Time for an afternoon run through some news and notes from around the division:
Daniel Cox puts Jessie Tuggle at No. 1 on his list of the hardest hitters in franchise history. You can’t even argue that one. But I especially like the fact that running back William Andrews made the list. You don’t often see offensive players on lists of hard hitters. But Andrews was a particularly punishing runner.
Pete Prisco’s list of the top 100 players in the NFL contains five Falcons. It also includes five members of the Buccaneers. There are only three Saints and two Panthers on the list.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff will participate in National Bike To Work Day on Friday.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said he wants to improve the interior pass rush to help defensive ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson. The addition of rookies Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short should help in that area. Lotulelei isn’t a natural pass rusher, but he’s going to command some blocking. Short might have the quickness to generate a bit of a pass rush on his own.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Running back Chuck Muncie has passed away at 60. My memories of Muncie come more from his time with the San Diego Chargers, but he was an important part of Saints’ history. Muncie was the first player in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards.
Jeff Duncan takes a look back at Muncie’s star-crossed time in New Orleans.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Charlie Campbell writes that the Washington Redskins had interest in defensive back Ronde Barber, who retired from the Buccaneers last week. The Redskins could have offered Barber a starting position and given him the chance to be reunited with former Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris, who now is Washington’s defensive backs coach. But the Redskins have virtually no salary-cap room and could not even attempt an offer that would have been lucrative enough to lure Barber.
Roy Cummings writes that, although fifth-round pick Steve Means played outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense in college, the Bucs plan to use Means as a defensive end. Means might have to bulk up some from the 250 pounds he’s listed at, but he could fill a role as a situational pass rusher.