It's funny to me what players and teams get fired up about.
The news is filled each week with reports of verbal donnybrooks between teams before they square off—call it good, old-fashioned bulletin-board material.
Anything to get a team fired up is usually welcomed.
The Carolina Panthers, however, aren’t using any weekly war of words to light a spark as the team prepares for the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers, according to The Charlotte Observer, are remembering the fact that the Saints ran up the score last year in the final week of the season as Drew Brees was record-hunting.
No, Brees isn’t a vinyl freak (well maybe he is, I have no idea); he was trying to hold off Tom Brady as the NFL’s most prolific single-season passer in history.
Brees had already broken Dan Marino’s single-season passing record and could have rested on his laurels during Week 17 since the team had already locked up the NFC South.
If he had, Brady might have swooped in and eclipsed Brees in passing yards. To Brees, and the Saints, that was unacceptable.
So in a game that meant nothing to the teams in regard to standings, Brees tossed up 389 yards and threw five touchdown passes as New Orleans painted up 45 points on the scoreboard.
The Panthers took offense last season and are still doing so. But they’re missing the point.
The NFL isn’t just about one thing anymore—winning a Super Bowl. That’s still the end goal for everyone involved, but getting paid is a short second place to winning the big game.
Brees was in a contract year, and adding the fact that he just threw for more yards in a season than anyone in the history of the NFL probably wasn’t going to hurt at the negotiating table.
I’m all for getting angry when a team runs up the score for no reason. But this wasn’t the case last year, and the Panthers should realize that.
But, after watching Carolina play last week, anything the Panthers need as a team to get hyped up, they should probably use.
Not every aspect of the Falcons offense was impressive Sunday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote about the need to improve the run game.
The Falcons had an open slot on their practice squad after the Saints signed Bryce Harris from Atlanta's practice squad Monday. Atlanta filled that opening with wide receiver James Rodgers. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Jonathan Stewart returned to practice, according to The Charlotte Observer, but isn't ready to predict whether he'll be able to play against the Saints Sunday.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Cam Newton said the Panthers defense did enough Sunday and that it was the offense that failed.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints signed Greg Camarillo Wednesday after placing Adrian Arrington on injured reserve, according to the team's website. There were also five players on the injury report: Turk McBride, Devery Henderson, Johnny Patrick, Scott Shanle and Jabari Greer.
The Times-Picayune suggests Sunday's game in Carolina is one of the most daunting challenges Drew Brees has ever had to face because a loss sets the team to go 1-3 to start the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
General manager Mark Dominik told the media Wednesday that LeGarrette Blount would not practice and that the injury was not concussion related. [Pewter Report]
Safety Ronde Barber was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. [Tampa Bay Times]