be an issue with Brees. He always is in top physical condition and you can bet he found some receivers to workout with near his offseason home in San Diego.
Roy Cummings writes that it’s possible for the Buccaneers to contend for a playoff spot this year. True. They were 4-12 a year ago. But this is a team that had some talent already on the roster and upgraded it during the offseason. The new coaching staff appears to have everyone on the same page. Plus, NFC South history shows that teams that are down don’t usually stay that way for long.