NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Matt Rhule


Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles was asked why QB Tom Brady and WR Mike Evans aren’t currently having the same type of success that they were able to last season.

“It’s a good question,” Bowles said, via Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. “Some of them were defensive calls, some of them we just missed it here and there. We’ve got to get that fixed, we’ve got to get them back on the same page.”


  • The Athletic’s Josh Kendall writes that he expects the Falcons to prioritize defensive tackle and cornerback in the first round of the draft. 
  • He adds there’s obviously a chance they go for a quarterback but there’s still some evaluation to do in that area, as they haven’t played third-round QB Desmond Ridder yet this season. 
  • Although the Falcons are expected to be among the league leaders in cap space this offseason, Kendall doesn’t think they’ll be splashy spenders, with the possible exception of the offensive or defensive line. He says personality fit and avoiding overspending are important for HC Arthur Smith and GM Terry Fontenot.


Former Panthers HC Matt Rhule said that he would’ve reconsidered accepting the head coaching position at Carolina if he knew that he would only get to execute two years of his four-year plan.

I think I probably would just probably [have] taken another job,” Rhule said, via PFT. “It’s a great place. Wonderful people. But I just don’t know if I was a fit there. You know, at the end of the day, you know, we talked about, ‘Hey, we’re gonna have a four-year plan, a five-year plan.’ You know, if you tell me, ‘Hey, we got a two-year plan,’ then I’m gonna go sign a bunch of free agents and do it. So what was a four-year plan became a two-year-and-five-game plan real quick.

Rhule claims that he would’ve acted more aggressively if he knew that his job would be on the line just two and half years into his seven-year contract.

I’m not angry about it,” Rhule added. “At the end of the day, I understand. But if it’s gonna be that quick, then we’re gonna sign some more free agents, we’re gonna go make the blockbuster trade, we’re gonna do those things. I think the trajectory we were on was correct.

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