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NFC newcomer reports: Fresh guys make fast impression

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Sporting News correspondents Each week, Sporting News correspondents provide insight and analysis on every NFL team. Here's a sample of what you'll find in the latest NFC team reports. NFC South Division Atlanta Falcons LG Justin Blalock was the last ...

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Old 08-08-2007, 12:33 AM   #1
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Cool NFC newcomer reports: Fresh guys make fast impression

Sporting News correspondents


Each week, Sporting News correspondents provide insight and analysis on every NFL team. Here's a sample of what you'll find in the latest NFC team reports.

NFC South Division

Atlanta Falcons

LG Justin Blalock was the last of the Falcons' 11 rookies to sign. The four-year starter at University of Texas is s projected as the starter to replaced Matt Lehr, who was released. Blalock is the prototype road-grading lineman who can cut large swaths through defenses. He should step in without an issue in the run game. Blalock has also been very sturdy in pass protection, but has to tweak some of techniques to adjust to the pro game. His biggest test will come from how he handles big bull rushing defensive tackles. He will get a better workout when the Falcons' starting DTs Grady Jackson (conditioning) and Rod Coleman (quadriceps injury) return to practice.

Carolina Panthers

QB David Carr's first priority will be to use the early stages of camp to get used to a new offense. Carr clearly enters as the backup for Jake Delhomme, so there won't be temptation to rush him onto the field before he's comfortable with the system. Carr has good size and physical skills, but the coaching staff believes he needs to get his confidence back after taking a physical pounding with Houston. Getting back to basics and sitting a bit may be good for Carr. But the team doesn't view Carr strictly as a clipboard-toting backup. If Delhomme struggles in the regular season and Carr is ready, the coaches won't hesitate to make a switch.

New Orleans Saints

So far, S Kevin Kaesviharn has been exactly what the Saints expected when they signed him in free agency. The 6-1, 196-pounder is a coach-on-the-field type who reads the field well, always puts himself in a good position and is a consistent tackler. He is a playmaker who had six interceptions with the Bengals last year -- including one against New Orleans. He also brings a veteran presence to the position. Kaesviharn, who turns 31 next month, is competing for a starting job with second-year pro Roman Harper and third-year pro Josh Bullocks. The competition should do them all good.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DL Kevin Carter figures to get plenty of playing time this season. Just where he'll get his snaps remains a mystery, however. Carter could wind up starting at under tackle if the other combatants there don't pan out. Or, he could wind up the starter at left end. Either way, the team plans to take great advantage of Carter's versatility and pass rush skills. The team desperately needs to get more pressure on opposing QBs so Carter will likely be a mainstay. He will probably move around depending on the down, but look for Carter to play regularly.

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