NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Seahawks, Washington


  • Per the Athletic’s Greg Auman, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians says G Aaron Stinnie will start in place of Alex Cappa this weekend against the Saints: “He’s more than ready to play.”
  • Arians noted RB Ronald Jones (quad) was fine late in the week before his injury tightened up Saturday. He’s uncertain if he’ll be back by next Sunday. (James Palmer)


From the first half of the season to the second, the Seahawks went from one of the most explosive passing offenses in the NFL to just ordinary. Teams started defending Seattle with two high safeties more often, but for whatever reason, QB Russell Wilson, HC Pete Carroll and OC Brian Schottenheimer were unable to ever really find answers, culminating in an upset loss to the Rams in the playoffs. 

“Teams did a great job game-planning against us, scheming up against us,” WR Tyler Lockett said via the Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar. “A lot of times, teams that we played just played defense a little differently than what we have seen on film. They just came out with a whole different game plan that we haven’t seen them run in games. That just comes with us this year being a passing team. Because we became a passing team it became easier for teams to try to scheme a little bit different.”

  • Carroll said looking back the Seahawks needed to run the ball to counter the looks they were getting from opposing defenses: “We needed to run the football more, with more commitment, to run them out of those fronts.” (John Boyle)
  • Going forward into 2021, Carroll didn’t seem to want to continue Seattle’s shift to a pass-heavy attack: “I know the fans aren’t really jacked about hearing that.” (Boyle)
  • Carroll added that regardless of the outcome he thought the Seahawks needed more rush attempts: “We have to run the ball better — not even better, we have to run it more.” (Dugar)
  • He did clarify he wasn’t trying to send the Seahawks offense back to the Stone Age: “That doesn’t mean we’re going to run the ball 50 times a game. It means we need to run the ball with direction and focus and style that allows us to dictate the game. I mean I just, frankly, I’d like to not play against 2-deep looks all season long next year.” (Curtis Crabtree)
  • Schottenheimer will be back in 2021, Carroll confirmed. (Bob Condotta)
  • Seahawks passing game coordinator and QB coach Dave Canales interviewed for the offensive coordinator job at Vanderbilt on Sunday. (Jeremy Fowler)
  • Carroll expressed a hearty interest in bringing back LB K.J. Wright in 2021: “He had a terrific season, maybe his best season. I’m hoping he’s coming back.” (Boyle)
  • He also added he’d like to see WR Phillip Dorsett and CB Quinton Dunbar back with the team next year. (Boyle)
  • Carroll would love for Seattle to keep CB Shaquill Griffin as well. (Boyle)
  • Seahawks S Jamal Adams won’t actually need surgery on his right shoulder, per Carroll. His left shoulder and fingers will still need to be operated on, though. (Brady Henderson)
  • Seahawks third-round DE Darrell Taylor didn’t play his entire rookie season but Carroll said the way he was practicing he might have played this week had Seattle won: “He’s going to be a big factor there’s no doubt.” (Condotta)
  • Seahawks DE Bruce Irvin had to have another knee surgery and will have a long return. He’s not under contract in Seattle in 2021. (Condotta)


  • Per Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, Washington HC Ron Rivera said he hasn’t spoken with owner Dan Snyder about this offseason yet and potentially hiring a general manager: “There’s more to this position than meets the eye. There’s a lot that’s encompassing … because there’s so much operational stuff to it. … It is a big task.”
  • Asked about the future of QB Alex Smith, Rivera said time will tell: “It’s going to be interesting. He actually came by and we had a great conversation. He’s going to take some time and think things through.” (Jhabvala)
  • Rivera acknowledged he “made a mistake” not having an open competition for the starting quarterback job in training camp. (JP Finlay)
  • Washington QB Taylor Heinicke is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason but says he’d like to be back in D.C.: “Whatever Washington wants to do that’s their choice but I would love to be here.” (Finlay)

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