NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones continues to see a diminished role in Tampa Bay’s backfield committee because of self-inflicted wounds. Fellow RB Leonard Fournette isn’t immune to those mistakes, as he coughed up a fumble in Sunday’s win against the Falcons. But Fournette is more reliable as a pass protector, and Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians says Jones needs to clean up a few things in his game to see more snaps. 

“Yeah, it speaks for itself,” Arians said via the Athletic’s Greg Auman. “Ro, that’s his guy. He’s got to get out of those types of situations. I thought he ran hard and protected the ball, but again, you can’t have those mental errors. … It’s just attention to detail, like missing that blitz. He is a great runner, caught the ball well. I would have liked to see him run for the first down. His mind is fine. It’s just his play isn’t as good as it should be.”


  • Falcons HC Arthur Smith said the team is still evaluating CB AJ Terrell‘s concussion. (Tori McElhaney)
  • Smith added S Richie Grant is making an impact on special teams: “The more you can build different personnel package, the better off you can be.” (Michael Rothstein)


Panthers OC Joe Brady has made a point to make the game slow down for QB Sam Darnold. By allowing Darnold a structure of plays he can switch into at the line of scrimmage, and tailoring his system to Darnold’s strengths, he’s never having to snap into a bad call.

It’s just progression football,” Darnold said, via SI’s Albert Breer. “It’s getting in the right play, if we’re not in the right one, we got certain alerts for certain coverage. It’s good football. To be able to get in the right play, if [Brady] calls a play and I feel like it’s not a great play or it’s the look we didn’t want for that play, then I can check out of it and get into a good play. So that’s kind of what I really like about this offense, is you kind of have options to be able to change things at the line of scrimmage.” 


  • In Saints CB Marshon Lattimore‘s new contract, he has a $15 million roster bonus next year, but Nick Underhill expects that to be converted to a signing bonus in the offseason.
  • According to Underhill, Lattimore’s deal is fully guaranteed in 2021 and 2022, fully guaranteed in 2023 if he is on the roster on the third day of the 2022 league year, and fully guaranteed in 2024 if he is on the roster on the third day of the 2023 year.
  • Underhill also reports Lattimore has $500,000 bonuses for making the All-Pro team in each season.

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