NFC Notes: Brock Bowers, Byron Murphy, Jared Verse, Kyler Murray, Cardinals, Panthers, Rams


Cardinals QB Kyler Murray said the reputation of their team has changed around the league and are now considered a difficult opponent after being considered a group that wasn’t well-coached. 

“You look around the league and how they talk about the Cardinals,” Murray said, via Darren Urban of the team’s site. “It flipped from maybe a talented team that doesn’t play hard and isn’t well-coached or doesn’t play smart to, ‘Oh, these guys, they might not be as talented but nobody wants to play them because they play hard as hell.'”

Cardinals RB James Conner said they are focused on “maximizing” themselves this offseason and providing a great product on the field once they get to ther regular season. 

“Our message has been maximizing yourself on the field and off the field, trying to put the best product on the field that we’ve got,” Conner said. “We’ve got a talented team so if guys can put out their best product on the field we will be in good shape.”


Panthers secondary coach Jonathan Cooley has been getting closer to HC Dave Canales this offseason and thinks it will push him to go the “extra mile” as a coach. 

“It’s been cool to develop that relationship,” said Cooley, via David Newton of ESPN. “The football hasn’t really changed for us on our side of the ball, but creating that connection and that closeness — somebody that you can believe in — from that standpoint it allows you to go that extra mile when you don’t necessarily feel like it.”

Panthers’ veteran QB Andy Dalton said Canales is working hard to establish relationships and trust throughout the organization. 

“That’s a big part of it all,” Dalton said. “At the end of the day, the relationship is what matters. When you know you can trust somebody, and you have that personal relationship, you can connect on a whole different level.”

Panthers TE Tommy Tremble said Canales waits to greet each player as they arrive at the team facility every day. 

“Every day,” Tremble said. “I knew he did it a few times. Then I realized it’s every day. It’s been awesome. You just feel comfortable with him, which is important for a team collectively to be heading in the same direction, which is to win.”


The Roku documentary about the NFL Draft, With The First Pick, revealed the Rams were pursuing DLs Byron Murphy, Braden Fiske and Jared Verse as well as TE Brock Bowers in the first round, per the Rams Wire

If we get Bowers, Murphy or Verse, and even Fiske…,” Rams GM Les Snead said on the show. 

The Rams initially offered the Jets their No. 19 and No. 52 picks to move up to No. 10. The Jets declined. 

Snead then called the Jets back after they traded back one spot with the Vikings for No. 11. The Rams were worried that New York would be taking Bowers.

Let me ask you this? If we threw in our 99, third round, and then y’all give back 185,” Snead proposed, to no avail.

The Rams kept looking to jump Indianapolis, as they were certain that the Colts would take Bowers at 15 if he was on the board.

If we can’t get ahead of Indy, then we don’t get Bowers. Indy’s going to take Bowers, is what I’m saying. If we can’t get ahead of Indy, there’s no chance,” Rams HC Sean McVay said.

Snead called Raiders GM Tom Telesco after believing the Broncos would take QB Bo Nix, which is exactly what they did.

I was wondering if y’all would like to go to 19. We’d give you our 52, ask for your fourth back, 112?” Snead said.

After the Raiders took Bowers, McVay lobbied for Murphy, who he believed was a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball.

We’ll be reasonable, but try and go up and get Murphy. I would try to get this guy. He makes a huge difference to me. I just don’t think he’ll get past 16. I’m not saying reckless but he’s way better than anyone,“ McVay said.

The Rams then made another unsuccessful trade offer to the Colts, offering No. 19, No. 99 and No. 154 for No. 15 and No. 154. Indianapolis turned that down to take UCLA DE Laiatu Latu. After seeing Murphy go off the board at No. 16 to the Seahawks as expected, they agreed they would hang tight and target Verse. If he was to be selected, then they would trade back.

“Definitely. If he goes, definitely. I’d move back. If not, stay there and take him,” McVay said to Snead.

Things ended up working out for the Rams, as they traded up in the second round to secure Fiske along with Verse. 

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