NFC Notes: Kirk Cousins, Xavier Legette, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers fourth-round RB Bucky Irving lacks prototypical size compared to other running backs historically but fits the build of the newer trend in the NFL. Tampa Bay HC Todd Bowles and Assistant GM John Spytek detailed how Irving can use his tools to succeed.

“He can stick his foot in the ground and run the ball, but more importantly, he can make the first guy miss, more often than not,” Bowles said, via Fox Sports’ Greg Auman. “That’s a rare trait to have in this ballgame, especially when you know so many guys can tackle well and get to the ball real fast. To make the first guy miss and potentially have big-play ability is something we didn’t have a lot of last year.”

“There’s no secret here that Bucky, he’s not Christian Okoye,” Spytek added. “He’s not going to run through people’s face all the time. You look at his production, whether it was at Minnesota or Oregon, he’s six yards a carry. He’s hard to get on the ground, and for a man that’s less than 200 pounds, when you do hit him, which is hard to do, he’s hard to knock off his feet. He has a lot of qualities we look for in a running back.”


Falcons QB Kirk Cousins said he’s trending in the right direction with his recovery from a torn Achilles and was able to practice this week. 

Today I’ve felt the best I’ve felt,” Cousins said, via the team’s Youtube. “That’s also one day at a time. The Falcons’ training staff is doing a great job with me on a daily basis with the rehab. I think everything’s trending in the right direction. I wasn’t sure when I stood here in March and I’d just gotten here how much I’d be able to do at practice, but today I felt like I was able to do everything I would’ve normally done. And that’s big for that stuff I talked about initially — building continuity, getting shared history together. So it’s a huge help. And [I’m] excited to see how fast we can heal from here.”

Cousins is studying film of himself to observe how he’s using his lower body to drive the football on passes. 

“I mean, we’re doing great. We’re progressing well,” Cousins said. “Today was a step better than yesterday was, physically. So that was encouraging. But, I’m watching the tapes and saying, ‘Alright, how am I using my lower half? How much am I using my back leg to drive the football?’ And there’s still more to go get, but I also feel that I can play pretty well today. But as a competitor, there’s more to go get.”


Panthers first-round WR Xavier Legette addressed the thought that he struggles running a complete route tree and emphasized perfecting his route running to start rookie minicamp.

“That was the most important thing to me — to really put emphasis on certain routes that the media was sayin’ I couldn’t run, that I wasn’t able to run,” Legette said, via Anthony Rizzuti of the Panthers Wire. “I felt like that was the most important thing to me, so I just worked on those things a lot.”

“I felt like the coaches kinda thought the same thing as well. So I feel like that was important, to put emphasis on makin’ that happen and bein’ able to show them that I can do that through the process.”

  • Jeremy Fowler of ESPN spoke to an NFL personnel evaluator who mentioned Legette has some similarities to Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf: “Not quite the athlete Metcalf is but he’s got some game-breaking ability like that, and he can do a little more with versatility as a runner and pass-catcher.”

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