NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Former Buccaneers G Ali Marpet opted to retire at age 28 and revealed that carrying weight during his time in the NFL caused him to develop both hypertension and sleep apnea. 

“The biggest reason for me was the physical toll: I didn’t want any more of that. There were some things I wanted to accomplish in my career that I had done,” Marpet told the Guardian. “I loved playing football. But one of my strongest values is health and if I’m really going to live out what’s important to me it doesn’t make sense to keep playing. There are also the unknowns of the head trauma of the NFL and how that plays out. Plus, your joints, the aches and pains that come with surgeries, and all that stuff. I was eating as clean as possible for a 300-pounder but having all the weight on your body is bad.”


Falcons GM Terry Fontenot said that the organization has placed an emphasis on bringing in both players and coaching personnel that have a certain fire to them.

We try to bring in a certain kind of player,” Fontenot said. “Every single one of (the drafted players has a chip on his shoulder). Our head coach has a chip on his shoulder. You look in our building, and we come in every day with something to prove. You want people around you like that. You want people in your locker room like that. We have a lot of players here who come in every day and compete, and we need to add to that.

Rookie QB Desmond Ridder said that he plays with that fire. He has a cool, calm, and collected demeanor, but is able to flip the switch on Sunday’s.

I would say (my playing style) is like a fierce cannon but a calm cannon,” he said. “Once I step on that field, it’s almost like a flip switches. Once that Sunday hits, it’s like a flip switches, and it’s go time. Calm, cool and collected but also got a little ball of fire in me.

Ridder is certainly not lacking confidence, which is needed in order to play the position.

That’s where you’ve got to kind of have a crooked mind sometimes,” he said. “You might not be the best player on the field, but you have to tell yourself that. I try to get in the mindset that every time I step on the field.


Panthers HC Matt Rhule discussed what they liked about third-round QB Matt Corral and what prompted them to trade up for him at the end of the third round, sending a future third-round pick in the process. 

“When we went back, we loved the way that he played. His release. His moxie,” Rhule said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “He’s gotten injured a little bit because he runs guys over. Or he tries to run guys over. But I think at the end of the day, it’s still a game of who has the ability to throw the ball. And we just love the way that he throws the football. His release. His vision. His timing. And we thought it would translate over to this level.”

Corral reportedly slid because some teams were concerned about alcohol and other issues. He says he’s not exactly sure where that report came from. 

“Truthfully, I don’t know where that came from. It was one of those things that just got out there. That was honestly the first time I heard that. As far as that, that’s nothing I can control. I got picked up. I’m here with an opportunity and that’s all one can ask for,” he said. 

  • The Panthers sent VP of football administration Samir Suleiman and assistant HC Jeff Nixon as representatives to the NFL’s front office and coaching diversity accelerator program. (Jonathan Jones)
  • Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports that the Panthers are still interested in Browns QB Baker Mayfield and 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, but Carolina must agree to acquire a “large portion” of their salary. In the end, Reed adds that “nothing has changed” in the last number of weeks.  

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