Let's take a look at some odds and ends from around the division:
John Manasso throws out the possibility of defensive end Kroy Biermann getting some playing time at outside linebacker, particularly when the Falcons use a 3-4 set. The coaching staff hasn’t mentioned anything about this yet. But it makes plenty of sense. Biermann is very versatile and could bring the threat of a pass rush from an outside linebacker spot.
Cam Newton said he’s not envious that Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick took the spotlight off him. Instead, Newton said the success of the other young quarterbacks helps to motivate him. Newton is as talented as any of those guys. If the Panthers can figure out the right way to use him, Newton will be back in the spotlight in a hurry.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
In this lengthy feature on rookie John Jenkins, Larry Holder points out that the defensive tackle’s weight has fluctuated to as high as 360 pounds. Coach Sean Payton already has said he wants Jenkins to play at about 340 pounds. That could provide a very nice anchor to the middle of the Saints’ new 3-4 scheme.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The big news here, of course, is that defensive back Ronde Barber has decided to retire. But, in other news, Mark Cook reports that the Bucs are not interested in veteran defensive ends Dwight Freeney or John Abraham. I think there was a lot of wishful thinking about those two from fans. But bringing in veterans doesn’t fit the Bucs’ profile, especially at defensive end where they have high draft picks invested in Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers.