NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank said he hasn’t spoken to Julio Jones since the organization traded him to the Titans: “You want players here who want to be here.” (Tori McElhaney)
  • Falcons HC Arthur Smith said to not expect OT Matt Gono (neck) or DT Deadrin Senat (undisclosed) at training camp, while OT Kaleb McGary (knee) could return soon but doesn’t have a specific timeline. (Michael Rothstein)
  • Smith said that they expect McGary to compete for the starting right tackle role: “I don’t want to put a timeline on it but I think it could be sooner rather than later. We’re just being smart here. Kaleb knows. We have high expectations for Kaleb to come in here and compete at RT. It’s been crystal clear, and he’s in a good frame of mind.” (McElhaney)
  • Falcons DT Grady Jarrett said second-year DT Marlon Davidson has been impressive at camp: “He looked good, man. He’s finally healthy. He looked quick out there in one-on-ones. Marlon, he’s that fireball of the defensive line… He makes it fun for us. I love playing with him. I can’t wait to see him get that full season under him.” (McElhaney)


Panthers HC Matt Rhule said they plan on lining up OT Taylor Moton on the left side and will observe him in training camp. 

“We’ll put him over there. I know it’s a challenge that he probably would like to undertake,” Rhule said, via Joseph Person of The Athletic. “We did a little bit in the spring, but it’s hard to do without pads on. We’ll maybe give him some reps here and there, and then just get a feel as we go of who the other four best guys are.”

Moton is hopeful to become “more and more comfortable” at left tackle progressively in training camp and against live rushers. 

“It’s just feeling more and more comfortable, repping it out day in and day out until you feel like you’ve got it down,” Moton said. “You can only do so much on air. It’s gonna come down to when you’ve got a real NFL pass rusher in front of you till you get the real feeling of it and feel comfortable.”

  • Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said the team is still exploring making a couple more free-agent additions: “I know we have two or three players that we’re talking to. That’s gonna lead to us where we’re at (cap-wise).”
  • Panthers WR Robby Anderson, who is entering the final year of his deal, said he’s confident a contract will work itself out: “I like to keep my business confidential, and I know it’s going to work itself out in due time.” (Person)
  • Panthers QB Sam Darnold will reach the two-week point on his second vaccination on Friday, July 30. (Person
  • Panthers second-round WR Terrace Marshall, who sat out OTAs as he recovered from a stress fracture in his foot, made his training camp debut this week. He played for OC Joe Brady at LSU which has helped his learning curve, per HC Matt Rhule: “He’s got long arms. He’s got big hands. You can back-shoulder him. You can throw it over the top. Like any rookie, he’s going to have some good days, some bad days. I thought today looked like a good day.” (Person)


  • According to Nick Underhill, Saints WR Deonte Harris was arrested for a DUI on July 16, which puts him in line for a potential two-game suspension at some point. 
  • Saints GM Mickey Loomis said WR Michael Thomas has dealt with this injury for the past two seasons: “He was treated conservatively during the season, played in the last two postseason games and still had a few issues after the season. It was decided that he was going to treat that conservatively.” (John Hendrix)
  • Saints HC Sean Payton said Thomas’ surgery should’ve happened earlier in the offseason: “It’s disappointing … The surgery took place. … We would’ve liked that to have happened earlier than it did — and quite honestly it should have.” (Terrell)
  • Loomis mentioned the team is at a 90 percent vaccination rate. (Katherine Terrell)
  • Loomis said he won’t bring in another kicker at the moment. (Underhill)
  • Payton added the team isn’t done adding to the cornerback room: “There’s still a player there we need to find. … We’ll continue looking” (Terrell)
  • Payton said with the addition of CB Brian Poole, the team will look at primarily outside corners: “Brian has been a slot player, and it’s a position he excelled at. I think it’s important to narrow that focus down to an outside player.” (Luke Johnson)

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