NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Former Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy says he harbors no ill will toward the organization or fans for his exit from Tampa. 

“I don’t want it to be misconstrued the respect I have for the Buccaneers organization and how much I appreciate what they’ve done for me,” McCoy said on Ian Rapoport’s podcast, per Greg Auman. “A lot of people think I’ve turned my back on them or disrespected them. I’ll never do that. I’ll never say anything bad about Tampa. I’ll never say anything negative about Tampa. It doesn’t matter how much negative was said about me. It’ll never be reciprocated because I know that organization changed my life. The time I had there was great.”

Falcons

Falcons WR Julio Jones said he didn’t need to talk about his contract situation because Atlanta owner Arthur Blank had assured him it would get done. 

“That’s not me,’‘ Jones tells Vaughn McClure of ESPN about not lashing out publicly that he still doesn’t have a long-term deal. “I know what I bring to the table. I know who I am. I know what I’ve got going on. It’s not like … I’m not going around and trying to make somebody believe in me or who I am or what I’ve got going on.

“The situation will get handled. It’s just a matter of time when they’re going to do it. Mr. Blank has spoken, so what more do I need to say or talk about?

Panthers

Keeping QB Cam Newton healthy is the top priority for the Panthers. Because of Newton’s particular style of play, OC Norv Turner says the team has to take responsibility for protecting Newton from himself. 

“I think Cam’s competitiveness is always going to be an issue,” Turner said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “He’s been able to physically do whatever he wants to do his whole life. And anytime you have something taken away, and for hopefully just a short time, not playing the last two weeks [of 2018], going through that process, I think deep down you evaluate things. I know Cam’s not going to change the way he plays. He’s going to go at it the way he has. So the question is how we can protect him from himself with what we do and when we do it. And we’ve got a lot of playmakers, guys that are going to grow this year and step up and help him. So the biggest thing for us is having him understand that he doesn’t have to do it all, that he has guys all around him that are capable of doing a lot.”

Newton unveiled some reworked throwing mechanics at minicamp Tuesday that should help as he works to return to the form he displayed during the first half of 2018 before his shoulder injury.

“The shoulder started to go (last season), then you started to see everything fall to the wayside. Now he has an opportunity to go back, rework those things, do the things that he needs to do to improve,” HC Ron Rivera said per NFL Media’s Jeremy Bergman. “He’s done a great job and we’re really excited about it. As I said, this is just the first step of many and we’re really looking forward to tomorrow to see how much more he’s going to do.”

Saints

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