There are plenty of fireworks in the NFC South with some high powered offenses. New Orleans has been one of the best offenses year in and year out while Atlanta and Carolina hope to continue to get better. Tampa Bay is trying to rebuild their offensive line with a new coach in Greg Schiano who wants to pound his opponents into submission. I will take a look at each team in the NFC South offensive line and how their success upfront leads to the valuable play makers on the outside and behind them being productive.
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Back-ups: OT Will Svitek, G/C Joe Hawley, OG Mike Johnson, G Garett Reynolds, OG Vince Manuwai, OT Lamar Holmes , G Andrew Jackson
Overview - Atlanta has struggled to protect Matt Ryan against the better defensive fronts in the league so the Falcons took two offensive lineman in the draft in the second and third rounds to help improve things for the play makers. Baker has been one of the worst tackles in the league while dealing with a problematic back over the last few years. There is a ton of talented skill position players but Konz will need to step in right away to help solidify their line and hopefully Baker holds up. There is experience with this teams offensive line but talent is a real big issue .
Overview : This is one of the best run blocking units in the league despite waiting and waiting for Jeff Otah to finally get healthy. Otah is finally gone so the Panthers finally can just focus on finding the permanent solution to the right tackle spot. With the addition of Mike Tolbert, this team should become an even bigger running team. The athleticism of Cam Newton also makes an offensive lines job that much easier.
New Orlean Saints
Overview - This is one of the best pass blocking units in the league even without overly dominant tackle play. The team did lose Carl Nicks with Ben Grubbs taking his spot which could hurt the run blocking quite a bit. There is enough talent though to give Drew Brees just enough time to make plays but there is still some concern if they can be as effective as in years past.
Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Overview - This group took a big hit when Davin Joseph was lost for the season last week. Between Nicks and Joseph, Tampa Bay had one of the best guard combinations in the league. This offensive line is the highest paid group of any line in the league. Coach Greg Schiano wants to be a power running team which is what these guys were built to do. The loss of Joseph hurts but this will still be a top 5 running team this season.