NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard has fallen far behind in the pecking order for the Tampa Bay offense. Through five games, the talented third-year tight end has been targeted just 14 times, catching 11 of those for 141 yards. Howard has been used more as a blocker than he has a receiver, which he says surprises him. 

“A little bit, but it’s just one of those things where you’ve got to stay at it,” Howard said via the Tampa Bay Times’s Eduardo Encina. “Sometimes we don’t play teams who give us what we thought we were going to get on film. So it’s one of those things where you have to keep going and hopefully you get the good looks.”

Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians offered his assessment of the situation, saying that while Howard is still running routes the ball isn’t necessarily coming to him because he’s not getting separation. 

“It’s just a matter of opportunities,” Arians said. “He’s going out for passes. It’s just whether he’s getting open.”

  • The Buccaneers worked out WR Cyril Grayson, QB Chad Kanoff, RB Darius Jackson, Caleb Scott and David Williams on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)

Falcons

  • According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, teams are starting to monitor the Falcons for potential trade opportunities as their season continues to circle the drain. 
  • Some options Breer mentions are TE Austin Hooper, DE Vic Beasley and LB De’Vondre Campbell, all of whom are entering contract years. 

Panthers

Injuries have forced the Panthers to shuffle several players on their offensive line so far this season. With G Trai Turner and second-round OT Greg Little both out this week, sixth-round rookie OL Dennis Daley was pressed into action against the Jaguars. While he worked mostly at guard and right tackle during camp, Daley started at left tackle and allowed only two pressures against a strong Jaguars defensive line. 

β€œI was pretty excited for him,” Panthers HC Ron Rivera said via Max Henson of the official team website. β€œHe is a young man who has worked very well, has really done a lot of good things. We felt pretty comfortable with him in there. There are some things we will take a look at and get those things corrected but I think Dennis has a bright future in this league.”

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