NFC South links: Faith in Josh Freeman

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons released strength coach Jeff Fish over "philosophical differences," Fox Sports reports. The move is something of a surprise, the Journal-Constitution adds, given that the likes of Tony Gonzalez and Matt Ryan had credited Fish for improved performance.

Carolina Panthers

The team will promote Ken Dorsey to quarterbacks coach, the Observer reported. Dorsey, 31, starred at the position at the University of Miami before losing stints with San Francisco and Cleveland. He's been a team scout the past two years.

New coordinator Mike Shula promised to "try to keep all the good stuff" in a Carolina offense led by Cam Newton and with a stable of veteran running backs, he tells the Rock Hill Herald.

New Orleans Saints

NFL types in Mobile, Ala., ahead of Saturday's Senior Bowl, told the Times-Picayune they were happy that Saints coach Sean Payton will be back in the league next season. "He's a football coach; he deserves to be coaching football," said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen, a former Payton assistant.

The Saints are ready to put the bounty saga behind them and make up for lost time.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite Josh Freeman's struggles down the stretch, Bucs general manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Tribune that the team has faith in the quarterback.

Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton offers his thoughts on Tim Brown's recent comments that former Raiders coach Bill Callahan "sabotaged" the Super Bowl 10 years ago so the Buccaneers could win. Shelton: "Look, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy. I don't care if it's about the Kennedy assassination or the moon landings or whether Manti Te'o might find his next girlfriend in Narnia. Back when the late Bubba Smith was suggesting that Super Bowl III might have been fixed, I was listening to every word. This time? The word 'hooey' comes to mind."