NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians confirmed GM Jason Licht reached out to free agent CB Richard Sherman but didn’t have much else to say on the topic: “Just a matter of I coach the ones we’ve got…we’ll kick the tires on other guys, too.” (Greg Auman)
  • Buccaneers LB Lavonte David was fined $12,875 for unsportsmanlike conduct after taking off his helmet and slamming it to the ground following a missed interception against the Cowboys in Week 1. (Ian Rapoport)


Falcons HC Arthur Smith said following the team’s loss against Tampa Bay that he was proud of the way his guys kept fighting and was impressed with their resolve. The Falcons battled back from an 18-point deficit to make it a one-score game, unfortunately, they let the game get away from them in the fourth quarter and were unable to recover.

You’ve got a ball game,” Smith said the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We’re 28-25 and we’re backed up. We get to third-and-inches and we don’t convert. They get the short field, they go up and then a couple of tipped balls later and that’s what the score was. We’ve got a group of fighters in there. I’m proud to coach them.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan had two pick-sixes off of tipped passes. He gave props to Tampa Bay’s defense but didn’t have much to offer in terms of what went wrong.

That’s part of the game,” Ryan said. “It’s tough. You have to give them credit. They did a good job the entire night of continuing to pressure and getting their hands up. It’s tough to go against, but you know, you have to learn from it and be better and hopefully we can do that across the board as we move forward.

  • Smith was impressed with first-round TE Kyle Pitts; “I think what you’re seeing is why we brought Kyle in.” (Tori McElhaney)


Panthers LB Haason Reddick recapped the Panthers’ 26-7 win over the Saints, saying the team’s main goal was to put pressure on Saints QB Jameis Winston and force him to make errant throws.

We were definitely aware of his past,” Reddick said via PFT. “After last week, he looked like a different QB. We knew he didn’t throw the ball a lot. We knew that their run game was going. When you see that they have 20 throwing attempts that means their rush game must have been going. We just knew that if we could affect him, if we could get to him, then we would have a chance at the end of the day. He looked real, real good last week as I watched the film. Able to escape the pocket. Throw the ball. Five touchdowns on 20 pass attempts. I mean, that’s just ridiculous. Like I said we knew that if we could get to him, affect him, get him off the spot that we’ll be good and have a good chance.

The Panthers turned up the heat on Winston as soon as they took the lead.

We just knew as the score kept going up and we kept getting a wider margin on the Saints, we just knew what was coming,” Reddick said. “At some point we knew they were having to drop back and pass the ball. At that point it was time for us to pin our ears back and go get after him.


Saints HC Sean Payton didn’t lay blame to the fact that a number of the teams’ offensive coaches were missing due to COVID-19, he simply stated their game plan wasn’t sound enough to stop the Panthers’ pass rush from dismantling their offense in a 26-7 loss.

Our protection plan wasn’t very good,” Payton said, via “It had nothing to do with us being short-handed with coaches, or us being away or the COVID. All of those would be excuses. They played better than us today and deserved to win the football game.

Saints OT Terron Armstead said following the game that the team’s issues in pass protection had to due with communication breaking down between the offensive line.

Our problems were in communication — between the o-line, (between the) o-line and the quarterback, just communication problems,” Armstead said. “They did a good job of throwing out a lot of different looks. And the crowd noise was effective too, I would say, just not having much time doing the silent count and all those non-verbal communications.

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