Grits, Gravy, and Gumbo: NFC South News for Monday, February 18th, 2013

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Updated: February 18, 2013
Despite being dead for almost 200 years, George Washington still gets a national holiday to celebrate his birthday.

Despite being dead for almost 200 years, George Washington still gets a national holiday to celebrate his birthday.

Good morning, and welcome to WCSN Grits, Gravy, and Gumbo, your daily serving of NFC South news for Monday, February 18th, 2013.

As the third Monday in February, today is officially designated as President’s Day. Originally envisioned as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday (February 22, 1732), it’s evolved into a day off for many of us. Fun fact: Washington was the only American president who was unanimously elected. It turns out that many of our presidents have been wacky characters; this article has about some of our wilder heads of state.

NFC South News

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some weird links about our favorite NFC South teams!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times has printed a pair of articles about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one with good news and one bad.

We’ll start with the bad and then leave you with a positive vibe. The first discusses the possibility of the team in free agency. Bennett had a team-high nine sacks last year, but the team has invested recent high draft picks in the position and consequently may not want to give him starter-level money.

In better news, the Bucs have one key advantage over their NFC South foes: they to upgrade their roster. Their three divisional opponents range from right at the cap (Atlanta) to well over it (New Orleans), giving Tampa Bay a distinct leg up at getting a fresh infusion of talent. Given that Tampa finished tied with both Carolina and New Orleans this year, a solid offseason could send them into 2013 as the projected second-best team in the NFC South.

Thomas DeCoud and the Atlanta defense excelled against Pro Bowl quarterbacks in 2012.

Safety Thomas DeCoud and the Atlanta defense excelled against Pro Bowl quarterbacks in 2012.

Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Cox of AtlantaFalcons.com continues his look back at what the Falcons did well in 2012, this time . According to Cox, Atlanta faced eleven different Pro Bowl quarterbacks over thirteen games and held up against them very well. The team went 11-2 in those games, giving up 12 touchdowns to 17 interceptions and holding the opposing quarterback to a passer rating below 85 eight times. Those are pretty impressive numbers for going up against the best of the best in the quarterbacking world. Now if they could just figure out how to stop Colin Kaepernick.

Cox also talks about running backs , noting that they were one of only four sets of teammates to both amass more than 750 yards from scrimmage. Putting a positive spin on Atlanta’s 2012 run production seems like a bit of a reach to me, but these two did combine to account for over 1600 yards from scrimmage.

Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly looks ready for a career in marketing to me.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly looks ready for a career in marketing to me.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers, who are currently around $10 million over the cap, recently to get them closer to where they need to be. Pro Bowl center Ryan Kahlil’s restructure saves the team $3.45 million against the 2013 cap, while the restructuring of running back Jonathan Stewart actually counts as an extra $200,000 towards the cap in 2013. I’m not really sure why such a cash-strapped team decided to this would be a good idea, although the article speculates this could spell the end of the DeAngelo Williams era in Carolina.

Reigning defensive rookie of the year Luke Kuechly is going back to school, hoping to prove . Actually, Kuechly has been back at Boston College for over a month now finishing up his marketing degree. This article from the Charlotte Observer details how Kuechly feels like he’s just a , even moving in with a former teammate. It’s good to see that Kuechly’s newfound money and fame haven’t changed him, and I fully support any athlete finishing his college degree. You go, Luke, and don’t let any lying ex-wrestler principal stop you!

New Orleans Saints

The Saints made a couple of recent coaching hires, nabbing and . The Ryan hiring was older and much more high profile, so I won’t bother telling you about that; all I will say is that I hope Rob can avoid Rex Ryan syndrome and not run his mouth all the time. Roushar makes the move to the NFL from Michigan State, where he has been the offensive coordinator the last two years.

The Saints also made a key move on the personnel front, to save the team $4 million on the 2013 cap. This is unlikely to be their last cost-cutting move, as the Saints are still an estimated $16 million over the cap. Needless to say, any improvements from New Orleans in 2013 are going to have to come from a combination of better coaching and draft picks.

Will Rob Ryan (left) find more success in New Orleans than his brother Rex (right) has in New York?

Will Rob Ryan (left) find more success in New Orleans than his brother Rex (right) has in New York?

Editor’s note

With a new influx of NFC South fans, WCSN is currently searching for someone willing to take on writing this daily feature on a regular basis. If you are interested, or would like to be involved in writing for WCSN in any other way, please contact our editor-in-chief at .

About the author

Jon Vander Woude enjoys writing in-depth analytical articles that examine statistical trends in the NFL offseason. He also covers the Chicago Bears beat for Water Cooler Sports. Despite growing up in Michigan, California, and Miami, he had the good fortune to be reared by a father who grew up in Chicago raised him to root for the Bears, Bulls, and Cubs. Feel free to write him at with any questions, comments, or suggestions for future columns. Connect with

686 comments
Buhlitz
Buhlitz

damn shes nothing but skin and bone

V

Um...
Um... moderator

Um...
Um... moderator

This shit is tight.

andylet445
andylet445

we need to work all the alphabet posts down.  quick everyone grab a gif and post.

Preparation_A
Preparation_A like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

Actually, I am going to have to interrupt the charity like-fest given that it is time for me to leave work. I appreciate the effort, but staying at work just to out-like Maized seems like maybe too much internet life bleeding into non-internet life.


Later people.

andylet445
andylet445

fuck off you anti-liking basket case.

Um...
Um... moderator

 Like rescinded.

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

   

Rude!

Preparation_A
Preparation_A like.author.displayName 1 Like

   

Yeah, but you know, home, and beer, and wife and dinner and stuff.

Um...
Um... moderator

  You quit. I'm mad.

jwoude23 Bear Down
jwoude23 Bear Down moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm gonna steal prep's name and avatar (could easily change something minor in the name) and get a shit-ton of likes

andylet445
andylet445 like.author.displayName 1 Like

we would know since your posts would make sense.

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

   

Fuck you bitch! I am eloquent as fuck!

jwoude23 Bear Down
jwoude23 Bear Down moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

very good, Prep, you can sing your ABCs!  Just like my 3-year-old niece.  I'm SOOOOOO proud of you