Let’s take a run through the headlines from around the NFC South:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
General manager Mark Dominik said it could be several months before the team finds out if the surgery linebacker Quincy Black had to repair nerve damage in his shoulder was a success. Black isn’t likely to be ready for training camp and it sounds like it’s possible his career could be over if the surgery wasn’t a success. Maybe Black will be able to return, but the Bucs have to start looking for a replacement in case he can’t.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired because he used too many schemes. Ryan was subsequently hired by the Saints, where he might want to try a more simplistic approach. The Saints ran a 4-3 defense and they’ll be switching to a 3-4. That alone means there will be an adjustment period, so Ryan might be wise to not get too fancy.
Coach Ron Rivera and general manager Dave Gettleman made it pretty clear that they envision an offense with a power running game and a vertical passing game. Carolina moved in that direction the second half of last season, after letting Cam Newton use the read option a lot early on. I think that’s a smart plan for Carolina. The Panthers have talented running backs and Newton can throw the ball well. He still can get some yards with his legs on scrambles, but the Panthers should be better off going with a traditional offense.
Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen has been cleared to work out at the combine after missing much of last season with a hip injury. He could be a target for the Falcons in the later rounds.