NFC Notes: Bryan Edwards, Falcons, Packers, Panthers, Sam Darnold


Even before he was traded to the Falcons, WR Bryan Edwards had an idea of how he would fit into HC Arthur Smith‘s offense. 

“I just knew he liked the big-bodied receiver and they ran a lot of in-breaking routes with a lot of guys who could get YAC and make big plays off YAC,” Edwards said via the Athletic’s Josh Kendall. “When I heard I was coming here, I felt like it was a really good fit for me, probably as good as it was going to get.”

  • Kendall expects Falcons first-round WR Drake London to lead the receiving corps in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. 
  • Smith admitted he has a soft spot for WR Olamide Zaccheaus, smaller and faster than some of the other wideouts in Atlanta’s group: “Try not to play favorites, we love all our players, but I have a great appreciation for guys like OZ. Came up the hard way in the NFL.” 



Panthers HC Matt Rhule explained that he wants QB Sam Darnold to be able to handle adversity better. Rhule added that a lot of quarterbacks can be great in a perfect situation, but the truly great ones can take a less-than-ideal situation and turn it into a positive.

I think that’s one of the things that we’re all looking for Sam to really improve on. When things are right, a lot of quarterbacks can play at a high level. It’s who can, when things go wrong, either make a play or minimize the bad plays,” Rhule said, via The Athletic. “I think we’ve seen Sam play with a lot more poise, which I think is great, and a lot more confidence. I think (OC) Ben (McAdoo) demands a lot out of him. (QB coach) Sean (Ryan) demands a lot out of him. And he’s answered that call.

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey continued to voice his support for Darnold and said that the team’s shortcomings are not totally on him.

Sam’s been great. Sam’s been awesome. He’s shown up every day with a learning mentality. He’s made some great throws,” McCaffrey said. “I’ve said this from the jump, that the head coach and the quarterback get way too much credit, way too much blame. Football’s the biggest team game in the world. It’s never one guy. There’s 11 guys on the field at one time, and every little detail matters.

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