NFC Notes: Bryce Young, Dennis Allen, Derek Carr, Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


Lions DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson took a shot at Bucs QB Baker Mayfield, saying the team has a great group of skill position players that could do real damage with a legitimate quarterback.

This group probably is one of the better groups we done faced all year,” Gardner-Johnson said, via PFT. “If you give that Tampa group a good quarterback, that’s a great group. Evans, Godwin, Gage, that’s a great group. I played against them for real.

Mayfield was quick to respond to Gardner-Johnson, saying WR Russell Gage hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in training camp and that he needed to do more film study.

I don’t think he’s really watched film because he mentioned Russell Gage,” Mayfield said of Gardner-Johnson. “We love Russell but Russell hasn’t played a snap all year for us. He must be going off preseason stuff that the media was talking about. He didn’t play our first game so I’m excited to see him. I think he’s a really good player. He has been for a while. He’s been an impactful guy on every team he’s been on. So he’s a good player, but yeah, he’s got to do a little bit more film study.


When speaking with ESPN’s David Newton, an anonymous Panthers coach said rookie QB Bryce Young became tentative on deep passes after throwing two interceptions in Week 1. 

“It does that to most quarterbacks,” the coach said. “You throw a couple of picks and you’re, ‘OK, I’m going to get a little bit conservative until I get a little bit of mojo back. There just wasn’t enough mojo created to overcome the negative stuff.”

Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles had high praise for Young’s ability to move the pocket, throw well, and scramble. 

“Poise in the pocket, he can throw on a dime, he’s very athletic, he can move in the pocket — not just to run but to throw as well,” Bowles said. “He’s very patient. He’s one of the best scramblers I’ve seen this year. He’s going to be one of the best to ever do it once he’s done playing.”

Panthers WR DJ Chark is confident Young will become among the top quarterbacks in the league. 

“There’s so much more to come,” Chark said. “And three, four, five years from now, he’s going to be definitely at the top, if not one of the top QBs out there.”


Saints GM Mickey Loomis said the team’s record was a collective effort and said that it’s important to give HC Dennis Allen time as some of the best coaches in the NFL didn’t get off to fast starts to their career.

So I think the easy thing to do is just look at the results and say, ‘Oh no, we’ve got to have a change.’ You got to look beyond that,” Loomis said, via Katherine Terrell of ESPN. “What are the reasons why we were 9-8 instead of 13-4? And look, it’s collective. It’s the players, it’s the coaches, it’s me, it’s our personnel staff, our roster. It’s variables sometimes that we don’t have any control of. My assessment is Dennis Allen is a good coach. And again, with Sean Payton, we went 10-6 the first year, but then we were 7-9, 8-8. I heard some of the same noise, but at the time I knew we had a good football coach and so I think sometimes the hard thing to do is to be patient and recognize your other shortcomings and get those fixed, and that’s what we’re doing.

Loomis said Allen’s stint with the Raiders does factor into his decision-making.

Yeah, it matters. It matters. Where you are at matters, the experience. I think having any head-coaching experience is valuable,” Loomis said. “You learn a lot of things your first time around. Again, you have to look beyond just the record. What was the circumstances when he was in Oakland? They basically were way over the cap. They had to tear down the team and the quarterback situation. There was a lot of variables there and he was given a short amount of time.

Loomis also said he was impressed with QB Derek Carr and believes there were a lot of good things to build upon from this past season.

“I think he did a lot of good things,” Loomis said. “It wasn’t perfect, for certain, but I think he did a lot of good things. I think that he was hurt for a good portion of this season, probably more so than he would let on or that was out there, so I felt like he kind of hit a stride toward the end and we did collectively too, and he’s not the only player or position that was the case.”

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