NFC Notes: Panthers, Rams, Seahawks, Pete Carroll


Panthers DE Brian Burns said he is saddened by the Panthers’ collapse after starting 3-0.

“It’s been frustrating,” Burns said, via PFF’s Doug Kyed. “It’s really been disappointing because I feel like we have such a great team and just for the cards not to fall your way or you not to get the results that you want, of course it’s gonna be frustrating. But I feel like, as a defense — because I can’t really speak for the offense — but I feel like as a defense, I feel like we’re still trying to get better because we know there are brighter days ahead.”


Rams WR Cooper Kupp has been having a transcendent season. Every opponent knows the Rams are going to throw him the ball a ton and almost no one has been able to stop him. With 132 receptions and 1,734 yards, he’s within range of breaking both NFL records, held by Saints WR Michael Thomas (149) and former Lions WR Calvin Johnson (1,946). Kupp’s taken a clear step forward this season, and while the arrival of QB Matthew Stafford has almost certainly helped, Kupp has also personally improved. 

“I’m not sure I can put my finger on one specific thing,” Kupp said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I look back at my rookie year, and it’s embarrassing watching the tape of what my rookie year was. And I’d like to think that at the end of every year, as I watched the full season and tried to reflect on what the year was, what kind of things I saw from myself, I’d just try to just improve the things that [were] most important to improve. And I just take that mentality year after year, try to get better and better and better. Never get comfortable being at whatever I’m at. Never believing that I’ve arrived. So I have taken that mentality, but I don’t know if I can put my finger on one specific thing that’s changed as much. I’ve been hanging out with some really good football players and having a few more opportunities to have the ball in my hands, and I think it really just comes down to those things.”

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports Rams third-round LB Ernest Jones has a high-ankle sprain and is week-to-week.
  • Rams RB Darrell Henderson is believed to have suffered a knee sprain. The team hopes it’s minor but will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity. (Rapoport)


Seahawks HC Pete Carroll took the blame for the team’s loss vs. Chicago.

“That was about as disappointing of a loss as we’ve had,” Carroll said, via ESPN’s Brady Henderson. “We were in control in so many ways in that game to go win it and put it away; we just never did and let them stay alive, and they found a way to make their plays. We had to do some stuff to give them that opportunity, and they took advantage of it, and give them credit. They’ve been struggling all year too, and it’s a big win for those guys.

“I feel like I have to do more. In a time like this, I feel like I’ve got to find ways to help our guys more so that we don’t get in a situation where we even give them a chance.”

Carroll added it’s his job to get the players to care this late in the season.

“I’m taking it the other way,” Carroll said. “I’m taking it like I need to do better. I’m not calling [out] the players for not responding. I have to respond better. I’ve got to do more for them and help them more so. Maybe that’s a coach’s ego or whatever. But I don’t mind holding myself in that kind of accountability. I’ve just got to find a way. I’m expecting our other coaches and the players to do the same thing. Everybody gives everything they have to give us every shot to be as good as we can possibly be. And it starts with me.”

  • Carroll said QB Russell Wilson “can’t take a sack there” on the late third down in the red zone that led to a missed field goal. “I’ve got to get that done. I’ve got to get him to execute that. I’ve got to get Russ to pull it off…You sail it out of the end zone right there, kick the field goal.” (Curtis Crabtree)
  • Carroll mentioned he doesn’t know why Wilson is struggling: “The answer isn’t that obvious and clear and we are just having to deal with it.” (Bob Condotta)
  • However, Carroll is convinced the team didn’t rush Wilson back: “He was ready to go and we were going on what we know and I wouldn’t have changed that.” (Condotta)
  • Carroll believes Wilson will bounce back: “We’ve got to see how he bounces back. He will certainly be great again. He’s going to be a great player. I don’t feel like it shows right now but I think that’s what’s going to happen because he’s got it in him to do that.” (Henderson)
  • Carroll doesn’t think there need to be drastic changes: “Not for one reason at all am I thinking that we have to restart this whole thing and create a new philosophy and a new approach. I think we have the essence of what we need.” (Condotta)

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