NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons DB coach Jeff Hoke says that the team continues to improve in the defensive backfield and specifically mentioned rookie S Richie Grant.

“The thing they’ve done is that they’ve kept working and they’ve kept getting better every week,” Hoke said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s why it’s so much fun to work with this group because they take a great approach to how they go (after it) every day whether if it’s in the meetings or on the practice field. You can see improvement from day to day, week to week with the group. That’s really encouraging.”

“He’s going good. He’s learning every day,” Hoke said of Grant. “He’s a full of energy guy, which is awesome. He brings that to the room. He’s learning every day. He’s going to have a long productive career. He’s young though and he’s learning. You can see his growth from day to day and week to week. He’s having a big impact on us right now, on special teams.”

Falcons DC Dean Pees says that Grant needs to continue to learn on the job and pick up Atlanta’s defense.

“Just learn the defense better,” Pees said. “He’s a rookie. It’s a lot of defense. It’s a lot of stuff. He’s just got to get to that point where he knows it and we know that he knows it.”


Panthers HC Matt Rhule had high praise of RBs Royce Freeman and rookie Chuba Hubbard for filling in for RB Christian McCaffrey in Week 2. 

“Yeah, I think they just have to be starting NFL running backs, and Royce has done that before,” Rhule said, via ProFootballTalk. “I told Chuba at halftime, ‘That’s why we drafted you, man.’ I thought Chuba was outstanding. At the end of the half, we didn’t give him a ton of chances, but I thought he got in there at the end and made some key runs. When we can line up in four-minute offense and run and get the first down on two plays, especially versus that stout defense, that’s a credit to the offensive line, credit to the tight ends and fullbacks. I thought those backs hit it, and the minute Royce got in he made that nice run, cut the ball back on a dual play, which that’s a veteran-run. That’s a guy that’s played a bunch and saw it. Those guys stepped up for us.”


  • Saints’ QB Taysom Hill on not winning the quarterback competition against QB Jameis Winston: “I’d be lying if I…Obviously, I wanted to have the opportunity to play quarterback but it wasn’t my time. You have to find ways to help the team win so I was happy to step into a role that gave us the advantage to help the team win.” (Katherine Terrell)

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