NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Rams


Falcons WR Russell Gage said he wants to be on the “same page” with QB Matt Ryan and new HC Arthur Smith.

“Being on the same page as Matt [Ryan] and understanding what Arthur wants is big,” said Gage, via the team’s official site. “Those things come hand in hand. When you get to playing faster, it’s all because you are more comfortable, and you know, this is what they want out of me.”

As for his increased role during the 2019 season, Gage said he focused on playing with a clear mind and making sure he was quick off the line of scrimmage. 

“I cleared my mind more and just ran,” said Gage. “I came off the ball as fast as I could and whatever happens, happens. I think that’s the best way to play. It’s the best way to play mistake free as well.”

Gage explained that feeling more confident in his potential is something that helped propel his career thus far. 

“Something that really boosts my confidence is understanding what I could become. Understanding the sky is the limit for me,” said Gage. “I know I have so much more to do, so much more I can do, and so much more to prove. I think that for me really motivates me, gives me confidence, and pushes me to keep raising the bar.”


Panthers WR Robby Anderson said Sam Darnold has better energy about him compared to their time together with the Jets in 2018-2019. 

“I saw like a new energy out of him, a glowing charisma that I didn’t really see in New York,” said Anderson, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “You know when a person, you can see a glow in them, their energy, an aura — I can see that when I walked into the building and just being around him.”

Anderson feels Panthers HC Matt Rhule‘s system is “more graspable” than what he experienced in New York under Adam Gase

“The New York system was a little more complex and had a lot of nuances and things like that that was more difficult for everybody, not just him or me,” Anderson said. “I think this system is a little more graspable.”


In recent media availability, Rams HC Sean McVay likes what he sees from “mature rookie” Jake Funk so far throughout Los Angeles offseason activities.

He’s a mature rookie. I think he’s really taken to (RBs coach) Thomas Brown. What a great job Thomas does as a coach really helping these guys grow,” McVay said. “And because you get a little bit of extra time with rookies with some of the meetings and some of the things we added over the months these guys have been with us, you’ve really seen his growth, his comfort level (rise).

Funk will look to make his mark initially on special teams, behind veteran RB’s Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson.

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