NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers assistant HC Harold Goodwin will get his chance on Sunday as he fills in for Bruce Arians and let it be known that he has the qualities of an NFL head coach despite not being a coordinator. 

“We talk about what makes a head coach,” Goodwin said, via Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s about building cultures, it’s about being leaders of men, and just having that disciplinary, authority-type figure that can get a team behind you and fight for you. There are a lot of good coaches out here that can do that, that are not coordinators. That’s all I’ll say towards that.”


The genesis of Falcons RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson‘s breakout with Atlanta started when he was with the Bears and assistant coach Dave Ragone. The two worked closely each week as Patterson transitioned to more of a full-time running back role and Ragone got a good sense of Patterson’s potential. When he joined the Falcons, he was a big supporter of signing Patterson, and a big reason Patterson chose the Falcons. 

“Being with Rags, I love him,” Patterson said via the Athletic’s Dan Pompei. “I talked to him in the offseason about coming to Atlanta. It was a no-brainer.”

“He sees the game through the eyes of a true football player, not just paint by numbers of what the playbook says,” Ragone said. “He’s got a feel. And to me, he’s best when he can see the full picture, everybody’s responsibility, and how he fits in. That’s what makes him such a great kick returner. He sees the pieces unfold in front of him and he hits it. It’s the same way he looks at offense.”


Panthers QB Sam Darnold said he isn’t thinking about his job security beyond this week.

“I’m really focused on this week, to be completely honest with you,” Darnold said, via “I’m focused on New Orleans and focusing on what we can do to win this ball game on Sunday.

“If I look past this game at all, I would be doing this team and myself a disservice by looking too far in the future. I don’t want to do that. I want to put my best football forward for this team so that we can go out and win this Sunday. If I go out and start to worry about what these next couple of games mean and what the implications are for next year, that does nothing for me on Sunday.”

  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule will likely start QB Sam Darnold but still put QB Cam Newton in the game during certain situations as well. (David Newton)
  • Albert Breer expects the Panthers to be back in the mix to trade for Texans QB Deshaun Watson next year.
  • Breer believes Carolina would have offered more than three first-round picks to get Watson, at least before the lawsuits against him surfaced.
  • As for HC Matt Rhule, Breer thinks he’ll get another season but will enter 2022 with pressure to deliver.

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