NFC Notes: Julio Jones, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Matt Rhule, Saints


  • Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles doesn’t expect S Logan Ryan back to play Sunday in Pittsburgh. (Greg Auman)
  • Bowles on second-round OL Luke Goedeke: “He struggled a little bit with Grady (Jarrett). I don’t know too many people that don’t. He’s a heck of a player. Overall I think his first five games have been very well taken care of as far as him playing, doing his job, playing with a mean streak.” (Auman)
  • Bowles also noted the team would take the long-term approach with WR Julio Jones returning from a knee injury: “We want him fully healthy, not coming out for a week, then missing another couple of weeks. We think we have enough guys right now to weather that storm.” (Rick Stroud)


  • Falcons HC Arthur Smith on the penalty called on DT Grady Jarrett: “I didn’t talk to (the officials)…I’m not going to comment on that…I have to figure out what I can do from a coaching standpoint…I’m not going to get into that. I haven’t seen the film.” (Tori McElhaney)
  • Smith on the team’s decision to trade LB Deion Jones as they continue to roll with LBs Mykal Walker and Rashaan Evans: “We feel that’s a strength of our team and things evolve.” (Michael Rothstein)


Panthers HC Matt Rhule declined to address his status with the team after the game. He was fired on Monday morning. 

“I hope you guys can understand, I’m here to talk about the game,” Rhule said, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “I’ve always been very forthright with you guys. You know, I have nothing to say about that now. I’m really just here to talk about the game. I would never want to make this about me.”

  • The Athletic’s Joe Person says Rhule is still owed $40 million on his initial six-year, $62 million contract. But the deal contains offsets and Rhule is expected to be in consideration for a high-paying college coaching job that could free Carolina from responsibility for most of that sum. 
  • Person lists some potential head coaching candidates to watch, including Cowboys DC Dan Quinn who worked with GM Scott Fitterer in Seattle, Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy who interviewed for the job before it went to Rhule, Steelers LB coach Brian Flores, Bills OC Ken Dorsey and Ravens OC Greg Roman
  • Former Saints HC Sean Payton has gotten some buzz but Person writes that’s a longshot for a multitude of reasons. 
  • CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones expects the Panthers to get trade calls for DE Brian Burns, DT Derrick Brown, WR D.J. Moore and of course RB Christian McCaffrey. He adds any deals Carolina chooses to make will say a lot about how they view their team going into the next few seasons.  
  • Panthers interim HC Steve Wilks and former DC Phil Snow had some philosophical differences, which partially lead to Snow moving on. (Person)
  • Panthers LB Frankie Luvu was fined $10,609 for unnecessary roughness in Week 4. (Tom Pelissero)


Saints QB Andy Dalton praised the play of Taysom Hill during Sunday’s win over the Seahawks. Hill had nine carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns and added another score through the air in New Orleans’ 39-32 win. 

“I mean, he’s such a weapon, and there’s nobody else like him,” Dalton said, via Pro Football Talk. “If you’re a defense, you have to prepare for so much when you never know where he’s going to line up. So, I mean, his performance today, it’s hard to match all the stuff that he can do and all the stuff that he was able to do today to help us win. Yeah, he’s special.”

  • The Saints are expecting to get WR Michael Thomas back next week against the Bengals, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He’s missed the past two games with a toe injury. 
  • Nick Underhill reports Saints WR Deonte Harty suffered a turf toe injury, which could be significant and cause him to miss time.
  • Saints HC Dennis Allen on Hill’s play on third down: “It’s a good piece to have. It forced the defense to play 11-on-11 football and when they do, it opens things up in the passing game.” (WWL Radio)

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