NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Cam Newton


  • Falcons DC Dean Pees said he’s only shown “30 percent” of his defensive playbook this season but is unsure of when he’ll enable his players to his full system given it depends on certain matchups. (Michael Rothstein)
  • Pees mentioned that RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson has a formation as a free safety in his defense: “Haven’t seen it. Hope you don’t.” (Tori McElhaney)
  • Falcons OC Dave Ragone believes RB Mike Davis‘ contributions in pass protection are overlooked and has allowed them to be more productive in the passing game. (McElhaney)
  • The Falcons brought in four players for workouts on Tuesday including CB Shakur Brown, CB Isaiah Johnson, OT Rick Leonard, and P Dom Maggio. (Aaron Wilson)

Cam Newton

Panthers OC Joe Brady said QB Cam Newton is already bringing clear energy to the locker room. 

“I’m sure there is,” Brady said, via PanthersWire. “You feel his presence at all times, when he just walks in a room. And that’s something everybody’s kinda known here for years. You’re hearing it, they’re talking about it. You just know you feel his presence. I’m excited to be able to work with him, excited to see him on the football field.”

Brady said everything is being considered when asked about Newton’s potential to play in Week 10 and they will evaluate him “day-to-day” in practice. 

“Everything’s on the table right now,” Brady said. “We’ll kinda evaluate from a day-to-day standpoint, without getting into specifics. And we’ll see what today brings, kinda how things progress. Just be ready to rock on Sunday and see how things go.”

  • On Friday, Cam Newton said of rejoining the Panthers: “I feel like I’m still floating. I feel like I’m gonna say this a lot — it’s not about me.” (Joe Person)
  • Newton stressed that this is simply about winning games and not a ploy to sell tickets: “This ain’t no ploy, this ain’t about ticket sales or a Cinderella story. I’m here to win football games.” (Joe Person)
  • As for how close he is to being ready to play in an NFL game, Newton said: “It’s always mental, you think can conquer and do anything. But you don’t know until you’re actually in that situation.” (Albert Breer)
  • Newton was asked what went wrong that led to his release from the Panthers: “To hell with feelings. It will be the biggest right and wrong by winning games.’’ (David Newton)
  • Panthers’ GM Scott Fitterer said that Newton’s shoulder was in good condition during his physical with the team. (David Newton)
  • Fitterer was not willing to commit to Newton potentially playing for the Panthers beyond this season, saying: “We’re not there yet. He’s not Cam of 10 years ago, but he looks good.” (Newton)
  • Fitterer mentioned that the Panthers talked about different multi-year scenarios with Newton, but gave him more money this year on a one-year deal that he said “best fit us, as well as Cam at this time.” (Person)
  • Panthers OC Joe Brady said Friday that “everything is on the table” regarding Newton playing Sunday against the Cardinals. 
  • David Newton of ESPN notes that Cam Newton is expected to participate in Friday’s practice, and possibly have a “package or two” in Week 10, but the “target” for Newton is to start Week 11 against Washington.
  • As for Newton playing in Week 10, Rhule responded that it’s “not very likely,” but that could change based on practice on Saturday. (Joseph Person)
  • Newton called Sunday’s game against the Cardinals a “must win” game: “It’s time to win. We’ve got a big game coming up. As far as that goes, it’s a must win.” (David Newton)


  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule suggested OL Pat Elflein, back from a hamstring injury, would go to center to replace Matt Paradis: “When we signed Pat, he was a guy that we thought could help us at guard, and also play at center. So he’s a natural fit to go in and play at center.”
  • To replace Erving, Rhule said they would likely give OL Dennis Daley a shot at left tackle again after third-round OT Brady Christensen‘s struggles: “Dennis is so talented. Just trying to constantly urge Dennis to play with a little bit more grit and finish. He has all the talent to do that. I’m hoping that Dennis will emerge … and really take a step, along with Brady, as we fill that spot.”
  • Rhule said DE Brian Burns (ankle) will likely be a gameday decision in Week 10. (Darin Gantt)
  • The Carolina Panthers worked out linebackers Nate Hall and Josh Watson on Thursday, per Aaron Wilson.
  • Per the Athletic’s Joe Person, the Panthers don’t believe OL Cameron Erving‘s injury which put him on injured reserve is season-ending, meaning he’ll return at some point after missing three games. 
  • The Panthers hosted DE John Daka, DE Hercules Mata’afa, and G Patrick Omameh for workouts on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Panthers GM Scott Fitterer mentioned that their intention is to have Newton play: “The idea of bringing him here is to play.” 
  • Panthers DC Phil Snow said OLB Brian Burns (foot) is likely a game-time decision for Sunday’s game. (Joseph Person)

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