It's time to bounce around the south.

Bouncing Around the South

This will be a new weekly feature that appears every Wednesday. It’s one thing to be a Bucs fan and know everything about your own team, but it never hurts to have a little information in regard to the other teams the Bucs share a division with. The Panthers, Saints and Falcons are all in the midst of their own off-seasons, dealing with their own news and issues. Let’s take a quick look at the top story from each team from the past week.

The Atlanta Falcons extended their head coach for three years in the week preceding the Super Bowl. For as much as I dislike Atlanta and the Falcons, Mike Smith has done a very good job since taking over for a team in a bad way several years ago. The Falcons have made the playoffs twice in three years, including winning home-field advantage for the playoffs this past season. It looks like Smith will be around for a while.

Sean Payton on the other hand is giving New Orleans Saints fans a scare. He was rumored to have been flirting with the Cowboys about their GM opening and has no moved his family out of New Orleans to North Texas. The coach says the decision won’t impact his football responsibilities and he will not be commuting back and forth, rather the choice was made in regard to his children’s high school education. That sounds nice, but rest assured Saints fans are a little bit nervous. I would be too, coaches are notorious full of BS and Payton comes from the Parcells tree. The disciples off the Parcells tree are like the Shaolin Monks of dishonesty. Payton may already be working for Dallas.

Carolina is just screwed. And I mean that in the nicest possible way but they’re up a creek without a paddle. They’re going to be forced to either rely on Jimmy Clausen (and go 2-14 again) or try to find a journeyman QB for a year, or they could reach and take someone like Jake Locker who will surely bust on the pressure of being made the first overall pick. It almost makes you feel a little bad for them, except not really. On the bright side the Panthers did recently sign former receiver Ricky Proehl to the coaching staff. But when that’s the best news your team has heard since “the season is finally over,” you have some problems with your team.

And finally, a bonus.

What’s a better way to start your coaching tenure on the right foot with the fan-base and from a karmic standpoint? How about firing a well-loved coach that’s battling cancer? New Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak‘s first order of business as head coach of the Titans was to fire Mike Heimerdinger who is currently continuing cancer treatment after being diagnosed this past season. Even if that was a move that needed to be made, that’s not a great way to kick things off. Firing someone with cancer is always a no-win. No word on whether this affects Heimerdinger’s health insurance, it certainly can’t help his spirits. Still, he continues to stay classy.

“It’s never easy to be fired,” Heimerdinger said. “He has to do what’s good for the Titans, and Munch will do what’s best for the Titans. I appreciate my time here, but it’s never easy to be fired.”

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