NFC South Notes: Shanahan, Norman, Saints

Here’s a look at the NFC South..

  • Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan should be near the top of any watch list for head coaching vacancies at the end of this season, Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports writes. Shanahan’s creativity has the Atlanta offense clicking and that’s with a undermanned offensive line. The Falcons are only three games in, but Matt Ryan’s 98.6 passer rating would be his highest since the Falcons’ last playoff season in 2012.
  • Panthers cornerback Josh Norman spent the offseason telling people that he’s one of the elite cover men in the NFL. Now, he’s backing up those claims in his contract year, Steve Reed of The Associated Press writes. The former fifth-round pick has 15 tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions. One of those picks he returned for a momentum-turning touchdown in Week 1 against the Jaguars and another last Sunday that helped seal Carolina’s 27-22 win over the Saints. He’s also forced and recovered a fumble.
  • The Akiem Hicks trade marks a failure for the Saints, Mike Triplett of opines. Hicks, he writes, has rare physical talents and with enough patience from the organization, the defensive end could have blossomed into a contributor for New Orleans. Hicks hasn’t done much over the last two weeks or even the last two years, but Triplett is disappointed that a player who once had tremendous potential to become a core player has now been traded away for a reserve tight end.
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