NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians mentioned CBs Pierre Desir and Rashard Robinson when asked about the depth of the cornerback position with two starters out. Both players are currently on the practice squad. “We brought a couple guys in in the last couple of weeks that have experience, long and tall.” (Greg Auman)
  • Arians mentioned WR Scotty Miller has severe turf toe which will keep him out a while. (Jenna Laine)


Falcons first-round TE Kyle Pitts didn’t receive a target through the first three quarters of Sunday’s game against the Giants. However, he was able to come up with two fourth-quarter catches and a pass interference call that proved to be pivotal in the team’s victory over the Giants.

It just something that we practice all week,” Pitts said, via “Competitive excellence. Whenever your number is called, being able to make a play. I just waited until the opportunity came my way and made something of it.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan said that this was a hard-fought win and nothing came easy. Ryan also points out that this can serve as a learning lesson to the team’s younger players.

It was a grind most of the day,” Ryan said. “It was a great learning lesson for a lot of our young players. Sometimes in this league, that’s the way it is and you have to find a way to get the job done. We battled and when it was time we stepped up and made the plays we had to make,” Ryan said. “Those last two drives were clutch and really good for us (with) a lot of different people making plays in those situations, which is going to bode well for us moving forward.”


The Panthers’ trade of TE Dan Arnold clears up a bigger opportunity for third-round TE Tommy Tremble. The rookie saw his biggest role to date in Thursday’s win against the Texans, rushing for a touchdown and catching another long pass. He was one of Rhule’s favorite picks in this past draft as a supremely athletic but supremely raw player. 

“Tommy Tremble for me, when we would talk about the draft, he was like this year’s Jeremy Chinn — a guy we thought could do a lot of different things,” Rhule said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “After the draft, we got more phone calls from other teams’ tight end coaches and special teams coordinators to our guys about Tommy.”

“When we got him, I know a lot of people said, well, he’s kind of a blocker, not much of a pass-catcher. When you’re evaluating people, you’re not really looking at stats. You’re looking at plays on tape. And I thought he was going to be this tremendous pass-catcher,” Rhule added. “Tommy’s a guy that’s doing everything he can to be good. And he’s also got things he’s gotta work on.”


Saints HC Sean Payton utilized QB Taysom Hill as a runner to help salt away Week 3’s road win at New England, as he added another dynamic the defense had to account for.

Later in the game like that, you’re going to get a loaded box,” Payton said via “There’s one way to lighten it a little bit, remove somebody, then directly run it with your quarterback.

The Saints ran the ball 10 times on a 13 play drive which helped ice the game away. Those are the type of drives that can give an offense momentum that rolls into the following week(s).

That’s a tough deal in the NFL,” Hill said. “When you’ve got these heavy defensive fronts and you can put together a drive like that, … and you can go and score? Man. That creates a lot of energy, a lot of momentum for us as a team, as an offense. That was a great drive.”

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