NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Falcons

Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank thinks that interim HC Raheem Morris taking over is a good thing, saying his firing of HC Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff was due to “lack of winning.”

“He understands our systems which helps,” Blank said, via Kelsey Conway of AtlantaFalcons.com. “He has the right kind of enthusiasm to lead the players in a positive way. He’s worked with our receivers; he understands that side of the ball well. He’s been a defensive coordinator. He’s very positive, he’s ready to go. I know we made the right choice with Raheem and we’ll see where he takes us. The players will definitely be supportive of him. If Raheem ends up 11-0, he’s certainly going to be a candidate. I think it’s to Raheem’s advantage, I know his aspirations long-term is to be a head coach again. He’s learned a lot since his Tampa Bay days, he’s learned a lot with us. I think with 11 games he’ll have a chance to show his own capabilities and I think he’s looking forward to doing that.”

  • Morris said he and DC Jeff Ulbrich will continue to split the defensive play-calling duties like before. (Tori McElhaney)
  • Morris told reporters he fired ST coordinator Ben Kotwica and replaced him with RB coach Bernie Parmalee because he wanted to see more energy in that area. (Jason Butt)

Panthers

Entering free agency this past offseason, Panthers WR Robby Anderson had been given the label of a deep threat. That’s about all the Jets used him for before letting him walk. However, Panthers HC Matt Rhule and Joe Brady saw the potential for more and so far Anderson has delivered in a big way in 2020. He’s producing and playing like a No. 1 wide receiver, leading the Panthers with 36 catches for 489 yards and racking those numbers short, deep, intermediate and even in contested situations. 

“I think it was always in him. I just think maybe (it was) the systems that he was in,” Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “You know how this league works: When you’re labeled one way, that travels with you. But all you ask for is an opportunity to do different things. He’s been doing different things for us and he’s been having some success. So we’re all happy for him.”

  • The Panthers announced they have entered the NFL’s new intensive protocol after the Falcons, their opponent this past Sunday, placed DE Marlon Davidson on the COVID-19 list. 
  • While in the intensive protocol, the Panthers will have mandatory point of care COVID-19 tests, will meet virtually and have mandatory use of PPE during practice. The Vikings did something similar after playing against the Titans before their outbreak. (Tom Pelissero)
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said RB Christian McCaffrey won’t be activated from injured reserve just yet. (Myles Simmons)
  • Panthers DE Brian Burns (concussion) and second-round DE Yetur Gross-Matos (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. (Person)
  • Panthers CBs Donte Jackson (toe) and Eli Apple (hamstring) practiced in non-contact jerseys. 

Saints

  • According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Saints WR Michael Thomas was not officially suspended by the team but was instead fined $58,823.53 for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
  • While Thomas was still benched and practically suspended, the distinction of not being formally suspended means Thomas didn’t lose his full game check and avoided having his remaining guarantees voided on his contract. 
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