NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Baker Mayfield, Panthers


  • Bucs HC Todd Bowles said OT Donovan Smith (elbow) and WR Julio Jones (knee) did not practice on Friday and will be game-time decisions for Week 3. (Rick Stroud)
  • Bowles thinks recently signed WR Cole Beasley could play in Week 3 after observing him in practice this week: “I think he could. He’s quick, catches up to speed real fast. He understands the system and he’s played and gotten a lot of reps under him.” (Greg Auman)
  • Bowles said QB Tom Brady had no issues with his finger injury in Friday’s practice: “He’s ready to go. He’s full practice. He took every throw.” (Rick Stroud)

Baker Mayfield

Panthers QB Baker Mayfield feels like he hasn’t been good enough through the first two weeks of the season and needs to take better care of the football. 

“Not good enough,” Mayfield said, via the Panthers’ official Twitter. “I only care about winning, no matter what my stats are. Haven’t taken care of the ball well enough. That’s pretty much the only stat I care about.”

Mayfield admitted that he needs to “lead better” and make sure the offense executes “at a much higher level.”

“I’ve got to command this group better. I have to lead better, I have to make sure everybody’s on the same page to where we are executing at a much higher level. That’s the biggest disappointment for me is that hasn’t shown yet. So I take full ownership for that as an offense.”

Mayfield thinks they’ve been able to show glimpses of their potential but must be more consistent. 

“We’ve shown our potential in little stints,” Mayfield said. “We’ve shown flashes. We have to be more consistent. You can see the explosive plays that can happen when we just do our job and we string a couple good plays together.”


Panthers OC Ben McAdoo wants to get his wide receivers more involved in the game plan.

Yeah, we worked a lot of guys in this week,” McAdoo said, via Panthers Wire. “We need to do a better job during the course of the game gettin’ them in there and that starts with me. And we certainly have a lot of trust in our players—not just the three we’ve been throwing out there.

McAdoo didn’t say which guys would get an opportunity, he left that decision to HC Matt Rhule.

That’s a great question,” McAdoo said. “That’s a better question for Coach [Matt Rhule] than it is for me. Appreciate the question. But we have a lot of guys we have confidence in. So I’m not gonna mention any names because probably who I mention first will be something you can write about.

  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said CB Donte Jackson (groin) will be a game-time decision but the cornerback “expects to play.” (Joseph Person)
  • Rhule also mentioned that CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver (Achilles) should be ready to play in Week 3 after practicing all week. 

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