Welcome back to the “2+3+2 (+2)” project.
Click to see: AFC East
Today we’ll tackle the NFC South.
If you want to see the genesis of how this project came about, please refer to the AFC East post.
To sum up, the project parameters are the following:
• All teams will have 2 helmets, 3 jerseys, 2 pants and 3 socks
• All uniform elements will be “interchangeable” (any combinations can be worn)
• Some teams will be given two options: current uniform and throwback (or fauxback/alternate)
• Opposing teams will wear different color elements (helmet/jersey/pant/socks)
• Home team will select its color combo, and away team will then select its combos. No elements can match opposing team
• To the extent possible, uniforms will be based on a team’s current available options. Where no such options exist, they will be created such that every team has 2/3/2/3 options.
• Where present home and road (and/or alternate) uniform template designs differ, they will be “streamlined” to have one single format/style in the 2/3/2/3 parameters
• Color vs. color will be permitted. The only exception is only one team can wear its “dark” jersey (the opponent can pair their color “medium” jersey vs. opponent’s “dark” jersey)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Like several other teams, the lifting of the single shell rule has allowed the Bucs to bring back their glorious throwbacks to their “Bucco Bruce” days. This gives them two helmets (pewter, white) and with three jerseys (red, white, “pewter”) and two sets of pants (white, “pewter”), they would fit the 2/3/2/3 model as is. But lets face it, the so-called “pewter” they currently wear is more of an anthracite-brown color.
The simple solution here is simply to return the uniform to more of an actual pewter, which would be more in line with their second generation uniforms that followed their original Bucco Bruce set. The white helmet from the throwback can be used with this set simply by swapping the current logo for Bruce. While this colorscheme is unique (and the Bucs found immediate on-field success after adopting the new colors), almost everyone loves the throwbacks. Which leads us to …
The only thing wrong with this uniform is the team’s (perceived) lack of on-field success while wearing it. For this throwback to be turned into a modern classic, I swapped the throwback logo with the team’s current logo. The original 1976 set didn’t have orange pants, but they did add those later, so those will be part of this set. I will need to create a second shell color (orange being the obvious choice), and create a new third jersey — also an obvious choice in red (which harkens to their current jersey and uses the red accent color from the original Bucco Bruce unis). Some might argue their current uni set is fine, but creating this new throw/fauxback is all kinds of awesome, and would still keep a unique look for the team. It’s a win/win. Who wouldn’t want to see these on the field full time?
The Falcons are another team that reintroduced throwbacks with the scrapping of the one-shell rule, so they currently have a red and black helmet. They also introduced a new uniform set in 2020 that included three new jerseys (one of which, a red-to-black gradient, has been scrubbed from their rotation). So a new third jersey would need to be created to meet the 2/3/2/3 parameters. While some love the new “modern” uniform, others do not.
Like I did with the Tennessee Titans, I couldn’t quite leave the new uni-set be. I tried to keep the modern feel, but eliminated the giant “ATL” wordmark on the chest (instead substituting a much smaller “ATLANTA” wordmark), and although you can’t quite see it on the graphics, eliminated the odd, elongated tringular stripes found on the jersey side panel and pants (picture a solid stripe on the pants only instead). I replaced the dearly departed red/black gradient jersey with a solid red one. The other big change was to eliminate the black pants and replace them with gray, a color the Falcons have used with white, black, and red jerseys throughout their history. But let’s face it: every time the Falcons wear their throwbacks, most us simply note, “these should be their regular uniforms”.
This proposal is an easy fix. The team would be given a red throwback jersey option, along with a gray pants option. This not only covers their current throwback, but could span multiple eras as well, such as when they wore red or white over gray, as well as red or white over white, in addition to black or white over gray. This one is a no-brainer!
Except for a few tweaks over the years, the Panthers’ uniforms have remained largely unchanged since they were first introduced in 1995. Last year, the team introduced a black alternate helmet, and they have more than enough jersey and pants options to meet the 2/3/2/3 project parameters. However, I’m of the mind that the team should de-emphasize the black, and instead highlight their Process blue and silver options.
Here, I’ve given the team a silver-gray jersey to replace the white, and gone with both white and silver-gray pants. With the alternate shell, there is still plenty of black in the set, just not as much as is available to them at present.
Current uniform new option
This option includes a new white helmet, and relegates black to an accent color. It’s not that the Panthers shouldn’t wear black — it’s just that the league has many black-clad teams, so this would serve to emphasize the unique Process blue and silver colorscheme (which IMO is better than the black-heavy alternatives). Yes I know that actual Panthers are usually black, but that doesn’t mean we need the team to be — after all, we don’t see many Honolulu blue and silver lions in the wild, do we?
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
With the introduction of a black alternate helmet last season, the Saints almost meet the 2/3/2/3 criteria, lacking only a third color jersey. Gold will be the obvious choice here.
Some of you might not know this, but for one single game in 2002, the Saints wore a gold jersey. The problem even then — as now — the team had a hard time matching the golds. With this set, I’ve taken care of those mismatches (hopefully).
With their CR set, the Saints are sort of throwing back to their original look. They also have, periodically, thrown back with their black jersey as well. Once again, the glaring mis-match between shades of gold are apparent. I’ve fixed that here. Nike has shown us they can make an old gold (as they did this year with Vanderbilt). Now it’s time to give that same treatment to the Saints. And, most of you likely know the Saints did introduce a black helmet back in 1969, but the NFL wouldn’t allow it and it was only worn for preseason games. The throwback option now includes that wayward black helmet, and adds an old gold jersey option. While not present at their inception, the black pants were once an option (with proper stripes!) in the past. Should the Saints somehow go with these for throwback options (and especially FIX THE GOLD), they might be one of the top 5 uniforms in the game.
Thanks for indulging me, and I hope you at least enjoy the concept of 2/3/2/3. I’ll tackle the remaining two divisions in separate posts. Please leave any comments/suggestions/critiques in the comments below!