Around the NFC South

Let's take a run through the Friday morning headlines from around the NFC South:


Receiver Julio Jones said he’s fine after playing with a laceration on his hand against Carolina. Jones refused to blame his hand for playing a role in a dropped pass. But drops have been an issue for Jones so far this season. He leads the team with four.

When asked to rate the performance of the defense so far, cornerback Asante Samuel gave it a five out of a possible 10. I think he’s being a little too critical. This defense has been very good at times, but it hasn’t always been consistent. Maybe a little urging from a veteran like Samuel will help bring the consistency.


The pass rush had a huge game last week with seven sacks. Coach Ron Rivera said there’s no reason the pass rush can’t have a big impact every week. He’s right. Carolina has talent up front, particularly Charles Johnson. Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson is coming to town Sunday and the Panthers can help themselves if they can bring consistent pressure.

Although Wilson is an unknown to most of the Panthers, rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly knows him well. While playing at Boston College, Kuechly faced Wilson, who was playing for North Carolina State, three times. The two also did their pre-combine training together at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.


It’s starting to appear likely receiver Lance Moore will miss Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Moore missed his second straight day of practice Thursday. The Saints re-signed receiver Greg Camarillo to provide depth.

Adam Schefter reports that suspended coach Sean Payton will attend Sunday’s game, but general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt will not. Vitt previously has said he doesn’t want to be a distraction for the Saints. The NFL granted quarterback Drew Brees’ request to let all three men attend a game in which he will attempt to break Johnny Unitas’ record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.


Dory LeBlanc writes that Tampa Bay’s bye week is coming at the perfect time. Usually, teams like to have their bye a bit later. But, with a new coaching staff, the Bucs are still adjusting and the bye gives them some time to make some adjustments.

Gary Shelton writes that coach Greg Schiano is a work in progress. That’s very true. We’ve only seen his team play four games. The Bucs are 1-3 and Schiano has angered some people around the league. But there also have been signs of hope from his team and the real measure of Schiano will be if his team gets better as the season goes on.