Looking around our NFC South sister sites for the Falcons, Bucs and Saints here's what is buzzing in their respective nooks of the interwebs.
Starting with The Falcoholic, the word is the falcons will not use the franchise tag:
Report: Atlanta Falcons Not Using Franchise Tag In 2011 - The Falcoholic
Instead, the Falcons will prioritize Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock and try to come up with a way to lock up as many as they can for the long haul. In my mind, Clabo and Blalock still need to be the priority. Clabo has done great work at right tackle and Blalock is severely underrated by fans and analysts alike. As good as Dahl is, Mike Johnson can replace him, and potentially run into a few less rage-filled penalties per season.
This receiver was labeled a 'project' before the draft. I guess we can say the project was a success:
Atlanta Falcons Draft Retrospectives: Roddy White - The Falcoholic
Sharod White was not the first choice of Falcons fans in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, not with scouting reports out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham that indicated that he was a project. After the Peerless Price fiasco, you could forgive fans for wanting a polished product. Now it's difficult to imagine the Falcons without Roddy White. In many ways, he's become the face of this franchise, a guy who rose out of initial mediocrity to become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL today. His transformation into an elite option has been nothing short of remarkable, but with the advantage of hindsight, we can see signs that White was about to bust out even during his mostly dismal 2005 and 2006 campaigns.
This mock has the Falcons taking TE Lance Kendricks before we can get to him in the 3rd:
2011 NFL Mock Draft: Gabe Carimi, Lance Kendricks To Falcons In Two-Round Mock - SB Nation Atlanta
The Atlanta Falcons, picking No. 27 and No. 59, grab Wisconsin Badgers OT Gabe Carimi and Badgers TE Lance Kendricks. We know Thomas Dimitroff has never drafted a Big Ten player, so why not break that streak by picking two players from the same Big Ten school? We’ve written about Carimi before in this stream. He’s an Academic all-conference and the draft’s best run blocker. You wouldn’t want him playing left tackle, but if Tyson Clabo must move on, I would not worry about Carimi replacing him.
That would be a nice first two picks for the Falcons...
Another piece on Bucs fans favorite whipping boy:
Season in Review: Offensive Tackles - Bucs Nation
The same cannot be said for the other side of the line, though. Trueblood has been the starter for years on end, but he's consistently had problems. First, it was personal fouls. Then, it was false starts and holding calls. Surprisingly, he actually cleaned up those penalties this year. Unfortunately, he couldn't improve his play. While Trueblood has always been a pretty decent run blocker, he's a liability in the passing game.
Bucs get a defensive line coach that I remember well:
Bucs name Keith Millard and Grady Stretz co-defensive line coaches - Bucs Nation
After a lengthy search, the Bucs have found their men: Keith Millard and Grady Stretz. According to Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times, Keith Millard will act as a pass-rush specialist. Millard spent 9 seasons in the NFL as a defensive tackle, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings. He made the Pro Bowl in 1988 and 1989, was named first-team All-Pro in the same years, and second-team All-Pro in the preceding two years. He had an 18-sack year in 1989. As a coach, he's spent time with the Broncos and Oakland Raiders as D-Line and Pass Rush coach. While with the Raiders, he also coached Warren Sapp.
This DE is going to be awesome in my view:
Know Your Draft Prospect: Adrian Clayborn - Bucs Nation
One of those college players is Adrian Clayborn, defensive end for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Clayborn plays at a position of major need for the Bucs, and he's been showing up as their draft pick in a lot of Mock Drafts around the internet - for however much that's worth. Clayborn was seen as a top defensive end had he come out after his junior season, perhaps even the top defensive end drafted. But a disappointing 2010 season has likely dropped this senior out of the top of the draft, so there's a good chance he's available when the Bucs pick.
One of our most hated Bucs:
Bucs Nation - For Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fans
Talib was lost for the year with a torn hip tendon on December 5 against Atlanta, but he had already made his mark this season as an upper-echelon cornerback. Although its impossible to predict with any amount of certainty, one has to wonder if Talib wouldn't have made the Pro Bowl if he had avoided the injury bug. Talib finished 2010 with 40 tackles, 6 INTs, and 11 passes defended. He was named the 2010 NFL defensive back of the year by the NFL Alumni.
The Bucs have a position battle in the secondary:
Sean Jones and Cody Grimm, fighting for one starting spot? - Bucs Nation
So where does that leave Cody Grimm, the resplendent rookie? Will he move to a backup role as Tanard Jackson takes the forefront? That's a distinct possibility, but only if he loses a battle with Sean Jones. The starting strong safety was a solid player this year but didn't offer much in terms of splash plays. He was unspectacular, but solid at what he did: stopping the run. The thing is, Cody Grimm is better at stopping the run than Sean Jones is. Grimm is one of the most solid tacklers on the team, and he excels at dropping into the box and finding the ball carrier. That's a role where he can shine, probably moreso than as a deep safety.
Saints might want this fatty in the middle:
Shaun Rogers Making Visit to New Orleans - Canal Street Chronicles
The Saints are apparently kicking the tires on recently released nose tackle Shaun Rogers, says the former Cleveland Brown himself via Twitter...
Here's one of our JR bashing culprits...are you shocked?
Jerry Richardson's Mocking is Bad PR for Owners - Canal Street Chronicles
Neither player has commented on what happened and probably won't in the interest of stifling added controversy. Behavior like this from Richardson and the owners, if it continues, will only serve to reinforce their image as the bad guys in this debate as fans look on and wonder if a 2011 season will actually take place. No amount of carefully orchestrated words from Roger Goodell or anyone else will smooth over reports like this.
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