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NFC SOUTH
Text by Don Banks
February 11, 2013
PROBLEM STAT
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February 11, 2013

Nfc South

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PROBLEM STAT

24 Combined first downs and touchdowns allowed within the primary coverage of FS Mark Barron, third highest among safeties.

SOLUTION

That number is unacceptable but shouldn't be held entirely against Barron, the No. 7 pick in 2012. The secondary, ranked last in the NFL, suffered from the midseason losses of CBs Aqib Talib (traded to the Patriots) and Eric Wright (injury and suspension); the poor play of their replacements, Leonard Johnson and practice player LeQuan Lewis; and SS Ronde Barber's slow decline. To remedy this, the Bucs could trade down in the first round and double dip among prospects like Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State), Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) and David Amerson (N.C. State), or go after possible free agents Sean Smith (Dolphins) or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Eagles).

AND THEN?

Add a tight end like Jared Cook or Dustin Keller to diversify the passing game.... Re-sign free-agent defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Roy Miller.

PROBLEM STAT

2.7 Tackle attempts for each missed tackle by Asante Samuel, worst among CBs (minimum: 25% of team's snaps).

SOLUTION

The Falcons don't have a ton of cap room, but they should get out the checkbook to keep CB Brent Grimes, whose torn right Achilles last season forced Samuel to play a bigger role. With Grimes back, Samuel shouldn't be so exposed.

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