NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints


  • According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Buccaneers WR Justin Watson will miss four months after having knee surgery.
  • Adam Caplan reports Watson’s surgery was to his patella tendon.
  • While Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard avoided the PUP list to start training camp, he’s not quite ready to practice yet after tearing his Achilles last year. (Rick Stroud)
  • Tampa Bay excused S Raven Greene from practice for personal reasons on Sunday, crosstraining CB Ross Cockrell with the safeties to help fill the void. (Greg Auman)
  • Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette is still mulling his vaccination decision despite what he tweeted earlier this weekend: “The biggest thing is the coaches respect our decision. We’re men. He said he’s with us, whatever we want to do. Just don’t get the team sick.” (Stroud)


Falcons TE Kyle Pitts recently discussed with USA Today Sports’s Jori Epstein the nuances of taking his game to the next level. 

Pitts’ agent, David Mulugheta, said that the rookie was picking the minds of veteran defensive backs.

“Kyle’s out here speaking to some of the safeties and trying to figure out, ‘Hey, when you’re covering tight ends, how do they make it difficult for you?’” Mulugheta said via FalconsWire. “What are they doing to make it difficult for you? I saw Kyle talking to (Seahawks safety) Quandre Diggs and (Bengals safety) Jessie Bates and those guys and (Washington safety) Landon Collins.”

Fellow Mulugheta client and TE Eric Ebron said that Pitts needs to realize his potential and fully utilize his abilities.

Really trying to get him to understand how explosive he could be really be and how dynamic he could be, because a lot of people in college bank on your natural gifts,” Ebron told USA TODAY Sports.


Saints OL Erik McCoy has proven himself capable at both center and guard, but last year there was a competition with incoming first-round OL Cesar Ruiz to see which one would play which. While New Orleans initially envisioned Ruiz manning the center spot, it didn’t play out that way in 2020 and now McCoy enters 2021 with what looks like an iron grip on the center position. 

“I would say it’s a little more sorted out. but I mean in this league, especially on this team, you have to be versatile and you have to be ready to change positions at any moment,” McCoy said via the Athletic’s Katherine Terrell. “So … I’ve been focusing on center more but I’m still definitely tuned into guard, tuned into the calls, tuned into the technique, just in case there’s a spur of the moment thing or we get in camp and things just need to switch up.”

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