NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Tom Brady faced off against Bill Belichick and of course all the cameras were at midfield to capture the moment the two football legends came together after the game for the first time since their split. It was brief. But the B  uccaneers quarterback and the Patriots head coach had a longer, more private meeting later that lasted about 15 minutes. Brady wanted to keep it private but he did say the characterizations of their split last year as acrimonious are inaccurate. 

“It was a very personal, private thing,” Brady said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “We’ve always had that type of relationship where we can say things to each other. You know, whoever characterizes our relationship is completely wrong. People want to focus on so much stuff that’s so unimportant. You know? We were together for 20-plus years and we were so productive and successful and I learned so much from him. Loved my experience here, loved my relationship with him.”


Falcons HC Arthur Smith said that his team needs to do a better job of finishing drives, and can’t expect to win when they leave points out on the field, via

Obviously frustrating when you don’t finish games. We had multiple opportunities to win that game. We didn’t. The drive, the second to last offensive drive, right, that was the one that we moved the ball a little bit and then we had the third down call. Right? The one they picked up? Yeah. They picked that up. We punted and we just have to do a better job. We had plenty of chances to go pick the ball. We didn’t. You have give Washington credit. They made plays when they had to. Quarterback extended plays. He threw them up there and their guys came down.

Smith said that RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson wasn’t on the field for the Falcons’ final play of the game due to pass protection concerns.

It’s more of a protection thing. We believe in the guys that are out there. There’s a couple of things we have, multiple packages. It’s not one play. It’s situational. And we feel pretty good about Kyle going up, playing big-boy ball with Hayden [Hurst] and [Calvin] Rid[ley]. And those things get packaged, and there’s something there that we wanted for O.Z. and Mike, if we had gotten the look; we didn’t. So that was a thought.

Smith said RB Mike Davis was in the final minutes of the game because the team trusts him with ball security and “making the right decisions.”

You trust him. A lot of it is about ball security,” Smith said. “CP does a lot of good things for us, and it’s Mike or Gallman. Those are guys you trust there in four-minute. Again, we didn’t get off the blocks, and so they back us up, and you have evaluate whether or not – and obviously hindsight is 20/20. Sure, you pick it up; screen, whatever. So, yeah, I’ll go back and look at it. What should I have done different? It’s all fair. But we trust Mike Davis. That’s why he’s in there. It’s about ball security, making the right decisions, making the right reads. That one is pretty obvious.


  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said the team will see where RB Christian McCaffrey is physically at practice this week. That does not necessarily mean he will play. (Joe Person)
  • Rhule added he isn’t looking at personnel changes along the offensive line at the moment: “We’re not a quick-fix operation. … A lot of it depends on who’s healthy.” (Person)
  • Panthers OLB Haason Reddick said he had to miss some time during Sunday’s game with a stinger, but it shouldn’t be an issue going forward. (David Newton)

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