NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown admitted that there was a great deal of “uncertainty” regarding his situation last year. Brown says he’s grateful for his opportunity with the Buccaneers.

“Life last year was uncertain. A lot of uncertainty,” Brown said, via ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “Would I even get the chance to play football, being suspended? I always remember at that point last year where I was at to make sure I appreciate [this]. Having the right respect and being grateful that I’m at this point right here. I’ve got all my goals in front of me and an opportunity to do what I love. There’s a lot I can appreciate now.”

“I’ve just learned to appreciate the position I’m in. Keep the right perspective. And stay grateful. A.P.G. Appreciation – appreciate the opportunity I get to do what I love. Keeping the right perspective. Knowing it’s bigger than me. … And just being grateful. Grateful to do what I love…”

  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said TE O.J. Howard is still recovering from his Achilles injury: “He’s getting back, but he’s not there yet. He had a chance to make a couple of grimy catches in the end zone and didn’t come up with them. I expect him to make those. He’s still catching up to the speed of it, the physicality of it.” (Greg Auman)


Facing a critical offseason, Panthers former second-round OT Greg Little made it a point to both read more this offseason to sharpen his mind and change his diet to reshape his body. Little entered camp with a much better perspective and 12 pounds lighter but it remains to be seen if it will make a difference to his chances of making the roster. 

“I think he’s progressing. I think he’s way further ahead than he was in the spring. He’s got stiff competition ahead of him. But I think Greg’s showing progress,” Panthers HC Matt Rhule said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “I think Greg’s had a good camp so far. I think Cam Erving’s just really done a nice job so far.”

  • Rhule noted on Monday Erving has an injured shoulder. (Person)


  • Assessing the various position battles on the roster, ESPN’s Mike Triplett writes that QB Jameis Winston has had the higher highs but neither he nor QB Taysom Hill has done enough to seize the job yet. 
  • Triplett adds Winston and Hill have both done a good job of avoiding turnovers. At the current trajectory each are showing, Triplett thinks Winston would get the starting nod. 
  • Triplett gives the early edge to the fourth and fifth receiver spots to Chris Hogan and Lil’Jordan Humphrey but adds both roster spots are still pretty open. 
  • At No. 2 cornerback, Saints CB Patrick Robinson appears to be in the lead to start, with veterans Ken Crawley and Prince Amukamara and third-round CB Paulson Adebo the other competitors. 
  • Second-year Saints P Blake Gillikin seems pretty locked in at his position, per Triplett. 
  • Nick Underhill believes Saints K Wil Lutz will stay on the active roster while he recovers from core muscle surgery.
  • Saints WR Michael Thomas appeared to hit back on Twitter at some of the recent reports on how he handled his ankle recovery and his relationship with the team, saying: “They tried to damage your reputation. You saved theirs by not telling your side of the story.” 
  • Saints HC Sean Payton declined to discuss Thomas’ tweets: “I don’t want to have a press conference based on social media.” (Luke Johnson)

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