NFC South Watch

April 12 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin play in the NFC South Division in 2002 along with their new division rivals—the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. Buccaneer Magazine will continue to keep Club Insiders updated on Tampa Bay's new division opponents throughout the offseason.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin play in the NFC South Division in 2002 along with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. Buccaneer Magazine will keep Bucs fans posted on what the Pewter Pirates' new division opponents have been doing during the offseason.
Atlanta Falcons

Home Georgia Dome in Atlanta Georgia

2002 Draft Pick No. 17 overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft

Host Tampa Bay Sunday, October 6, 2002 1:00 PM

Visit Tampa Bay Sunday, December 8, 2002 1:00 PM

Last Season 7-9 record. Finished tied for third place in the NFC West Division.

Head Coach Dan Reeves (also calls offensive plays)

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips

Special Teams Coach Joe DeCamillis

How They Ranked Last Season

Offense 15th overall 16th rushing 17th passing

Defense 30th overall 21st rushing 30th passing

The Latest

The Atlanta Falcons re-signed running back Travis Jervey on April 9. Jervery played in every game for the Falcons last season. While he see much playing time on offense, Jervey made his impact on special teams, where he ranked third on the team in tackles with 15.

The Falcons bolstered their secondary by signing New Orleans free agent cornerback Fred Weary and Washington free agent safety Keith Lyle.

In other news, Atlanta waived RB Brett Millican and QB Chris Sanders, who had both been allocated to NFL Europe, but were cut by their respective teams. Millican was waived by Barcelona and Sanders was waived by Frankfurt during training camp last week.


Carolina Panthers

Home Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina

2002 Draft Pick No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft

Host Tampa Bay Sunday, October 27, 2002 1:00 PM

Visit Tampa Bay Sunday, November 17, 2002 4:05 PM

Last Season 1-15. Carolina finished with the worst record in the NFL last season and in last place of the NFC West Division.

Head Coach John Fox (Hired after Panthers 1-15 season. Former Giants defensive coordinator).

Offensive Coordinator Dan Henning (Former Jets Offensive Coordinator. Worked under Bill Parcells).

Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio

How They Ranked Last Season

Offense 30th overall 29th rushing 26th passing

Defense 31st overall 28th rushing 28th passing

The Latest

Last year's starting quarterback Chris Weinke, who had worked with some discomfort during the team's first mini-camp under John Fox a few weeks ago, had successful surgery on his right shoulder on April 10. The operation will sideline him for a few weeks, but Weinke is expected to be ready for training camp in July.

The Panthers signed free agent cornerback Fred Vinson to a one-year contract, and with incentives, it could be worth as much as $1 million. Vinson has not played a game in the NFL since the end of the 1999 season.

Carolina cornerback Rashard Anderson had surgery on April 11 to repair a bulging disc in his neck. Anderson will likely miss the entire preseason and even the early part of the regular season.


New Orleans Saints

Home Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana

2002 Draft Pick No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft

Host Tampa Bay Sunday, December 1, 2002 8:30 PM

Visit Tampa Bay Sunday, September 8, 2002 4:15 PM

Last Season 7-9 record. Finished tied for third place in the NFC West Division.

Head Coach Jim Haslett (also serves as team's defensive coordinator).

Offensive Coordinator Mike McCarthy

Special Teams Coach Joe Baker

Offense 19th overall 18th(T) rushing 10th passing

Defense 16th(T) overall 14th rushing 10th passing

The Latest The Saints signed Oakland free agent defensive tackle Grady Jackson to a two-year contract worth $3.75 million on April 11. The Saints' plan is to have the multi-talented Jackson alternate with Norman Hand and Martin Chase. Although he was troubled a shoulder injury, Jackson filled in for troubled DT Darrell Russell last season with the Raiders.

New Orleans signed Colts free agent wide receiver Jerome Pathon to a four-year, $10 million contract on April 10. According to ESPN, Pathon's agreement included a $1 million signing bonus and a $525,000 first-year base salary. The signing of Pathon could possibly mean New Orleans has no interest in re-signing free agent wide receiver Willie Jackson.

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