NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports Buccaneers WR Mike Evans is expected to appeal the one-game suspension he received for his involvement in a scuffle with the Saints.
  • NFL VP Jon Runyan noted that Evans “struck an unsuspecting opponent who was part of that confrontation” and added that “aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury to your opponent and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship.” (Greg Auman)
  • Evans had downplayed the idea that his scuffle with Saints CB Marshon Lattimore could result in suspension: “Naw, naw, naw, naw. That was terrible. 2017 I didn’t even get ejected and that was really a cheap shot. This wasn’t. He punched my teammate in the face and I just pushed him to the ground.” (Jenna Laine)


Falcons HC Arthur Smith answered questions about the minimal use of TE Kyle Pitts offensively over the first two weeks of the season.

“Kyle is a huge part of our offense. You just have to take it with context. Other guys made plays,” Smith said, via Tori McElhaney of “It’s not fantasy football. We’re just trying to win. We will continue to look at everything and try to get better.”

  • Smith believes QB Marcus Mariota is doing a good job of operating the team’s offense: “Some of the stuff wasn’t necessarily his fault. He made enough plays, gave us a chance. We have some things to clean up, but he’s operating pretty well for us right now.” (Josh Kendall)


Panthers HC Matt Rhule told the media that his team is almost at the point where they turn things around this season.

“We’re close. I believe that with all my heart. I think we’re so close coming down the stretch. But we haven’t found a way to get it done,” Rhule said, via Joseph Person of “That’s my job — to help us get over that last hump. That’s the hardest part, and we haven’t done it, yet. Didn’t do it today.”

  • Rhule also noted that he wants to get WR Laviska Shenault involved more offensively in the future: “Laviska is a guy I want to get onto the field.” (Ellis L. Williams)


Saints QB Jameis Winston addressed questions about his back during his postgame press conference, yet turned his answers into how he could perform better on the field.

“Yeah, you know, everyone in the locker room was playing with some type of banged up or something,” Winston said, via Pro Football Talk. “But like I said, what’s important is offensively I have to do a better job of executing third downs, and I can’t give them the football. . . . My main thing is focusing on execution. I didn’t execute. Like two weeks in a row where we were [around] 4 for 13 on third downs, and that’s on me. It’s just this time I turned over the football. So we’re going to get back to the drawing board and I’m going to protect the football. That’s the big thing.”

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