CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- I’m settled into Charlotte, where I’ll be covering Panthers minicamp starting Tuesday morning.
The Panthers just announced a couple of minor roster moves. They have signed undrafted rookie wide receivers Michael Avila (San Jose State) and Lamont Bryant (Morgan State). To make room for them, they released receivers Wes Kemp and Chris Manno.
Now, let’s take a look at some other headlines from around the division.
Tampa Bay wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck had some high praise for Vincent Jackson's ability as a leader. That should be a real positive for the Buccaneers. They’ve had one of the league’s youngest receiving corps in recent years. Guys like Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Sammie Stroughter and Preston Parker. Plus, Jackson isn’t known for being selfish, like some other premier wide receivers. He’s got a reputation for being the kind of guy that will try to help young receivers.
Daniel Cox writes about how the Falcons have a chance to be one of the NFL’s best offenses in 2012. There still are a lot of unknowns, but I think the talent is in place for this to happen. New coordinator Dirk Koetter is going to have to be a little bit more creative than predecessor Mike Mularkey, though.
Mark Cook writes that Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is fully healthy after suffering a biceps injury last season. That’s good news about a player that has flashed some promise when he has been able to play in his first two seasons. The Bucs really need McCoy to stay healthy for an entire season for the first time in his career.
NFC West colleague Mike Sando has a chart showing how teams fared in games decided by seven or fewer points last season. All four of Tampa Bay’s wins fell into that margin. The Panthers had only one win in a game decided by seven or less points. New Orleans and Atlanta each had four such wins.