NFC South Morning Jog: Blitzing Drew Brees Good Idea for Defenses

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterAugust 16, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Justin Smith #94 of the San Francisco 49ers hovers over Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after Brees was sacked in the third quarter of the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Each morning, I like to start the day off with a workout—usually a morning jog. I can clear my head, plan my day and think about what’s going on around the NFC South.

New Orleans Saints

This article states that blitzing Drew Brees is one of the best ideas a defense can have when playing the Saints. When only pressured by the front four, Brees averaged 8.3 yards per pass. That average fell to 6.8 yards per pass when defenses brought six or more defenders.

An airplane flew overhead Wednesday during the Saints practice session with the message "FREE PAYTON," according to an report. Drew Brees was impressed and said he'd be willing to sponsor future "legal and funny" messages of the sort. This could get ugly.


Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution lists five position battles to watch on Thursday when the Falcons host the Bengals. Veteran Mike Peterson will start at middle linebacker for the injured Akeem Dent, and fans will get to see a couple of undrafted rookie free agents play significant time.

This playing could be a make-or-break situation concerning roster spots for Pat Schiller and Max Gruder.

Atlanta Field Report lists seven things to watch in Thursday's game against Cincinnati. A lot of the keys will revolve around receiver play, both for Atlanta and Cincinnati. Watch how the Falcons use Harry Douglas and how they defend Bengals second-year star A.J. Green.


Carolina Panthers

Captain Munnerlyn was playing in the slot when rookie Josh Norman grabbed four interceptions in one practice on Tuesday. Munnerlyn said he liked being in the slot but wants to get back to his position opposite Chris Gamble on the outside. The question is: Does he still have that job? [Rock Hill Herald]

Steve Smith told Yahoo! Sports that players were trying recruit him to come play for their team during games when the Panthers were suffering through their 2-14 season in 2010.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers haven't seen success from their early-round defensive line draft picks from the last few drafts, according to the Tampa Tribune. But Adrian Clayborn stands out.

The Tampa Tribune reports that the Tampa Bay running game is ready to step up and become a bruising force.