NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Jarvis Landry


When asked about Falcons QB Marcus Mariota having a mentorship role for rookie QB Desmond Ridder, HC Arthur Smith responded that Mariota is a “great teammate” and isn’t creating a toxic environment. 

“I know that’s a very hot-button issue going around,” Smith said, via Josh Kendall of The Athletic. “He’s a great teammate. You have to have the right people in that room so that it’s not toxic.”

Falcons QBs coach Charles London added that Mariota has been willing to work closely with Ridder and second-year QB Feleipe Franks.

“He’s been great about working with Desmond (Ridder) and Feleipe (Franks),” London said. “It’s not his job, but that’s just the type of guy he is. He’s a great teammate; he’s willing to do whatever he can to help the team, and guys follow his lead.”

Mariota said he intends on helping mold both Ridder and Franks. 

“I have kind of always felt that way. I’m going to help all these young guys out,” Mariota said. “You get to kind of be a part of their molding and help them shape what their professional career can be. I look forward to that. I think it’s going to be pretty cool to have a little bit of influence.”


Panthers DT Derrick Brown made it a point to lose weight this offseason and his teammates are already noticing a difference in the massive nose tackle. 

“I can really tell because he’s moving faster,” Panthers DE Brian Burns said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “He was always pretty fast for a big guy, but he’s moving faster. He looks a little more nimble, and that’s kind of weird for a guy that’s 6-5, 320 or three-whatever-he-is.”

“He came to OTAs in shape,” Panthers HC Matt Rhule added. “He worked out here for a long time, made a lot of great changes to his diet. I can’t tell you what they are, he just looks good. He’s leaned out and he’s moving really well right now and playing really well. So I’m excited about his progress.”

Brown had some off-the-field reasons for slimming down, as he got married this summer and wanted to fit into his suit. But he also is aware that he hasn’t quite played up to the potential Carolina saw when they made him the No. 8 pick in 2020 and he’s determined to change that in his third season. 

“Just kind of getting back to some of the things I did in college,” he said. “Just never being tired and hustling everywhere, get to where I can be to make an impact and just keep doing those things.”


Saints HC Dennis Allen had high praise for recently signed WR Jarvis Landry‘s route running and ability after the catch. 

“He looks like what I expect Jarvis to look like. … He’s really good in transition in and out of the top of the routes really pretty good. … He understands how to get open, and he also understands how to make plays with the ball in his hands once he’s got it. I think he was a really good addition for us, and I’m anxious to really kind of get going with him,” said Allen, via Katherine Terrell of The Athletic. 

Saints WR Marquez Callaway said Landry has been an influential member of the team since signing on. 

“Jarvis is great,” Callaway said. “Jarvis loves it here, he loves being here. Older guy, loves the game, obviously everyone knows who he is. He loves the Saints, you can tell. … I love picking his brain.”

Landry said that QB Jameis Winston is a leader of the team and is still spending a lot of time around the facility as he rehabs. 

“He’s a leader, man. He’s … one of the reasons why I came here, just the conversations that we had, the intent that he’s putting behind the things that he’s saying. Obviously, out here on the field, what you see is what you get,” Landry said. “Look, I don’t see nobody else out here. This guy is the last one. That’s who he is. That’s something that you want at that position and a part of your team.”

Allen isn’t concerned about Winston’s recovery from a knee injury and thinks he’s doing well with his rehab. 

“I think that’s all part of the process,” Allen said. “And look, Jameis has been really good throughout the rehab process. I think he’s done a good job kind of understanding where he’s at, what he can and can’t do, and certainly that’s part of our responsibility also as an organization, to make sure we’re kind of overseeing it and doing all the things we need to do.”

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