NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Former Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston became the first passer since 1988 to toss 30 interceptions in a season. Given that he led the league in passing last year, those 30 interceptions are probably why Winston is out of a job right now. But his former teammate, WR Chris Godwin, says not all 30 of those were Winston’s fault. 

“I definitely think he got more of the blame than he deserved,” Godwin said in an interview with The Boardroom via ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “I think he’s a really, really talented quarterback. Obviously there are things that he does that you can’t teach, and there are plays that he made that just weren’t smart plays. But a lot of the mistakes and interceptions that he made, I would say half of them were because of a bad read on someone else’s part.”

Godwin explained that while quarterbacks take most of the blame for interceptions except in really egregious cases, there are more subtle ways that make those plays more of a shared responsibility. 

“There have been times where receivers either ran the wrong route — I’ve been guilty of running a wrong route or not being in a spot where he thought I was going to be, and you get intercepted and you get a turnover,” Godwin said. “It’s not just him. I think people who are really entrenched in football understand that — that the quarterback gets a lot more of the blame than he deserves. Sometimes he gets a lot more credit than he deserves, too. But that’s just the nature for the position.”

Falcons

Panthers

New Carolina LB Tahir Whitehead spoke to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic about his free agency experience and the fact that he wears the same number as retiring Panthers LB Luke Kuechly.

“I haven’t really even thought about it too much,” Whitehead told Rodrigue. “Even prior to my rookie year, getting No. 59, there was nothing that really went into having (it). At this point, that’s just the number I’ve been able to wear…“We haven’t really talked about it. I know Luke wore it and everything, obviously he’s a great guy, great player and all-around it would be different for people to see me in the number. But at the end of the day, we’re going to see how it goes and go from there. I’m not really too hung up on the number. Just ready to go out there and start training, get around the fellas, my teammates, the coaching staff and really start understanding the scheme – then go out there and win some games.”

  • Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that the contract for new Panthers WR Seth Roberts is for one-year, $3.75 million. It includes a $600,000 signing bonus and a $50,000 workout bonus.

Saints

The Saints made it a priority to keep backup quarterback/Swiss army knife Taysom Hill this offseason, slapping the first-round tender on him as a restricted free agent to ward off any interest. While Hill plays everything from tight end to receiver to special teams, Saints HC Sean Payton says the long-term vision for Hill is as a potential successor for QB Drew Brees even if in the meantime they continue to use him in somewhat unconventional ways. 

“First and foremost, we still view him as a quarterback. We spent a lot of time this offseason discussing our vision for him this season at quarterback,” Payton said in an interview on ESPN via Pro Football Talk.

“He’s a tremendous blocker. I don’t think people realize how fast he is — he’s one of the two or three fastest guys on our team,” Payton added. “I think Taysom sees himself as being a starting quarterback in this league, and we do too.”

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