Buccaneers OLB Shaq Barrett said the expectations for both him and the team are sky-high.
“As a team, just trying to put the work in so we can be able to end up in the same position we were the last year,” Barrett said, via NFL.com. “Me personally, I’m trying to do something that’s never been done as a defensive player. I want to win MVP, I want to win Defensive Player of the Year, like, I’m hungry for everything. Every accolade, every award, individually and as a team. I’m expecting real big things from myself this year.”
- Liz Mullen reports Buccaneers WR Scotty Miller has hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent.
New Panthers DE Morgan Fox agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract this offseason after playing on a minimum contract last year.
“It kind of made me focus a little bit more and intrinsically [say], ‘Hey, you can do this and if you want to stay in this league, you’re going to have to bet on yourself and win,‘” Fox tells Adam Beasley of PFN. “This was a big motivating factor for me. It helped put another chip on my shoulder, ‘Hey, people don’t really believe in you and they don’t think you’re a good player and you’re worth it.’ It helped me develop a chip on my shoulder to rise to the moment of betting on myself.”
Fox added that he likes the direction of the Panthers and the kind of players they’ve been bringing in since Matt Rhule arrived in Carolina.
“There are so many variables that make players and teams good,” Fox said. “I definitely believe the front office and the coaches have brought together a team of very talented individuals who I think are going to blow up on the scene and definitely make a name for themselves as well as make a name for the team. I think the team is going to come together as a unit and really surprise a lot of people.”
Saints LB Zack Baun said he is in a great place heading into the 2020 season.
“I’d say the difference between this year and last year is I’m just way more comfortable,” Baun said, via Saints.com. “Comfortable with the playbook. Comfortable – I know everybody. I know all the coaches. I know I’m just coming into this season way more comfortable and way more confident.”
Saints DC Dennis Allen added Baun has a lot to prove after an injury-heavy 2020 season.
“Certainly there were some things that he was able to do last year that gave us confidence he was ready to take the next step,” Allen said. “Zack really got hurt last year with the hamstring in training camp and we all knew there was going to be a development (curve) from him in terms of being an off-the-ball linebacker and last year we kind of played him at Sam and Mike off the ball. Well, he lost a week or 10 days of opportunities in terms of reps with an injury last year. That development was slowed and once you get into the regular season it’s hard to find all those reps to continue develop guys. Where you saw him have success was as an off-the-ball linebacker at Sam, what he had done in college. But the things that we ask the middle linebacker to do in terms of responsibility and the things we ask the Sam linebacker to do in terms of responsibility are very similar.”