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."