Grits, Gravy, and Gumbo: NFC South News for Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters was activated of the PUP list and might play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

It’s been slow going this morning, but here at last is your Grits, Gravy, and Gumbo for October 25th, 2012. The hardest part of writing a feature like this is just finding sources. After that, it becomes pretty much automatic. Southron papers seem surprisingly slow at updating their websites with articles on NFC South teams. What’s up with that?

Natalie S (aka “Natbug”) cheers for the Atlanta Falcons while attending the University of West Georgia.

I haven’t received any suggestions for what to put in the GGG introduction, so I am going to resort to a good old-fashioned standby: cheerleader pics. Everyday, until you guys come up with something better, I will profile a cheerleader from an NFC South or SEC team. Today’s lucky contestant is Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Natalie S, who is a full-time student studying marketing at the University of West Georgia. She hails from Atlanta and goes by Nat, Natbug, or Baby Nat. Adorable all around, eh?

If you are interested in lending a uniquely Southern tang to GGG, send a note to  and we’ll look into getting you started.

NFC South News

Slugbug Nat!

New Orleans Saints

Sometimes there is a miscarriage of justice and the infamy lasts forever. But sometimes the justice is served in the end. That’s what happened this week, as the NFL’s statisticians credited New Orleans Saints defensive end Cam Jordan with a for a hit he put on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman. Originally the sack was given to linebacker Will Herring, much to the discomfiture of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. In any case, with the stroke of a pencil, some nameless paper pusher singlehandedly doubled Jordan’s career sack total, so all told, it was a good day for the second-year player.

Wide receivers often have the reputation of being self-aggrandizing divas who crave attention and seek the limelight (yes, that was a deliberately tautologous, repetitive, and redundant clause*), so it’s easy to overlook the contributions of the guys who put in a workmanlike effort, do their jobs, and go home.

This week’s contest between the New Orleans Saints and the Denver Broncos will feature two such receivers, writes Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate. Although they occasionally break out for spectacular games,  do most of their work under the radar. Unlike many of their peers, they take pride in the label “possession receiver.” It will be interesting to see what kind of effect these blue-collar, lunchpail fellows have on a game both teams dearly need to win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The porous Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense has given up entirely too many big plays this year.

If you’re wondering why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have struggled this year, you might want to take a long look at their pass defense. Although the team has done a decent job defending the rush, they have been helpless against the pass. They have given up an astounding seven plays of 40 yards or more, worst in the league.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times believes that have contributed to the porosity of this secondary. If the Bucs cannot find a way to clamp down on the 323 yards per game they are giving up, they aren’t likely to comb ba

Roy Cummings and Ira Kaupman of Tampa Bay Online seem to be excited about tonight’s Thursday Night Football contest against the Minnesota Vikings. They have watched the tape, and they seem to think . According to their analysis, quarterback Christian Ponder “holds the ball too long and fails to sense a pass rusher bearing down on him.” They believe that one of the keys to this game will be for Tampa Bay to ramp up the pressure, while cooling the pass rush and giving their own quarterback, Josh Freeman, time in the pocket.

By the way, if you’ve been dying to get better acquainted with linebacker Quincy Black, check out their interview with him. And definitely check out their picks. (Hint: They don’t agree who’s going to win tonight.)

Carolina Panthers

Apparently the state of North Carolina believes that freedom of the press believes there should be no freedom from the press — at least not if you’re a public official. Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer reports that according to state law, the , and convening the majority of members from a governing body is considered a public meeting.

The Carolina Panthers will probably be minding their p’s and q’s from here on out as they look for funding from the City of Charlotte for stadium renovations.

So it’s possible, then, that the Charlotte City Council may have violated the law they failed to notify the media that six of the 11 members, along with Mayor Anthony Foxx, were meeting with New York Giants owner John Mara and Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson for 30 minutes prior to a tour of MetLife Stadium. City Attorney Bob Hagemann is still investigating the incident to determine what, if any, violations occurred. Imagine the turmoil that could ensure if over half the City Council were impeached at the same time!

If there is one one way to instantly lose my respect, it’s to misuse the word “racist” — or worse, to insinuate racism where clearly none is involved. Well, that is just what Warren Moon did this week, when he argued that the flak Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has taken for his negative response to losing must be the product of racism. In particular, Moon objected to , saying that Newton should be compared against Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who has frequently been maligned for his negative body language on the sidelines. At least Newton has the integrity to say that he doesn’t believe racism is at the root of the criticism he has received. Now if only Warren Moon would get with the 21st century — or better yet, fade from relevance with the rest of his fellow race baiters.

The struggles of the Philadelphia Eagles bring into sharp focus quarterback Mike Vick’s history as a “coach killer.”

Atlanta Falcons

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has long had the reputation of being a “,” writes D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and it looks like his career may be holding true to form. During Vick’s tenure as an Atlanta Falcon, head coaches Dan Reeves and Jim Mora, Jr. were fired. Bobby Petrino left only 13 games after being hired. And now it looks like the job of Eagles head coach Andy Reid might be in danger.

Can the Eagles turn things around? Vick seems to think they can, although he acknowledges they must cut down on turnovers. I would much prefer to see the coach who has done so much for the Eagles franchise be able to retire gracefully than be dumped unceremoniously after such a distinguished career.

Defensive tackle Corey Peters, who spent the first six weeks of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, was and participated in practice, reports Charles Odum of the Ledgers-Enquirer. The team will now have three weeks to decide whether to place him on the 53-man roster or to put him on injured reserve. Head coach Mike Smith has not committed to playing Peters this week against the Philadelphia Eagles, but he has to be encouraged that the recovery for the two-year starter is proceeding. We wish Peters the best as the Falcons, fresh off their bye week, prepare for the stretch run.

*What can I say? I am a verbose, prolix, loquacious, and wordy kind of guy.

About the author

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for the Water Cooler Sports Network. He resides with his family in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He can be reached for questions or comments at .