NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

It hasn’t taken long for Buccaneers first-round LB Devin White to stand out, and new HC Bruce Arians hasn’t been shy about heaping superlatives on the rookie. 

“He’s come in, he’s so mature,” Arians told Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com. “You know, and he’s in great condition. He’s extremely bright. He loves it. You know, you get these guys once in a lifetime. They all got physical skills, but they don’t love it. I mean, they wouldn’t do it for free. This cat would do it for free as long as he can ride his horses. … Some guys just have that, so don’t be afraid of it. Tyrann Mathieu walked in; he wasn’t afraid of it. Now we had Patrick Peterson, we had Calais Campbell, no, [Mathieu] took over. Now he had really smart guys around him to help him, too, which we’ve got some guys like that.”

Panthers

New Panthers DE/LB Bruce Irvin sees a lot of similarities between Carolina and his original team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Irvin was with the Seahawks at the height of their powers, including when their defense powered them to a Super Bowl win in 2013. He says Carolina, with DT Gerald McCoy, DT Kawann Short and LB Luke Kuechly, has a similar feel.

“This kind of compares to that 2013 front we had, when we won the Super Bowl,” Irvin said via Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. “That team went eight deep up front. We had four really good guys, and then four more went in and there was no drop-off. So that’s kind of the feeling I’m getting here. We had a lot of dudes. Everybody communicated. That’s the kind of vibe it is here.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says to pay attention to the Panthers poaching Taylor Rajack from the Eagles to be their director of analytics. 

Saints

Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater chose another year of backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans over the chance to compete for a starting job with the Dolphins because he felt it was “the best opportunity for me to grow as a player.”

“As a competitor you want to be out there starting and competing,” Bridgewater said via Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “But I just sat back and I weighed my options and thought about what would be best for me. This is an opportunity for me to grow, continue to learn and expand my mental capacity as a football player.”

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