NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston told reporters that he hopes he’s shown enough to be back in Tampa Bay next year. 

“I hope I’ve helped myself, because I definitely want to be here in Tampa,” Winston said, per Eduardo Encina. “We’ve gotta finish strong. That’s how we’re going to focus on it.”

  • Following Sunday’s game, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians was asked about WR Chris Godwin‘s hamstring injury and said: “It doesn’t look good.” (Ian Rapoport)
  • Rapoport adds it seems like Godwin will be handled similarly to WR Mike Evans who isn’t expected to play again this season. 
  • As for DE Shaquil Barrett in line to be a free agent next year, Arians told reporters: “He ain’t going anywhere.” (Greg Auman)
  • Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul maximized his $600,000 playing time incentive again on Sunday and has now earned $4.8 million in incentives in 2019. (Auman
  • The Buccaneers tried out DT Willie Henry and S Derrick Kindred on Monday. (Howard Balzer)

Falcons

Falcons HC Dan Quinn seemed on the verge of losing his job after the Falcons started the season 1-7. But the Falcons have been a different team over the second half of the season with a 4-2 revival, including wins against Super Bowl contenders like the Saints and 49ers. 

“This shows that we’re fighters, and we’ll fight for Coach Q no matter what the situation is,” Falcons S Ricardo Allen said via the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz. “We didn’t start the way we wanted to. We understand we may be fighting for nothing. We may not be playing for the playoffs or anything. But we’re fighting for our names, we’re playing for who we are, we’re playing for Quinn. This may not be the year that we wanted, but we’re never going to back down. We’re fighting now.”

There are still two games to go, but if the Falcons keep it up and show that Quinn hasn’t lost the locker room, it just might be enough to save his job for another year. 

“It means a lot,” Quinn said. “It means a lot to all of us. We’re all fighting for our football lives. I damn sure appreciate it.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that he’s heard contradictory reports on a potential Falcons coaching search, with some saying they like former Panthers HC Ron Rivera and others saying they could go with an offensive coach to replace Quinn. 

Panthers

It’s been a miserable two games for Panthers CB Donte Jackson. A week after calling out the new coaching staff for poor play-calling after he was apparently beaten twice for touchdowns, Jackson was lit up again by the Seahawks for multiple big plays. Panthers interim HC Perry Fewell, who was the secondary coach before being promoted, maintained the team is confident in Jackson but admits that he considered benching the second-year corner to protect him on Sunday. 

“I considered it, and he was a little frustrated at times out there, and I know he was trying to play hard. He was trying to do the right things,” Fewell said via Bill Voth of the team website. “He was just so hyped and excited about what he was doing out there that he just kind of lost his way a little bit. I just felt like if we could steer him in the right direction, he would play better. We were just trying to get him coached up on what he should do versus what he was doing. We were just trying to manage the game at that point in time, and he was trying to get himself together.”

  • Fewell told reporters he would officially announce Carolina’s starting quarterback between Kyle Allen and Will Grier on Wednesday, though all indications are Grier will make his first career start. (Max Henson)
  • Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he has cleared the concussion protocol. (Joseph Person)
  • Olsen added he hasn’t considered shutting himself down for the rest of the season: “I’m worrying about the two (games) I do have. A lot of my future is out of my control.” (Jourdan Rodrigue)
  • Olsen mentioned that while he would prefer to stay with the Panthers, he wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to keep playing even if it was elsewhere. (Rodrigue)
  • On Sunday, Panthers veteran S Tre Boston tallied his third interception of the season, which nets him a $150,000 incentive bonus. (Field Yates)

Saints

  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys let Saints HC Sean Payton know through back channels that they would have interest if he wanted to explore leaving New Orleans. 
  • However, Payton used that interest as leverage to secure a five-year extension from the Saints back at the beginning of this season. 
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