NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

  • ESPN’s Jenna Laine notes the impact of QB Tom Brady is already being seen on the offense. There are still deep shots in HC Bruce Arians‘ aggressive offense but they seem to be more selective and the intermediate and screen passing game is more robust. 
  • Several Buccaneers pass-catchers have also remarked on Brady’s accuracy. Laine notes the Patriots averaged 5.6 yards after the catch per reception from 2001-2019 which was second-best in the NFL, while Tampa Bay’s 4.52 YAC per reception was second-worst over the past five years. 
  • Per the Athletic’s Greg Auman, Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin expressed an interest in staying in Tampa Bay beyond the final year of his rookie deal in 2020: “I think that would be really dope. Me and Mike [Evans] have grown so much over the last couple of years. … Keeping that intact would definitely be beneficial for all of us.” 
  • However, Godwin said extensions talks “haven’t gotten too far” and his biggest focus is Week 1 against the Saints. (Auman)
  • Buccaneers fifth-round WR Tyler Johnson was sidelined again from practice Monday with an injury. (Auman)
  • Arians informed reporters Buccaneers LB Kevin Minter and OLB Anthony Nelson have secured the top backup spots at their positions. The rest will likely come down to special teams. (Auman)
  • Buccaneers UDFA CB Parnell Motley had two more interceptions and Arians said he’s making himself hard to ignore: “You keep making plays every single day, he’s going to get a job.” (Rick Stroud)
  • Buccaneers worked WR Greg Dortch, WR Shelton Gibson and WR Spencer Schnell. (Mike Jones)

Falcons

Panthers

  • Per the Athletic’s Joe Person, Panthers HC Matt Rhule has been impressed by S Juston Burris so far: “We signed (him) and I thought he was going to be good, but I just love his work ethic and attention to detail. He’s exactly the type of guy that I want to build this thing around. He’s tough, fast, explosive, versatile.”
  • Rhule also mentioned RB Mike Davis, TE Chris Manhertz, WR Brandon Zylstra, DT Zach Kerr and FB Alex Armah as players he’s been impressed with. 
  • Person notes Panthers LB Jermaine Carter hasn’t seized the opportunity to establish himself as a starter. Panthers second-round S Jeremy Chinn has put his versatility on display and Rhule highlighted camp signing LB Adarius Taylor: “He’s a true pro’s pro. He could start for us. He’s a really good player and fits us well.”
  • Despite some action with the first team, Person doesn’t expect Panthers CB T.J. Green to unseat Eli Apple or Donte Jackson for a starting spot. 
  • Panthers UDFA P Joe Charlton will still get the first crack at the starting job. But a few ugly shanks in practice prompted the team to bring in K/P Kaare Vedvik as competition. 

Saints

  • Per NFL Media, Saints HC Sean Payton said the team decided to cut veteran LB Nigel Bradham on Monday to give reps to other, younger players: “It was a decision we made just based on what we’ve seen so far. We’re going to give some of these younger guys more work.”
  • The Athletic’s Jeff Duncan notes Saints first-round OL Cesar Ruiz saw significant reps at center during team drills for the first time this weekend. Either Ruiz or OL Erik McCoy will start at center with the other taking right guard. 
  • Duncan adds it looks like third-round LB Zack Baun has locked up the starting strongside linebacker position. 
  • Ruiz was at center again on Monday. (Duncan)
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