NFC South Notes: Brees, Saints, Ryan, Bucs

Today’s look at the NFC South..

  • Despite their struggles this season and a dicey cap situation, Saints quarterback Drew Brees still believes that the franchise is in good shape going forward, writes Mike Triplett of “I’m very confident,” Brees said. “I look around me at this team, and I feel like we have all the pieces in place, knowing we’re going to go out and add pieces as well. I’m very confident in our management, our general manager Mickey Loomis to do that, Sean Payton, our entire coaching staff.
  • Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune isn’t convinced that Saints coach Sean Payton is definitely going to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Unloading Ryan would mean Payton would be hiring his fifth defensive coordinator while entering his tenth season in New Orleans and Payton’s fourth in five seasons. Beyond that, Ryan has tremendous support in the locker room.
  • This weekend will be a final chance for several of the Buccaneers‘ potential free agents to showcase themselves, writes Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Wide receiver Louis Murphy, meanwhile, has already been taken care of with a three-year contract extension.
  • Amid uncertainty about the Saints‘ 2015 backfield, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson want to end the season with a flourish, Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune writes. Ingram, in the midst of his best season ever, is headed towards unrestricted free agency.
  • Defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker is one of four Saints restricted free agents after this season. Woodbery looks at what could be ahead for him and other Saints in the New Year.
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