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Southern Fryed

A weekly update on the Bucs' new opponents in the NFC South division:

By DARRELL FRY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 12, 2002


A weekly update on the Bucs' new opponents in the NFC South division:

ATLANTA: Falcons rookie running back T.J. Duckett has all the motivation he needs tattooed on his arms. His right arm has "Jacquelyn," and the left has "Barham."

Jacquelyn Barham is Duckett's mother. She died of lymphatic cancer last year.

"It's going to motivate me forever," he said.

"For the rest of my life it will be."

Speaking of Duckett, there's talk his arrival might signal the end for oft-injured veteran Jamal Anderson, who is recovering from yet another knee injury.

"That's just life in the NFL," said former Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler, who signed with the Bears.

NEW ORLEANS: Every NFC South team has strong season-ticket sales except New Orleans.

The Saints have about 20,000 season-ticket holders from last season who have not renewed.

And at last count, there are only 2,400 new season-ticket holders.

Team officials, who have lowered some ticket prices, said sales have been hurt by the team's 7-9 season and the arrival of the NBA's Hornets.

"Yes, we're concerned," tickets sales manager Michael Stanfield said. "But we're actively working to get back those who have not renewed.

"We have 15 people whose job it is to call people who have not renewed their season tickets."

Bucs home games are sold out this season.

The Panthers have only upper-level seats left, and the Falcons are expecting 40,000 season-ticket holders.

CAROLINA: The Panthers have holes, but none bigger than in the secondary. None of their cornerbacks has been a regular starter. "At this point, it's a huge question mark," new coach John Fox said. ... News that top draft pick Julius Peppers is being switched from right end to left end couldn't have come as good news to Bucs right tackle Jerry Wunsch, who will be matched up against the speedy North Carolina rookie. ... Receiver Patrick Jeffers, who has had four knee operations in the past two years, had a fifth last week but is expected to be healthy by training camp.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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