Several Tampa Bay Players Come to Work on Their Day Off, and More NFC South News

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterSeptember 21, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:  Head coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with  Josh Freeman #5 and Dan Orlovsky #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants on September 16, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

What's the first thing you want to see when an NFL franchise is trying to pick itself up and rebuild after a 4-12 season rocked the team to its foundation?

It's important to win a few football games, but it's really important to see the players accept the change and begin the long process of learning how to succeed again.

That's why it's great to see how the entire roster has embraced new head coach Greg Schiano's new philosophies and teaching methods. It's even starting to pay dividends off the field, according to, who reported that Josh Freeman spoke about how the players use their day off each week.

Freeman mentioned that he's noticed a huge increase in players voluntarily showing up at One Buc Place to watch game film on Tuesday (usually the players' day off) in preparation for Sunday's game.

Freeman said the common attitude among players is that they are hungry to learn faster on Wednesdays, when the Bucs begin to install plays and a gameplan for their next opponent during a typical week.

“It just shows you that guys are on it,” Freeman said. “The more they know the more prepared they’re going to be for the game.”

The Buccaneers are probably not on track to make the playoffs this season. But with attitudes like this, and good player acquisitions, as we have seen from the tandem of Mark Dominik and Schiano in year one of Schiano's regime, it won't be long before Tampa Bay is knocking on the NFC South's penthouse door.


Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Field Report seems to think that John Abraham might have an awesome game Sunday against San Diego left tackle Mike Harris.

William Moore is the X-factor in Sunday's game against the Chargers, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Carolina Panthers

Five of Carolina's nine units received grades of "F" from the Charlotte Observer after Thursday's loss to the Giants.

The Charlotte Observer listed five plays from Thursday night's loss that mattered. 


New Orleans Saints

Rookie cornerback Corey White knows opposing offenses are going to target him until he proves he can be more than a tackler (Times-Picayune).

Since the Saints will be facing a typical non-running, pocket passer Sunday, Nakia Hogan of the Times-Picayune thinks this will be the first time you get to see the Saints real pass-rush skills.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I definitely don't agree that Tampa Bay has the upper hand, but I will be watching the field-position battle Sunday now that Rob Clement brought it to my attention (Bleacher Report).

The Buccaneers sent wide receiver Sammie Stroughter to injured reserve Thursday and added the speedy Chris Owusu, according to Pewter Report.