NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons HC Arthur Smith is pleased with the way the team is progressing through minicamp, though he admits that communication between his staff and his players has been the primary focus.

It obviously goes both ways,” Smith said, via Tori McElhaney of The Athletic. “We’re trying to understand how they operate as players, how they learn, their work habits. Just looking for them to continue to improve and know the expectation that when we come back for (training) camp we have to be ready to roll.”

While there are established veterans on the roster that hold key positions, Smith let the team know that nobody’s job is secure, especially if they underperform.

I don’t think it’s a reach to say that Jake Matthews is going to be our left tackle, but there’s going to be competition just about everywhere, and if Jake is not performing, you have to play the best player,” Smith said as an example. “I really hope it’s a competitive camp (in August) and they understand that every job is open.”

  • McElhaney notes G Josh Andrews, who signed with the Falcons on a one-year deal this offseason, has been taking most of the starting left guard reps.
  • The Falcons coaching staff is “pleased” with C Matt Hennessy‘s development, and he will have every opportunity to win the starting center spot.
  • Falcons third-round OT Jalen Mayfield has lined up at right tackle next to G Chris Lindstrom, ahead of RT Kaleb McGary on multiple occasions. 
  • Falcons WR Calvin Ridley said his foot surgery went well and he expects to be ready for training camp. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)


  • According to the Athletic’s Joe Person, Panthers WR Robby Anderson is expected to return to minicamp after missing voluntary OTA’s.
  • Anderson said despite not attending OTAs, he was still training: “I was working. It wasn’t like I was sitting around doing this and that.” (Person)
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said CB Troy Pride Jr. might not be healthy for training camp due to an injury. (Person)
  • Panthers OLB Haason Reddick mentioned new QB Sam Darnold has looked good in practice: “Sam’s completing passes. It looks like he’s playing intelligent football.” (David Newton)
  • Panthers OL Cameron Erving believes he should be ready for training camp and should be the favorite to start at left tackle. (Person)
  • Panthers RT Taylor Moton said he’s not opposed to playing the season on the franchise tag: “I’m here in the building right now. Right now I don’t see a reason why not to.” (Person)


  • According to the Athletic’s Katherine Terrell, the Saints added $400,000 of cap space with Drew Brees‘ retirement being officially processed.

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