NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints



Buccaneers QB Tom Brady said he is adjusting well to Tampa Bay’s system and has made some changes to his stance in shotgun formations.

“I’m liking the square stance,” Brady said, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “I feel like it’s just a more natural, relaxed position — almost like you’re getting ready to field a ground ball . . . Then I don’t have to do much adjustment post-snap — just got to catch the snap, pivot my body, and I feel like I’m in a good position to throw.”

Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said he’s been working with QBs coach Clyde Christensen on his mechanics in the shotgun with further focus on fundamentals. 

We take our quarterbacks to what I call the ‘driving range’ every day, and they’re working on fundamentals just like every other position for 20 [to] 30 minutes,” Arians said. “You try new things and see how it feels to you rhythm-wise. This one felt pretty good and he’s worked really hard at it.”

Brady reiterated that he feels the Buccaneers are improving each week. 

“I think we’re improving every week, which has been really fun for me to see,” Brady said. “I just want us to continue to improve. The only thing that really gets me excited is winning games.”


  • Per Myles Simmons of the team website, Panthers HC Matt Rhule said the plan is for RB Christian McCaffrey to practice this week and the goal is for him to play in Week 9 against the Chiefs: “He looks good, it just comes down to the doctors and trainers.”
  • Rhule noted McCaffrey’s return doesn’t mean the end of RB Mike Davis as a piece of the offense, as he, McCaffrey and WR Curtis Samuel can all play either receiver or running back: “The door is open to be creative with all those guys.” (David Newton)


  • Per Nick Underhill, Saints DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson discussed briefly the situation with WR Michael Thomas, who was benched a couple of weeks ago for punching him in practice: “I can’t wait for him to get back. … I’m not speaking on that situation. I see him every day. We’re good.”
  • Gardner-Johnson denied spitting on Bears WR Javon Wims, who sucker-punched the Saints defender several plays after he grabbed his mouthpiece: “It wasn’t no incident. We won the game. It’s a lot of he said, he said out there. Nothing happened. Nobody was spit on.” (Katherine Terrell)
  • Saints HC Sean Payton said new LB Kwon Alexander will compete with LB Alex Anzalone for playing time on the weak side. He likely won’t be onboarded in time to play this week against the Buccaneers. (Mike Triplett)
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