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Falcons Offseason 2012: Mike Smith Expects NFC South To Be Competitive

Even with the New Orleans Saints having their issues this offseason, dealing with Bountygate and a flurry of suspensions, Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith isn't assuming anything about the fate of his team going into the 2012-13 campaign. Actually, he's only assuming the NFC South will be competitive, with three elite quarterbacks in Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan, and also a young QB in Josh Freeman who could return to his rookie form after a disappointing sophomore season.

This seems like the year for the Falcons to take control of the division, but you won't hear that from Smith:

"I know that the NFC South has been one the most competitive divisions for a number of years," Smith said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Most certainly before I got to the Falcons, there was the worst-to-first story for three or four years. It's very competitive."

Read more on the Falcons at The Falcoholic and SB Nation Atlanta.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.