NFC Notes: Tom Brady, Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


Buccaneers’ QB Tom Brady is set to face his former franchise in primetime and wants to get a win. He still maintains that his departure from the Patriots was handled perfectly.

“All those things are super personal,” said Brady, via Jenna Laine of ESPN. “We had a great relationship. Everything was handled the right way. We handled everything as gracefully as we could. It was an amazing time, it was handled perfectly. I think everyone understood where we were at — the people involved in the situation. Things worked out the best for all of us. We’re all trying to do the best we can do now — that’s what happens in life. You don’t know where life is gonna lead. I think the only thing I know how to do is give it all I can in every day, every moment, and the people who really bet on me, I want to do really well for them. [General manager] Jason [Licht] and [head coach] Bruce Arians — with them coming into my life, and saying, ‘Hey, we really want you here’ — it’s been an amazing thing for me…I’m super excited about what we’ve got here. I’ve got a great group of coaches here, an amazing group of guys that still motivate me and inspire me to be the best I can be for this team and this organization. I’ve just had a great last 18 months. It’s been very fulfilling in a lot of different ways. I love my football experience here as well. … My 20 years in New England were incredible. I learned a lot. Coming out here for a year and a half, I’ve learned a lot so … I have nothing but incredible thoughts, memories, emotions towards the football experiences I’ve had. That’s obviously been the longest. I still have a lot of great friends there, but they know I want to kick their butts this week.”


Although Panthers HC Matt Rhule said “you can’t replace” Christian McCaffrey, he added that RBs Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman have been waiting on an opportunity. 

“Obviously, you can’t replace the production of Christian McCaffrey,” Rhule said, via David Newton of ESPN. “But those other players, they’ve been waiting for their opportunity. Who knows what they can do when given an opportunity.”

Rhule added that they want to avoid making big changes to their system in order to help QB Sam Darnold and the offensive line.

“I don’t think it’s fair, right, to Sam and to the offensive line to go away from what we’ve been doing. We’ve been working on it for a long time.”

Rhule believes Hubbard was able to get into a rhythm in Week 3 against the Texans and is eager to see him run with more consistency. 

“I’ve wanted to see him really play with his feet underneath him,” Rhule said. “He’s had a lot of times where he’s slipped and fallen cutting off his inside foot. Once he got into a rhythm this last game you saw that dissipate. You saw him run with power and speed. I want to see him do those things.”


  • Per the Athletic’s Katherine Terrell, Saints HC Sean Payton said the play of reserve OL James Hurst at left tackle was huge: “He’s one of those guys that have filled in and played guard for us, he’s played jumbo for us. He’s someone that I think guys have a lot of confidence in and I think he’s earned that.”
  • Terrell wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints poked around for a new kicker after Aldrick Rosas missed two field goals in Week 3. 
  • Saints CB Bradley Roby was down to just two snaps in Week 3 after starting the first two games. Payton said it was a combination of getting players back healthy that led to Roby’s reduced role for the time being: “(Roby) is an awfully good player. I thought Bradley was settling in playing well. Marshon, obviously, he’s back and so each week (it varies who might play). It was a position, at the start of the season, where there was some concern relative to the depth and with both Bradley and then Desmond (Trufant), we feel like it’s a position of strength now.”
  • OUT for Week 4: T Terron Armstead (elbow), C Erik McCoy (calf)

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply