NFC Notes: Buccaneers, James Conner, Cardinals, Panthers, Joe Brady



Cardinals RB James Conner had high praise for their offensive line opening up running lanes for him. 

“Everything starts up front,” Conner said, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. “Coming here, they talked about how they upgraded the offensive line and my man Rodney (center Rodney Hudson) has been holding it down up front. Just the whole offensive line. It starts with him, but there’s been (running) lanes for me, there’s been openings in the end zone.”

As for his impending free-agent status this offseason, Conner said he’s eager to re-sign with the Cardinals and compete for a Super Bowl. 

“Man, I want to win a Super Bowl here,” Conner said. “I love the weather and everything this team has going and my teammates out here and the coaching staff. I don’t see why not, why I wouldn’t want to be here. We have all the resources and everything we need to be successful.”

Conner added that he’s not focused on his contract situation and will pick things up after the season. 

“We’re going to take it one week at a time first. We’ve got a big game against Chicago coming up. But after the season, I’ve got a lot of love for the Cardinals, so we’ll see what happens.”

Regarding his time as a free agent last offseason, Conner said that his options were limited before landing in Arizona. 

“My options were limited,” Conner said. 

Conner said that he feels rejuvenated with the Cardinals and is fully healthy after dealing with injuries in previous years. 

“Absolutely,” Conner said. “I feel healthy, I feel brand new. I think that’s my third time saying that, so I must mean it.”


  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said firing former OC Joe Brady was the necessary move: “He’s done a lot to get us moving in the right direction. But this was something I felt from a football perspective had to be done.” (David Newton)
  • Rhule added he originally hired Brady to be “bold and step outside his comfort zone” and doesn’t think it was a mistake. (Joe Person
  • Rhule said he talks with owner David Tepper but this wasn’t his decision: “Dave’s been very supportive.” (Kimberley Martin)
  • Rhule said QB Cam Newton should start this week but he doesn’t know if QB P.J. Walker will also have a role. (Josina Anderson)

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