Around the NFC South

Time for a look at the Thursday morning headlines from around the NFC South.

The Buccaneers reportedly have hired Ron Cooper as their defensive backs coach. Cooper has spent the past three years as LSU’s defensive backs coach. That could be significant, because LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne is one of the players frequently tied to the Bucs in early mock drafts.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson, another player who has been tied to the Bucs, will not work out at the combine. Richardson recently had minor knee surgery.

An Atlanta scout reportedly spoke to former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia after a recent workout. This is exactly what I talk about when I say don’t read too much into reports about which teams are talking to which players. All teams talk to just about every prospect, because they’re doing their homework. Garcia isn’t even likely to be drafted.

The Panthers and Dolphins will conduct a coin flip Friday at 7 a.m. at the combine to determine which team gets the No. 8 pick. The winner gets that pick and the loser gets No. 9.

New Orleans already is bracing itself for 2013, when the city will host a Super Bowl while Mardi Gras is going on.