NFC Notes: Todd Bowles, Brian Burns, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles believes he will have a better chance to showcase his head coaching skills this season after admitting he felt handcuffed to the team’s old ways during his first season in charge.

“Everybody says, ‘This formula has worked for us. Why are we changing anything?’ So you try to keep it and tweak it as you go,” Bowles said, via Rick Stroud of Tampa Bay Times. “But as you go, you start to figure out that we had a lot of guys not practicing and just playing on Sundays because we were older. . . . So this year, you get a chance to rebuild the culture and the chemistry and kind of get it right. You understand, that even if you’ve been coaching together a long time, sometimes you agree to disagree. And that happened, too.”



  • According to the Athletic’s Joe Person, the Panthers and OLB Brian Burns remain far apart in contract talks, which sparked Burns’ hold-in over the past few practices after he participated throughout training camp and the preseason. 
  • PFN’s Adam Caplan has also heard there’s a significant gap between the two sides right now, with a key variable being the continued holdup between the 49ers and DE Nick Bosa, which will impact Burns’ deal. A veteran agent told Caplan: “If Bosa gets $30 (million), Burns should reasonably be asking for $25-$27 (million) a season. He’s not in Myles Garrett’s league, but that deal was done a long time ago.”
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes he thinks Burns is going to play in Week 1 against the Falcons but his hold-in is designed to show the Panthers how much they need him on defense. 
  • He adds Bosa’s deal could buttress Burns’ case for something like $28 million a year.
  • Panthers HC Frank Reich says he could go up to Sunday to get Burns on the field, but also says he isn’t focused on the situation right now. (David Newton)
  • Reich added that he understands Burns’ choice but added there are certain expectations that come with being under contract. (Mike Kaye)
  • Reich didn’t say if the team planned on fining Burns for conduct detrimental to the team but did note: “To Brian’s credit, he has not made himself a distraction.” (Joe Person)
  • During his press conference, Reich also announced that Chandler Zavala will start at right guard. (Darin Gantt)

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