NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons GM Terry Fontenot explained why QB Matt Ryan is still the right guy to be leading the team.

“On the outside you just have the game tape,” Fontenot said, via “Being inside the building, you also see the practice tape and the human element. Being around Matt, you see who he is as the leader, the worker, where his mindset is and how he feels he has a chip on his shoulder and that he has something to prove. Knowing not just that he has the physical talent to do it, but that he has the right mindset to be the same leader of men. That passion you see on the sidelines — when you’re in the building with him you see it 24/7. It doesn’t stop. It really doesn’t stop.

“The film evaluation, whether it’s in a game or in practice, shows where he is. So does the mindset, the passion, the intensity that makes him the man that he is. It checks all the boxes. He’s the right leader of this team.”


Panthers QB Sam Darnold said he’s focused on improving during training camp and that he has “always been confident” with his skills. 

“Going into this training camp, the whole idea is to get better every single day,” Darnold said, via the team’s official site. “And that’s where my mind’s at every single day. I’ve always been confident, I’ve always had confidence in my game, and that’s never going to change. I’m going to continue to learn the offense every single day and continue to grow.”

When asked about the pressure he’s facing to succeed in Carolina, Darnold said it’s true he must lead the Panthers to wins but reiterated that he’s concentrated on his development. 

“I mean, it is what you make of it,” Darnold said. “Anyone outside looking in can say, ‘Oh, there’s pressure on him he’s got to win,’ and that’s true. But at the end of the day, it’s just me going out there and doing everything I can do to get better. And at the end of the day making smart decisions on the field and leading my team down the field and scoring touchdowns is my job.”


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