NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints



Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said Tom Brady has already taken control of the locker room and is working toward changing the culture in Tampa Bay. 

We got a great locker room, but to now get a guy that’s been there, done it, six times, (he’s) the G.O.A.T,?” Arians said via Henry McKenna of PatriotsWire. “When he talks, they listen. It’s so different than a coach. I think for us as coaches, there has to be a bond between the coach and those guys so that you give them ownership. You ask them questions. How do you want to do things? So if they think they have a big hand in it, they send a message to the rest of the guys. They send your message to the rest of the guys. With Tom, it’s been fantastic.”

Arians is hopeful that Brady can have the same impact as when Peyton Manning joined the Broncos from the Indianapolis Colts. 

The way (Manning) commanded the room and the team was amazing,” Arians said. “What he asked those guys to do. I’m sure Tom Brady has a lot of the same things. Just the little bit I’ve been around him so far, it’s going to be the same way.”


  • According to the Athletic’s Joe Person, Panthers HC Matt Rhule has only met 20 of the 90 players on Carolina’s roster, illustrating some of the challenges he faces as a new coach during the pandemic. 
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport confirms the Panthers offered retired LB Luke Kuechly a position as a pro scout and Rapoport says it seems likely he’ll take the job. 
  • Regarding Kuechly, Rhule didn’t confirm anything except that they’d offered him the position: “I think it’s great if it works out. … If there’s someone that was built for that, it’s Luke Kuechly.” (Person)
  • Rhule told reporters the Panthers had their sights set on CB Eli Apple for a while before he eventually signed with Carolina: “He has elite, elite traits. … Our job is to put it all together with him.” (Myles Simmons)


Saints’ new veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders believes HC Sean Payton‘s offense was the perfect system for him to join. 

To be back in a pass-happy offense and spreading the ball around with a Hall of Fame quarterback is wide receiver heaven for me,” said Sanders, via Katherine Terrell of The Athletic. “I’m excited about the whole opportunity. I’m prepared for it, ready for it and I’m looking forward to getting out there and working.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that a season with limited or zero fan attendance could hurt the home field advantage teams like the Saints have traditionally had. 
  • According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, had Saints QB Drew Brees decided to retire this offseason there was mutual interest between New Orleans and QB Tom Brady.
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