NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons HC Arthur Smith said that Falcons QB Matt Ryan is proving to still be coachable and eager to learn despite his veteran status. 

 “It’s my job as a coach to push him and to also listen,” Smith said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Matt wants to be coached, and that’s what I love about the guy. He’s going into Year 14, and he wants to be coached. The great players, they want to be coached.”

Smith mentioned that he’s kept “open dialogue” with Ryan this offseason in meetings. 

“I certainly don’t think I have all of the answers, and Matt certainly doesn’t think he has all of the answers, so it’s great dialogue,” Smith said. “Sometimes I might make a (whimsical) comment to him depending on how I want to push him, but we have an open dialogue depending on what he’s talking about. It’s fun. It’s fun to work with him.”


  • Panthers OC Joe Brady refused to comment on why the Panthers moved on from Teddy Bridgewater or reasons for Sam Darnold struggling while with the Jets. (David Newton)
  • However, Brady said that he’s enjoyed Darnold’s performance in OTAs and praised his arm strength.
  • Brady said he does not plan on changing Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey’s workload despite his injury issues last season. (Joe Person)
  • Brady said he’s spoken to McCaffrey about returning his playing style pre-injury: “I told Christian I don’t need Christian to be anything more than Christian McCaffrey. I think that’s important for him to know that he doesn’t have anything to prove to me or anybody else.”  (Joe Person)


  • Regarding Saints WR Michael Thomas recovery from last year’s ankle injury, HC Sean Payton said he’s on track with his rehab and will continue to be monitored going forward: “So far, so good.”  (Mike Triplett)
  • Nick Underhill points out that Saints’ third-round CB Paulson Adebo is learning both outside and nickel roles. 
  • Saints DE Cameron Jordan explained that creating more forced fumbles will be big for him and the entire defensive front this season. Jordan added: “Our defense will have to be a strength this year more so than in previous years.” (Mike Triplett)
  • Saints OT Ryan Ramczyk said he isn’t planning on holding out in training camp. (Nick Underhill)

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