NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady and Saints QB Drew Brees are redefining much of the conventional thinking about how long quarterbacks can play. Brady will turn 43 before the start of the season and has said he wants to play until he’s 45. But the longer Brady plays, the more scrutiny increases on signs that his body is aging, like decreasing arm strength. Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon played until he was 44 and said he absolutely experienced a loss of arm strength, especially later in the season. 

“You saw Tom’s arm that same way at the end of last year,” Moon said in an interview with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd via MassLive.com’s Chris Mason. “It’s not a huge deterioration to where he can’t throw certain routes, but there will be times when it gets later into the year you’re going to see some of that take its place. He has great talent around him [in Tampa Bay], which is great, and he doesn’t have to do as much on that football team, which will be good for him at this stage of his career. So I still think he’s gonna have success because of those reasons, but he’s not the same quarterback he was three or four years ago.”

Falcons

When asked about new RB Todd Gurley, Falcons OC Dirk Koetter said “nobody knows” how much “juice” he has left, but he’s excited for the 2020 season. 

Well, nobody knows the answer to the juice left in the tank question. Nobody knows that,” said Koetter, via the team’s official site. “He’s 25 years old and just from talking to him, for a guy who’s accomplished what he’s accomplished, you love his approach. You love his attitude. I mean, he’s excited to play. He’s excited to come back and play in front of these fans in Georgia.”

Koetter believes Gurley could still be considered “the best back in the game” when healthy.

When healthy, you could argue he’s the best back in the game. Yeah, he’s had down years as far as the number of touches the last couple of years, but none of us really know — if you’re not there, if you’re not on the inside, you don’t really know all the ins and outs of that. Todd is telling us that he’s good to go and that he’s healthy. When you watch his tape from last year, he looks as good as ever. The question will just be: How often can he do? How consistently can he do it?

Saints

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady and Saints QB Drew Brees are redefining much of the conventional thinking about how long quarterbacks can play. Brady will turn 43 before the start of the season and Brees is entering possibly his last season at age 41. But the past few seasons, there have been some questions about if Brees’ arm is starting to fail him. Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon played until he was 44 and said he absolutely experienced a loss of arm strength, especially later in the season. 

“I can see — especially later in the season, and you can see this with Drew Brees and some of the other quarterbacks as well — their arms don’t have the same pop at the end of the season that they had early in the year,” Moon said in an interview with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd via MassLive.com’s Chris Mason. “That has to do with their age, and that’s something I started to see in my career when I got older, that I didn’t have that same pop in my arm. A lot of it has to do with your legs because you’ve just become fatigued over the course of the whole season.”

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