NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

The 2020 season will present a whole new set of challenges for coaches tasked with operating during a pandemic. Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians revealed he’s thought about pre-emptively quarantining one of his quarterbacks in order to make sure he’s not stuck without a passer for two weeks in the event of a positive test. 

“Yeah, that’s one of the things I’ve been pondering the last two or three weeks as we set the protocols,” Arians said on former NFL DE Chris Long’s podcast. “From what I’m understanding is if you test positive, you get quarantined for two weeks. Now, if you have no symptoms, I don’t know what that means. Is it a false one? There’s so much to learn and still explore with this thing, but I’ve thought about keeping the third quarterback on the roster out of the room. We have two guys that have been in our system, really sharp. So, I might have to quarantine a quarterback just in case of a quarantine.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes the Buccaneers plan to bring coaches back to their team facility next Monday, June 15. 
  • Over The Cap’s Nick Korte lists Buccaneers CB Carlton Davis, S Jordan Whitehead and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting as players who are helped by the new CBA’s PPE rules and are on track to get raises in their fourth season. 

Panthers

After years of bouncing around the league, Panthers S Tre Boston finally got his reward with a three-year, $18 million deal this offseason. Boston’s play has been solid for the past few seasons but he has never been able to get more than a one-year deal and has had to wait until the summer to sign. It’s hard not to connect the dots to Boston’s outspoken nature and his support of police brutality protests in the NFL in 2016, as he was somewhat surprisingly released after that season.

Boston said back then the Panthers higher-ups under former owner Jerry Richardson discouraged him and other players from speaking about the issue as Colin Kaepernick and others kneeled in protest. Now, it’s the opposite, as Panthers owner David Tepper has actively encouraged his players to make their voices heard in the community. 

“You know, it’s not like that anymore. I’ve been assured, when I first came back, that it wasn’t like that anymore,” Boston said via NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. “I’ve had phone calls with owners and our coaches now, who have called me and told me how much they appreciate what I’m doing, and that they would love to help. Tepper calling me and telling me how much he appreciates that I was out there with the guys. It’s a 180 from what we used to be. When I was thinking about coming back, I wanted to know — did I have the stability in my job to be who I am as a man, as a black man, as a very intelligent University of North Carolina alum? They assured me that they believed in everything I believed in, I was allowed to be myself, and I was allowed to stand up for things that were right.”

Saints

One of the quirks of this offseason’s quarterback carousel was how the supply outpaced the demand for once. In any other year, Saints QB Jameis Winston‘s resume as a former No. 1 overall pick would have put him in high demand. He led the NFL in passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns, but 30 interceptions caused him to humble himself and take a backup role in New Orleans. Winston’s goal is to make the most of his next chance to prove himself, though. 

“My entire life, I’ve been a winner,” Winston said via Bleacher Report’s Ty Dunne. “Little League football. Middle school. High school. College. Obviously, the NFL is a little more difficult. But I’ve been a winner. I don’t want to be viewed as a loser. It’s going to come. It’s going to happen. This is something I’ve been fighting for my entire life. Building up to this. If people think I’m just going to lay down and give up because of a few losing seasons, that’s never going to be the case.”

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