The latest from the NFC South..
- In Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, Bucs safety Dashon Goldson was replaced on numerous passing downs by Bradley McDougald. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times rightly notes that this doesn’t bode well for the former Pro Bowl safety who has no guaranteed money left on his five-year, $41.25MM deal beyond 2014.
- Panthers coach Ron Rivera is quick to admit that the absence of Greg Hardy has been partially to blame for an inconsistent defense, writes D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s a part of it. He’s a guy that impacts the way that people approach you. People have got to game plan for him and do certain things with protections. It would help to have him. We don’t. So, unfortunately, we go on and do the best that we can without him,” Rivera said.
- Falcons free agent signings Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson are eager to show that they’re worth the big bucks, writes Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Atlanta invested $25MM in the duo with the expectation that they would spark a defensive turnaround, but so far that hasn’t happened. Soliai has an average grade of -1.0 for run defense from Pro Football Focus so far this season.