NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers OC Dave Canales discussed the starting quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask which is expected to really launch once training camp begins. One theme that he hit on over and over was the idea of respect, including giving Trask an opportunity to prove he deserves the job and giving both quarterbacks a chance to earn the respect of the team once they’re named the starter. 

“I think it’s partly just respecting the team, respecting what’s best for everyone, and then also respecting Kyle’s process,” Canales said on the No Days Off podcast, via “You know, he comes in as the second-round pick with high hopes. Obviously, what a great thing, Tom Brady’s been here, so he’s been able to learn from him. But at the same time, he’s worked really hard to try to have an opportunity to show what he can do.

“On the flip side, too, I think Baker, would he love to be named the starter? I’m sure. But Baker also knows this is his road back, too. From Cleveland to Carolina and L.A., you know, he’s been told told, ‘No,’ a couple of times. And so for him to be able to come out here to win the team over in his own right, to perform and to show them that he can be the caliber quarterback that he believes he can be, I think I owe it to both of them and to the team to put the best guy out there.”

  • Buccaneers assistant to the head coach Mike Chiurco is now listed as a defensive assistant on the coaching roster. (Greg Auman)


Falcons RT Kaleb McGary didn’t technically hit unrestricted free agency because he agreed to re-sign in Atlanta before the start of the 2023 league year. But he and his agent definitely had other opportunities after hearing pitches from other teams during the tampering window, and McGary decided his best course of action was to stay with the team. 

“There were a number of good conversations had, but I think I ended up in the right spot,” McGary said via Scott Bair of the team website. “I know how many teams were involved at the very end, but me and my agent felt like this was the right place for the money I was going to get. I think it was the right thing.

“This is where I have most of my experience. I have done tons of work with Chris and this offense. This is where the majority of experience is and it was easiest to stay. And I didn’t have to move.”

The chance to continue playing next to Falcons RG Chris Lindstrom, who signed a monstrous extension just days before McGary re-signed in Atlanta, also played a huge part in the decision. Lindstrom is thrilled to be locked in next to McGary for seasons to come after the two were both first-round picks in 2019. 

“I was fortunate that Kaleb was able to come in with me in 2019,” Lindstrom said. “After I got signed and I knew I was going to be here for a while, and — Kaleb is my partner. You have your friend and your teammate, and you want him to be on the field with him. It’s exciting that he has returned because we have thousands of reps working together. The communication level is high, and we work well together. It’s great that he’s back. You know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and you know how to work together. How to fit blocks is such a learning curve, so I’m really glad to keep working with him.”


Panthers WR Terrace Marshall said he’s been focused on maintaining a high work ethic and is confident in his development. 

“(In the) NFL, you’ve gotta come in here every day with it on your mind to grind no matter who’s in the front office, no matter who’s your coach. No matter what, you’ve gotta have the same approach,” Marshall said, via Joseph Person of The Athletic. “It’s what I believe in. I’ve been doing what I do to look the part and I’m gonna continue to keep grinding toward that.”

Panthers HC Frank Reich thinks Marshall proved he can make big plays last season and wants to build more consistency through practice. 

“We saw that last year with the reps that he got, the catches that he had, the big plays that he had. He shows that capacity to be a big-play guy,” Reich said. “The next step with every player is just more reps, more plays, more confidence where it’s like, ‘Hey, give me the ball.’”

Marshall wouldn’t put a number on his expectations for 2023 and just wants to capitalize on his opportunities. 

I don’t really throw numbers out there. But inside of my head I know what I’m capable of,” Marshall said. “I don’t want to fall short of (goals) I give you because I’m not perfect. I’ll just say I want to take advantage of my opportunities and help this team get a Super Bowl.”

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