NFC Notes: Desmond Ridder, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons QB Desmond Ridder appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football and said that the backfield will be explosive and help him make plays downfield.

“As an offense, you look for explosive plays, and get ’em any way you can, whether that’s to Drake (London), whether that’s to Kyle (Pitts), a guy like Jonnu (Smith), Mack Hollins, it doesn’t matter,” Ridder said, via “But then when you can just hand the ball off and give it to a guy like Tyler Allgeier or Bijan or C.P. (Cordarrelle Patterson) and let them go, it just makes my job a lot easier. So when they drafted Bijan, I just knew that this offense has something to be explosive. We’re able to go out there, and whether it’s the run game, pass game, play-action, doesn’t matter, we think that we’re gonna be pretty explosive.”

“However that comes, we just want to be explosive,” Ridder added. “Whether it’s in the run game, the passing game, whatever it may be, obviously this is a game where you got to put points up on the board, and that’s something that we want to do as an offense, all the while taking care of the ball, controlling the game, just doing what you have to do to go out there and win. So from the Falcons offense, we can just go out there, just play our hardest, and expect to be explosive.”


Panthers OL coach James Campen thinks having the same group of offensive linemen for a second consecutive year will be beneficial for their offense. 

“The one advantage going into the second year with the same group, you’re not having to teach the new drills and all that again, so they can kind of go into things a lot quicker,” Campen said, via Augusta Stone of the team’s official site. “As a group, we’re making bigger strides early. And I think that obviously helps the new guys coming in because now they can see it being done the correct way. Now it’s all refining.”

Campen had high praise of OT Ikem Ekwonu and feels he’s “way ahead” of where he was at this point last year. 

He is so far ahead of where he was last year, and that’s a testament to him,” Campen said. “He’d done work in the offseason before coming back. … He’s sitting on the line. He’s fluid. He’s asking for change-up things to do with his hands. He’s way ahead of where he was last year.”

Campen is eager to see how their offensive line rotation works out with players like third-year G Deonte Brown and undrafted linemen Nash Jensen, J.D. DiRenzo, and Ricky Lee.

“There’s a lot of good ballplayers right there in the middle,” Campen said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to see how it shakes it because they’re all competitive. They’re all tough… (The rookies) are studying together in the hotel across the street, and it’s evident because when you come in – we have rookie meetings and extra time with them (that) we’re allowed to – they’re answering questions. As a coach, you really like that they’re self-starters, self-motivated. Competition is going to be very, very high this year.”


  • Saints QB coach Ronald Curry was selected to participate in this week’s Coach Accelerator program at the May NFL owners meetings. The program is intended to increase exposure between owners and executives and diverse coaching talent with the goal of increasing the number of minority head coaching hires. 

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