NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Lions, Panthers


Buccaneers HC Dirk Koetter says their goal for the upcoming season on offense is to be 60 percent efficient in terms of scoring touchdowns in the redzone.

“We have good options,” said Koetter, via Jenna Laine of ESPN. “We were actually, I think, about 51 percent touchdowns in the red zone. The league took a jump — it used to be that 55 percent touchdowns would put you in the top five in the league. Tennessee led the league at 72 percent. That’s insane — 72 percent touchdowns.

“We’ve actually raised our goal this year to try to be 60 percent touchdowns; that’s something we have to do better.”


Lions HC Jim Caldwell appears to be very excited about Zach Zenner and what he can do for their offense moving forward.

“I see consistent progress and improvement with him,” Caldwell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “He can run the ball. He can pass protect. He can catch the ball out of the backfield if need be and I think just another year under his belt is going to be a great help. Zach is one of those guys that I think without question can be effective for us.”


Panthers QB Cam Newton resumed throwing for the first time since he underwent shoulder surgery during the offseason.

“Cool, a lot of anticipation,” Newton said when asked how it felt to throw for the first time in nearly six months, via “Obviously, it’s still not 100 percent, but seeing the ball come out of my hand in a throwing motion was good.

Newton explained that his full range of motion has yet to return.

“When I say it’s not 100 percent, I’m noting the range of motion part,” Newton said. “Like if you sleep with your legs hanging off your bed the whole night, you’re going to wake up and be super stiff. Or like sitting on your hands, or sitting in an awkward position and finally getting up and moving – that’s how I feel.”

Newton is hoping to be 100 percent healthy in time for training camp.

“I want to be 100 percent come training camp. There’s no doubt that I will be,” Newton said. “Shoot, in two weeks, I’ll be ready to rock and roll.

“It’s just the stiffness, getting the range of motion back, strengthening those joints and the arm. Hopefully, with no setbacks, we’ll be good.

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