NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Vikings



  • Mike Garafolo gives Roberto Aguayo the edge over Nick Folk in the Buccaneers’ kicking competition, considering that Aguayo is a former second-round pick.
  • Tampa Bay did guarantee a portion of Folk’s contract, but Garafolo seems to think he’ll likely have to be the clear winner in order to get the job and convince the Buccaneers to admit they made a mistake by trading up to draft Aguayo last year.


Panthers DT Kawann Short said he is still focused despite receiving a lucrative five-year, $80 million contract extension this offseason.

I’ve still got to work like I’m still trying to earn one,” Short said, via Bob Pockrass of ESPN. “I come out here every day. That’s in the past now. I’m working like it’s another rookie year for me.”

“It’s the same mentality [in camp] — to do what I’ve been doing and go at the offensive line and make each other get better.”

Short added that it should be easier on him this season, considering that all he has to worry about is playing football.

“I don’t have to worry about what’s next or what’s that,” Short said. “I’ve just got to worry about coming out here and doing what I’ve been doing.


After finishing the year No. 28 in red-zone efficiency, the Vikings are focused on finding ways to improve scoring and their touchdown conversion rate in 2017.

“There was a lot of points that was given up there. We spent a lot of time on that,” Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said, via Ben Goessling of ESPN. “We get out here [in practice] and we run plays and we just run plays. We’re not playing the game, and I think it’s important that we continue to learn to play the game, so at the end of the game, everything is nice and smooth, we know what’s going on. Obviously, things are going to happen that you’re not expecting. But maybe we’ll act a little bit different and win some more games.”

“We spent an awful lot of time inside the 5-yard line, team inside the red zone, third downs in the red zone,” Zimmer said. “I look at the stats, and you convert a third down in the red zone, you usually get 7 points on either side of the ball, right? Whereas obviously if you don’t get third downs, you kick field goals.”

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