Around the NFC South

As we get ready for Saturday afternoon's playoff game between the Saints and 49ers, let's take a look at the headlines from around the NFC South.

  • The Saints have been letting their first-team offense get a little work against their first-team defense. That’s pretty rare during the regular season as first teams generally work against scout teams. But this is a way to keep things interesting and competitive for the starters.

  • The Saints have not won a road playoff game in franchise history. They’ll try to break the streak Saturday afternoon in San Francisco.

  • D. Orlando Ledbetter has a list of Atlanta’s possible candidates for their open offensive coordinator spots. He also has a list of potential candidates for the defensive coordinator job.

  • The Panthers reportedly have parted ways with secondary coach Ron Meeks.

  • Brian J. Barker has joined the Falcons as a limited partner. Arthur Blank still owns more than 90 percent of the team.

  • Carolina receiver Steve Smith said he hopes to play four more years. Smith will turn 33 in May, but he has yet to show any signs of slowing down.

  • Cincinnati safety Chris Crocker said defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is sometimes harsh with players. That should score Zimmer points as he interviews to be head coach in Tampa Bay. The major criticism on former Bucs coach Raheem Morris was that he was too easy on his players.