NFC South links: No Plax for Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Times has a projected starting lineup for the Bucs heading into training camp.

Ball carriers are getting used the the "high and tight" approach to carrying the football that coach Greg Schiano and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan strongly emphasized during the offseason, according the Bucs' official website.

New Orleans Saints

Interim Saints coach Joe Vitt has taken exception to his name being associated with a list of names who purportedly pledged money to a pool, writes Nakia Hogan of the Times-Picayune. "Information released by the NFL to the NFLPA (Monday) resulted in the media inaccurately reporting that I was accused of pledging money to an incentive or a so called 'bounty' program," Vitt said in a statement. "The NFL never accused me of such conduct, because I did not pledge any money for any incentive, pay for performance, bounty or any other alleged program in connection with any game, including the 2010 NFC Championship."

Congress doesn't have plans to probe the NFL over the Saints' bounty scandal, reports USA Today's Nate Davis. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin: "The NFL has taken the issue of bounties in professional football seriously and has been open and willing to take additional steps to protect player safety and football's integrity. Because of that willingness to address the issue, and due to the reforms the league is announcing after meeting with me today, I will withhold Congressional hearings on this matter and continue to work with the league and its players to ensure the league's rules are sufficient and that nothing like these bounty programs ever happens again."

Carolina Panthers

Free agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress has expressed interest in the Carolina Panthers, but apparently the feeling isn't mutual. A Panthers official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that the Panthers are not interested in signing Burress, reports Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Athlon Sports breaks down the Panthers' 2012 schedule.

Atlanta Falcons

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter doesn't seem too concerned that he won’t get to see tight end Tony Gonzalez in the team’s new offense until training camp, writes AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter. “Tony is one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game,” Koetter said. “We are not re-inventing football out here. ... He’s seen it all and done it all. We don’t need to be worried about that. He’ll be fine.”

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan says defensive end John Abraham has been running a little behind the other D-linemen, reports Ledbetter. Nolan: "I’ve known him a long time. He’s missed some of the OTAs, and we are a little bit at an advance state as far as the language. … Right now, John is kind of going a little bit slower. He’s having to ask more questions because he wasn’t here for those classes. But, nonetheless, John is a good player."

AJC has a Q&A with assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich.