NFC Notes: Bryce Young, Lavonte David, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

Buccaneers

Buccaneers LB Lavonte David, now entering the 13th year of his career, said he may have retired or found a new team back in 2020 if Tampa Bay didn’t reach the postseason. The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl that year.  

“Maybe,” David said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “Or I would’ve moved on, just to be honest with you. But I’m happy I made the decision I made. Just being here, all the talent that we had, especially all the guys that came in, some Hall of Fame and All-Pro Players that we had, I definitely thought that a title was going to come real soon but I just didn’t know what was the issue, what was going on and things like that. Obviously, that did cross my mind and just hearing from other guys how it was being in postseason play and being able to be a competitive football team, that also crossed my mind.”

David was grateful to receive his one-year extension in March. 

“At the end of the day, I was doing everything right for this organization to continue to want me here to be around when things started changing, so I’m blessed to be a part of it,” David said.

David said it didn’t take him long to decide that he wanted to continue his career. 

“Honestly, that didn’t take long,” David said. “I definitely still love the game of football. I still want to play and I still feel like I’m playing at a high level. I still feel like I can compete with the best and obviously the organization felt the same way. It was a no-brainer for me to come back. Us being competitive also played a main part in it. I’m definitely looking forward to another great season.”

Falcons

Falcons new secondary coach Justin Hood said he has a good relationship with assistant HC/defense Jerry Gray from their time with the Green Bay Packers in 2021-2022. 

“I love working with Jerry,” Hood said, via Terrin Waack of the team’s site. “His mind, in terms of how he sees the game and how fast he can dissect and analyze what’s going on, hopefully one day I can get there and I aspire to get there. But he’s a savant.”

Gray brought up advice he received from Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, who told him that the “hard work” towards successful teams is conducted in the offseason. 

“I know when I learned from Tony Dungy, he talked about how the hard work is done in the offseason,” Gray said. “We’re doing a lot of hard work now to where if we get into the season, it doesn’t matter if there’s a guy sick or a guy can’t do this, can’t do that. The other person can run the room. And I think that’s way better this year.”

Hood said he collaborates with Gray on ideas they have for the defense. 

“We just bounce ideas off each other,” Hood said. “I’ll come up with an idea, and I’ll be excited about it. He’ll be like, ‘OK, great. Think about it this way.’ That’ll bring me to my new idea, which I’ll then present. He’s like, ‘Yeah, I like that one.’ It’s been fun.”

Panthers

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the Panthers have been very impressed with QB Bryce Young through his first few months under new HC Dave Canales

“Here’s the feeling from the Panthers after coming out of the spring: They believe Bryce Young made two to three ‘wow’ throws most days,” Fowler said, via Adam Wells of Bleacher Report. “He was accurate, he showed maturity and taking that easy checkdown instead of trying to force things and he hit big plays off play-action. Now, the nuances of Dave Canales’ system, footwork, timing, rhythm, that was there but I was told that’s probably going to take a little more time. That’s what training camp’s for, but they believe he’s on the right track so far.”

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