Around the NFC South

Time for a quick look at the Saturday headlines from around the NFC South:

  • As expected, middle linebacker Akeem Dent was not on the field Saturday morning as the Falcons had a walk-through session. I wouldn’t expect Dent to be on the field in Saturday afternoon’s session. But coach Mike Smith will address the media after that practice and, hopefully, he’ll have some sort of update on Dent’s condition. Dent suffered a head injury in the preseason opener and there have been reports he suffered a concussion. If that’s the case, I’d expect Dent to miss at least the next preseason game. If Smith provides any sort of update, I'll weigh in on it as soon as we hear the news.

  • Bryan Strickland has a list of things to watch from the Carolina Panthers in Saturday night’s preseason game with Houston. One of them is the defensive line. It has to make a big improvement from last year if the Panthers are going to succeed. The return of defensive tackle Ron Edwards from injury will help, but the Panthers need some other defensive linemen to step up.

  • New Orleans cornerback Marquis Johnson said the Saints are buying into Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. Johnson knows that defense better than his teammates. He played for Spagnuolo in Houston.

  • Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams said he’s fine with sharing carries with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. But I’ve got a hunch Williams will get more than the 155 carries he had last year. He averaged better than 5 yards per carry and it would serve the Panthers well to put the ball in his hands.

  • Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount went out on a limb and said he and rookie Doug Martin can be the best backfield duo in the league. That’s a stretch, but you have to admit Blount’s performance in the preseason opener was highly encouraging. At the very least, he’s going to play some sort of role in this backfield and it could be significant.