NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints



Falcons QB Matt Ryan said he has been “incredibly impressed” by recently signed TE Hayden Hurst and praised his speed, athleticism, and effort while working out together in Atlanta. 

I’ve been incredibly impressed with Hayden’s work ethic,” Ryan said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Consitution. “He’s got great speed. Great athleticism. Wants to be a great player. The effort, attitude, all of that stuff is there. The athleticism is there.

Ryan pointed out that Hurst is already developing relationships with other Falcons’ players despite limitations amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“He’s gotten to know some of the teammates in the times that we’ve spent together which I think is a good thing,” Ryan said.

As for Falcons’ new RB Todd Gurley, Ryan said he spent time with the running back for two weeks in California earlier this offseason.

“I spent some time with him out in California, and I was able to spend a couple of weeks getting to know him a little better and getting a feel for him as an athlete,” Ryan said. “He’s extremely versatile out of the backfield.”

Ryan said Gurley looked “great, healthy, and ready to go” and praised his intelligence as a player. 

“He looked great, healthy, and ready to go,” Ryan said. “I was impressed with that. The thing that struck me the most though was how smart of a player that he is and his ability to retain information, to not have to circle back on things the next day.”

Ryan mentioned that he taught Gurley certain nuances of their offense while working out together in California. 

If I told him once how we were trying to work something or a route concept, or what we were expecting of him, he doesn’t forget it,” Ryan said. “He was back the next day doing it the right way.”


  • Joseph Person of The Athletic believes QB Colin Kaepernick could be in the conversation to sign with the Panthers if there is an injury to quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater or Will Grier.
  • Another scenario where Person can see Kaepernick being signed is if former XFL QB Phillip Walker wins the backup job from Grier. 
  • Person thinks that the team needs to sign a tight end, and needed one even before they cut TE Seth DeValve with a non-football injury.


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