NFC Notes: Chris Godwin, Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints

Buccaneers

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady said he would take getting hit in the head over taking one in the knee “a million times out of a million.” 

I’ve seen that hit too many times where a defenseless pass catcher is in the process of catching the ball and he’s hit by the defender,” Brady said, via Tampa Bay Times. “And a lot of defenders would say, ‘Well, we can’t hit him in the head anymore.’ Well, the point is, you can’t hit anybody in the head anymore. You can’t hit anyone in the knees anymore except for receivers. Which doesn’t make any sense to me. You can’t hit a defensive lineman in the knees, you can’t hit a punter in the knees, you can’t hit a quarterback in the knees, you can’t hit a DB in the knees except for allowing hits on defenseless receivers. It needs to be addressed and really thought out. It really impacts guys’ careers and (Godwin), I know he’ll overcome it. It’s a tough rehab. You tear your ACL, that’s a life-long injury. You know? And I’m sure almost every pass catcher in the NFL would prefer a hit to the head over a hit to the knees. I certainly would. I’d take that a million out of a million.

Brady said the loss to players such as WR Chris Godwin, WR Mike Evans, RB Leonard Fournette, and others, was worse than the loss on the field.

Everyone hates to see (Godwin) go down so there’s an emotional aspect to that, too, that we’ve all got to deal with knowing that one of our most dedicated guys is not going to be on the field with us for the rest of the year, which is tough,” he said. “And he’s got a tough road to overcome and I know he will because that’s the type of guy he is. But obviously, our hearts are with him. We love him. There’s nothing more we love than to have him out there with us. Tough for everyone to swallow. It’s a tough injury. It’s part of the sport, which makes it difficult. I know every sport has its challenges with physical injuries. Football is a demolition derby.

  • SI’s Albert Breer speculates that Godwin’s time in Tampa Bay is likely done following his ACL injury. Breer adds Godwin unsurprisingly will be looking for a “life-changing second contract.”
  • Breer mentions the Buccaneers could look at current Rams WR Odell Beckham, Jr., who has a personal relationship with QB Tom Brady, to replace Godwin next year as his contract is set to expire after this season.

Panthers

Panthers HC Matt Rhule said he doesn’t blame QB Cam Newton for the failed 4th-and-1 on Sunday after getting a chance to watch the film, backtracking on his comments immediately after the game. 

“I think when you go back and look at it, you can see the free safety was kinda rockin’ down a little bit. You can see some of the thought process that Cam had,” Rhule said, via Panthers Wire. “So, I can see some of what got him. Obviously, we’re calling that play to run the quarterback. That being said, I’m sure Jeff [Nixon] would be the first guy to wish we called something else.”

Saints

Saints DC Dennis Allen said the team placed an emphasis on putting pressure on Bucs QB Tom Brady with a four-man front, dropping seven in coverage.

I don’t know that we’re doing anything crazy or anything that’s unbelievable,” Allen said, via SI’s Albert Breer. “I think our guys just played well against these guys. Look, you have to get after Tom with a four-man rush. If you have to bring more than four to get pressure on him, you’re gonna struggle. We tried to be patient with the run game, and play a lot of split-safety and keep guys over the top and try to eliminate the explosive passes as much as we can and make him run the ball. And that’s kinda been the plan against him. And when we make him go the long, hard way, we’ve been fortunate enough that we end up creating some takeaways and getting off the field that way.

Allen said he expected a dominant performance from DE Cameron Jordan, who was out for 10 days while on the Covid-19 reserve list.

Anytime you have a great player like that and they miss time, especially when it’s something that they can’t control, they kind of have that motivation — they just want to go back out there and play,” Allen said. “Look, I’m not surprised that he played as well as he did. Honestly, I kinda expected it.

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