Around the NFC South

Time for a look at the top Wednesday morning headlines from all around the NFC South.


The Falcons still have some decisions to make when it comes to starters on the offensive line. Coach Mike Smith said he plans to use the preseason games to determine his lineup. Don’t be surprised if rookie guard Peter Konz and center Joe Hawley start emerging in the preseason. The Falcons want to inject some youth on the offensive front.

If it seems like it’s a critical year for a lot of Falcons, that’s only because it is. Add defensive end Lawrence Sidbury to that list. Sidbury has flashed some promise at times and tied for second on the team with four sacks last year, but never has played with much consistency or reached his full potential. This is a contract year for Sidbury and his production will have to rise if he wants to stay in Atlanta for the long term.


Former Carolina running back Mike Goodson, who was traded to Oakland in the offseason, was taken to the hospital after a helmet-to-helmet hit Tuesday. The Raiders said medical tests revealed no serious damage to Goodson’s head or neck.

After two years of disappointment, receiver Armanti Edwards has been making some big plays in training camp. Still, Edwards likely is on the roster bubble. After starters Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell, the Panthers have some talented young receivers in David Gettis, Louis Murphy, Kealoha Pilares, Joe Adams and Jared Green. Edwards needs to have very good showings in the preseason games to solidify a spot on the roster.


The joint workout Tuesday between the Saints and Patriots drew an all-time camp attendance record for New England. No shock there. Put Drew Brees and Tom Brady on the same field and people are bound to show up.

Brady didn’t look sharp in team drills, completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions. Maybe Brady simply was having an off day. Or maybe Steve Spagnuolo’s new defense is starting to take form.

With starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson sidelined with injuries, second-year pro Johnny Patrick had been getting a lot of work with the first team. He left Tuesday’s practice with what appeared to be a back injury. It wasn’t clear immediately how serious the injury is. But I think you’ll see a lot of backup cornerbacks playing Thursday night when the Saints play the Patriots.


Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood had been one of the bright spots in the early stages of camp. But Underwood had a rough day Tuesday, dropping several passes. Underwood can't afford many more days like that if he wants to stay on the roster.

Cornerback Myron Lewis, a third-round pick in 2010, has done very little so far in his career. But there suddenly is some hope for Lewis. With cornerbacks E.J. Biggers and Aqib Talib banged up, Lewis has gotten more practice time and has shown some flashes of promise. That could be a big boost to his career because Lewis entered camp on the bubble with a coaching staff that wasn’t around when he was drafted.