NFC South Notes: Bucs, Panthers, Saints

The NFL is a grown man’s league, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken notice.

First-round receiver Mike Evans and second-round tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins both stand 6 feet 5, imposing figures amongst their defensive counterparts. Both players have basketball backgrounds. As the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud writes, the Bucs and coach Lovie Smith like their basketball players.

“My experience is that anybody can’t go out there and play basketball,” Smith said. “It takes a good athlete with quickness, size, vertical (jump). Normally, that translates to getting good production on the football field.”

Stroud points out a number of former hoopsters who excelled in pro football, including Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham. Getting position on your defender in football is similar to boxing out for a rebound in basketball, and it looks like the Bucs are hoping to cash in on the trend.

More from the NFC South below…

  • With a potential opening at punt returner, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports the Bucs gave third-round pick Charles Sims, sixth-round pick Robert Herron and undrafted receiver Solomon Patton a shot to impress coaches at Saturday’s minicamp.
  • The Panthers are expected to sign 6-foot-8, 320-pound tackle David Foucault, says Joseph Parson of the Charlotte Observer. The University of Montreal product impressed during the two-day rookie minicamp and figures to be the second Canadian lineman to sign with the team after coming to camp on a tryout basis.
  • The signing of former Browns receiver Greg Little has been discussed by Panthers brass, but the team is not planning to sign him at this point, two sources told Person.
  • There’s no denying the talent of Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, says Jonathan Jones of the Observer. But, his recent actions have his future in question.
  • In a heartwarming story, Saints coach Sean Payton announced the team signed former Tulane safety Devon Walker, who was paralyzed from the neck down in 2012, Andrew Lopez of The Times-Picayune writes.
  • After spending 2013 in the Arena Football League, former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson was on hand at Saints minicamp Saturday as a tryout invitee, Lopez reports.
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