NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints



  • Regarding the Buccaneers splitting carries between RBs Ronald Jones, third-round Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and LeSean McCoy, James Palmer of NFL Network mentions that HC Bruce Arians has been “abundantly clear” that Jones will receive the majority of carries and come off the field “when he’s tired and needs a break.” 
  • Aside from Jones getting the “bulk” of carries, Palmer reports Jones has also worked with Tom Brady and McCoy this offseason on how to improve as a receiver. 
  • According to Palmer, McCoy has been giving feedback to Brady, Jones, and Vaughn regarding their development as receivers 


  • Per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff acknowledged RB Todd Gurley was high on their draft board in 2015 when they took DE Vic Beasley eighth overall. The Rams took Gurley 10th: “Of course he was very high on the draft board. … You can have guys on your draft board that are really high and in the end, you have another need. So there’s no question he was high on the board.”
  • Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Gurley, Falcons S Keanu Neal and C Alex Mack would have some limitations in camp. Gurley (knee) and Neal (Achilles) have injuries, but the goal is to help all three make it through the full season. (McClure)


Panthers CB Eli Apple is still young, as he just celebrated his 25th birthday this past weekend. But Apple is also one of the most experienced members of the Panthers secondary given he’s entering his fifth year in the NFL and his third team. The former first-round pick of the Giants was traded to the Saints in 2018, then allowed to leave via free agency this offseason. He’s hoping to find a home in Carolina now. 

“I feel like I’ve seen so much, and I’ve been through a lot — more than the normal guy would,” Apple said via Myles Simmons of the team’s official website. “I’ve been traded, I’ve been on teams that were really good and teams that were really bad, so I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen every side of, I feel like, the league. So I feel like there’s a lot of experience with that and now it’s just about going about my business and doing it at a high level.”

  • The Athletic’s Joe Person notes Panthers HC Matt Rhule said the team will be looking to use their waiver priority more on players who could potentially fit their program rather than addressing particular needs. 
  • As far as a potential long-term successor to Panthers GM Marty Hurney, Person points out new pro personnel director Patrick Stewart wasn’t hired with that role in mind but he’s someone who could eventually become a candidate. 
  • Person gets the impression Panthers OT Taylor Moton is next in line for a potential extension, though the staff might want more time to get to know him and the pandemic is a factor. 
  • Person expects the Panthers to go with Reggie Bonnafon ahead of Mike Davis as the primary backup running back, with the potential $3 million in cap savings by cutting Davis a strong factor. 
  • Person doesn’t expect the Panthers to make any uniform changes until 2022 or 2023. 


  • Per Nick Underhill, Saints HC Sean Payton said S Marcus Williams does a lot to help the defense with his intelligence and ball skills. He does want Williams to improve his tackling, though. 
  • Saints seventh-round pick Tommy Stevens is listed as a tight end on the team’s roster, despite playing quarterback during his college career. (Luke Johnson)
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