NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Marcus Mariota, Falcons, Panthers


While he admits the team is sad to see Bruce Arians move on as head coach, Buccaneers DT Vita Vea spoke for the locker room and said that the team is happy to have former DC Todd Bowles as his replacement

“With Bowles, he’s such a good guy, a cool guy on and off the field,” Vea said, via Greg Auman of “We’ve been with him for the past three years, so it’s not like you’re getting a new guy. So I think to a lot of us, he’s still coach Bowles to us. Like when we came in today, our first time seeing him, we still congratulated him for being our head coach now. So it’s pretty cool to see that. Bittersweet about him and BA, but we move on. Happy to have coach Bowles as our head coach.”


There’s a strong chance the Falcons will be back in the market for a quarterback next year given the investments they’ve made in Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder are relatively minimal for the position. Mariota has an out in his contract and Ridder was only a third-round pick. But there’s also a chance Mariota can rekindle his career like Ryan Tannehill did when he pushed him out in Tennessee in 2019. 

“If we ever had to go back to Marcus that year, and [Mike] Vrabel said it to me at one point, I think he would’ve played well,” Falcons HC Arthur Smith, who was the Titans’ offensive coordinator then, said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “There were some tough lessons learned, he’d had some really good moments at certain points of his career, we certainly hadn’t been stable around him, if you go back. And I’d been with him the whole time, a lot of coaches in and out, there were a lot of assistants changing, ’16, ’17, ’18, when he was the full-time starter.

“And he led us to a playoff win in ’17 in Kansas City. I think the effect of everything, where he was at, he’s in a completely different place now. Just the way he sees that position, the way he sees that job, I think we’re going to get the best version of him. Even getting to sit behind Derek Carr, he sees things a lot different than he did at that point of his life in 2019.”


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