NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • According to Pro Football Talk, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians says he’s open to keeping QB Ryan Griffin as the third quarterback on the roster. Griffin threw 43 passes for Tampa Bay in the preseason opener: “Griff has shown that if he continues to play like that, that it’s going to be a hard decision.”
  • Buccaneers CB M.J. Stewart dabbled at safety during the spring, however, the team appears to have him entrenched as a nickel corner for the time being. (Greg Auman)



Panthers K Graham Gano missed some time last year with some soreness in his non-kicking knee. Gano had surgery and seemed to be progressing well until recently when the soreness returned. Carolina signed K Joey Slye to take Gano’s workload, but have maintained he’s no threat to take the job from a healthy Gano

“Feeling good,” Gano said via Max Henson of the team website. “I kicked yesterday and it went really well. Taking it day by day. Excited to have Joey here. He’s been doing really well. He’s a fun guy to watch, just a big strong guy, and I’m excited about the opportunities he’s been getting.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says the Panthers are pleasantly surprised with the left side of their offensive line, as Greg Van Roten has stayed at left guard while OT Daryl Williams has shifted to left tackle. 
  • Breer mentions fifth-round rookie Jordan Scarlett, Cameron Artis-Payne and Reggie Bonafon are vying for the backup job behind Christian McCaffrey.
  • Breer notes the shift to a 3-4 front has been big for second-year DE/OLB Marquis Haynes, who’s now a much better fit and poised to provide strong depth at the position. 
  • The Panthers believe pairing Tre Boston with Eric Reid at safety will benefit Boston thanks to Reid’s leadership as well as provide the defense with more production in terms of turnovers, per Breer. 

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