NFC Notes: Derek Carr, Bryce Young, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons assistant HC Jerry Gray spoke about the team’s decision to draft CB Clark Phillips III, noting that Phillips has intangibles that can’t be taught by a coach.

“He reminds me a lot of those guys who may not have the measurables, but he has something you can’t teach,” Gray told Tori McElhenney of “A lot of people overlook that. They’ll say, ‘Oh, well he doesn’t hit this statute, so I may not even turn the film on.’ Well, I want to see if he’s a good football player. He showed me he was.”

“You have to be in position and you can see when he’s playing that he puts himself in the position to make those plays,” Gray said. “No. 2, he’s watched enough film to be in a position to make those plays. Then, No. 3, he has the courage to go do it. A lot of times the thing that separates the good ones from the great ones is the courage.”


Panthers S Xavier Woods has been impressed by QB Bryce Young through the early phase of their offseason program and thinks the rookie has a “silent swagger” about him. 

“Just the swagger,” Woods said, via “Just his persona. How he carries himself. Just not only in the weight room, but on the practice field, man. He got that silent swagger. You can definitely tell that he knows, that he’s top-tier. But he’s humble with it, man.”

Woods is confident Young can live up to his value as the No. 1 overall pick. 

“Being a first-round draft pick, it’s gonna come with a lot of expectations and whatnot. But I’m pretty sure he knows he can carry it—and just the way he carries himself, it shows.”


Saints HC Dennis Allen said the team’s visit from former Raiders HC Jon Gruden doesn’t signal a complete offensive overhaul. The team was looking to pick Gruden’s brain for tips that helped make QB Derek Carr successful under him.

Obviously, Jon’s a guy that has a lot of experience with Derek and Derek has had his most success under Jon Gruden,” Allen said, via ESPN. “And so, we felt like bringing him in, having a chance to sit down and visit with him as an offensive staff, with the quarterbacks and just getting some new thoughts and ideas of things we might be able to implement. I would say this, I would say, offensively for a long time that I’ve been here, we’ve been pretty effective. So, I don’t see us putting in a whole new offense or doing something dramatic. But if there’s a few ideas that we could take from that, we felt like that would be beneficial.”

Saints fourth-round QB Jake Haener said the added perspective from Gruden is beneficial and said that he also received praise from him on how he threw the ball.

They obviously wanted to bring him in to see what Derek does well and what he thought Derek did well, just to help them get a feel for him as a player, because obviously he’s a new person in the building and they want to do what Derek does well. I think that was the biggest thing, just getting a different perspective and a different mind,” Haener said. “Obviously it’s very interesting to hear from a guy that’s really successful and has been successful. I definitely got something out of it. He liked the way I threw the ball.”

Allen isn’t worried about any backlash from the team about bringing Gruden in.

No, look, you ask everybody that was involved and they thought it was really beneficial for our football team,” Allen said. “And look, we’re going to look at any avenue that we can to try to improve. So that was one area we thought, just bringing him in and having the opportunity to sit down and visit with him, would help us.

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