Mark Barron Praised as Top Defensive Rookie and More NFC South News

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterOctober 3, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:   Mark Barron #24 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Daniel Jeremiah of sent out a note via Twitter Tuesday praising Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie safety Mark Barron. Jeremiah said Barron has been the most impressive rookie defender to date.

Barron's made 27 tackles, forced one fumble and broken up five passes, quickly showing why Tampa Bay used its first-round draft pick, and seventh-overall, to bring Barron from Alabama to Tampa Bay.

But there is a dark side to the statistics from Barron this year.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), only two safeties in the league have given up more yardage while in coverage than Barron, who has allowed 11 receptions and 171 yards through four games.

For all Barron's big hits and aggressive tackles, he also gets beat in coverage at times. He's just a rookie, and he entered the league with basic cover skills (at best) and a weakness for one-on-one coverage.

At strong safety, Barron isn't supposed to be the best cover guy in the defensive backfield. But some improvements—remember, he's just a rookie four games into his professional career—should be happening soon.


Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted five questions with Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

Atlanta Field Report broke down the footage of each of the seven sacks Matt Ryan took on Sunday.


Carolina Panthers

Contrary to what head coach Ron Rivera said in his Monday presser, Sherrod Martin has not taken more first-team reps and said he won't be starting on Sunday (Bill Voth).

The Charlotte Observer posted numbers showing that Ron Rivera should have gone for it on 4th-and-short Sunday in Atlanta.


New Orleans Saints

The San Diego Union-Tribune has a scouting report on the Saints posted.

According to WWL-TV, the Saints have signed wide receiver Grag Camarillo and waived cornerback Elbert Mack.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pewter Report writes that two defensive mistakes in the final two minutes of the game Sunday cost Tampa Bay a win.

Stephen White wrote a film breakdown piece on Passing on the Game 2.0 about the same two plays on defense that ultimately led to Sunday's loss.