NFC Notes: Michael Penix Jr, Spencer Rattler, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons HC Raheem Morris said it’s on first-round QB Michael Penix Jr. to integrate himself within the offense and learn as much as he can from QB Kirk Cousins.

“I think the onus really belongs to Michael when it comes to those things,” Morris said, via Pro Football Talk. “Kirk is trying to win a Super Bowl, Kirk is in full-blown preparation mode to set the Atlanta Falcons up for the best success that they can possibly have. And I think you get no better person to sit behind than a Kirk Cousins type of guy. Obviously, there are probably better arguably on other people’s teams but I’m talking about the one on our team. I just think it’s a great experience for Michael and I think he will learn a lot from watching him move and move in silence with his guys. He’ll learn on the run because really it’s empathy and humility of Michael that’s going to come out more when it comes to learning those types of things. And I think that’s the most important part of it all. Everybody wants to make Kirk have to tell him what to do, but really he is showing him what to do by his everyday movements and his actions.

Morris added that he has to “manage everything,” which includes tempering fans clamoring for Penix taking over too early.

I have to manage the expectations from the fans and them wanting you to do something maybe quicker than you want to do it,” Morris said. “But we really had a plan going into this thing and Kirk’s our quarterback and that’ll play out as it plays out. And we’ve got a guy in the building that we hope can be our potential guy moving on in the future. I really love both of the people and it’s really about the people when you go look at these types of things. We invest in people first — just from an overall, organizational standpoint. These two people, I feel great about. You may not like the initial goal, the initial reaction of what is about to happen. But if you sit down and you go through the process, you talk to enough people, you figure out what the goals are and you get it on the line and let’s go — let’s go to work.”

  • Neil Stratton reports the Falcons are hiring former Commanders college scout Harrison Ritcher as a national scout. 
  • Falcons third-round DE Bralen Trice on how he’s approaching his rookie season: “My mindset is it’s a dog eat dog world. It’s a cold world, and you’re standing in front of me and my food and my money, and I have to go through you. That’s my mindset.” (Josh Kendall)


New Panthers HC Dave Canales outlined UDFA WR Jalen Coker’s profile after the beginning of rookie minicamp. 

“Size, instincts, top-of-route ability to separate,” Canales said, via Jim Nagy. “He’s really crafty in zones. He knows how to find the open spaces. Has a little cool run-after-catch, too. He can break some tackles because of the size that he brings. Attacks the ball at the high point.”

“I mean, the guy really does have a cool skill set that he brings to us. So I’m excited to see him kinda get introduced as we start to develop out football, especially in Phase Three OTAs. Let’s see what he looks like against NFL talent. But I’m really excited about him.”


  • According to Jeremy Fowler, South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler falling to the Saints in round five was due in part to the number of teams who addressed the quarterback position earlier in round one.
  • Fowler says that Rattler is not perceived as 138 picks worse than Bo Nix and some evaluators even had him “awfully close to the same tier as Nix.”
  • A team source tells Fowler that they had zero issues with the perceived image concerns facing Rattler: “Really didn’t harp on it much — it wasn’t a big thing. He’s matured a lot since then, like we all have. If there was a camera in my face when I was in high school, I wouldn’t have looked great, either. He was impressive in his interviews.”

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