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Around the NFC South

Carolina linebacker Jon Beason addresses his recent legal troubles.

Tampa Bay offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood says he needs to play with more controlled intensity after costing the Bucs with an unnecessary roughness penalty in Sunday’s loss. While he’s at it, Trueblood might want to work on cutting down his false starts. He has seven of them and is tied for the league lead.

Atlanta receiver Troy Bergeron, who seems to be involved in a transaction or two each week, is back with the Falcons. This time, Bergeron was brought back to the practice squad. He’s been bouncing between the practice squad and the regular roster through much of this season and he’s probably not done yet.

Stat of the day (straight from the NFL public relations office): By virtue of the New Orleans Saints clinching the NFC South this past weekend, 2009 marks the seventh consecutive season that at least one team has gone from last place to first place in its division from one year to the next, the longest such streak in NFL history. Of the 32 teams to go from “worst-to-first” in NFL annals, 15 of them have done so in this decade (2000-2009).

The New York Times takes a look back at the sequence of events that put Drew Brees in New Orleans and made Philip Rivers the starter in San Diego. The history is so detailed that even Ryan Leaf and Michael Vick play into this saga.

Quote of the day: “We don’t really look at it as the 12-0 Saints. We always concern ourselves about us. It’s really about us not our opponent, going out and playing the best we possibly can and going out and executing. It is a big game because it’s a division game. I’ve been in the NFC South. Every game I’ve been involved with has been very closely contested and it’s very competitive, so we’re looking forward to going out and playing these guys in the Georgia Dome this week.’’ – Atlanta coach Mike Smith on a conference call with the New Orleans media.