NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

  • According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady was spotted doing on-field workouts with some of his new teammates. 
  • While team-led on-field activities with coaches present are forbidden under the CBA, the NFL affirmed players are free to organize workouts of their own as long as they follow the health guidelines of their respective states. 

Panthers

Out of all the new head coaches this year, Panthers HC Matt Rhule might be the most impacted by not getting to work hands-on with his new team. Not only is Rhule making the jump from college to the NFL, but both his OC Joe Brady and DC Phil Snow are first-time coordinators at the NFL level trying to figure out how to build without either of the previous cornerstones on their sides of the ball — QB Cam Newton and LB Luke Kuechly. However, Rhule isn’t making any excuses. 

“I’ve coached at Temple and at Baylor, and my players will probably tell you we didn’t have a lot of advantages when we got there,” Rhule said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “Just figure it out. Figure it out, bro. Really, that’s the key to life.”

New Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater is also in a similar boat. As the country shelters in place, Bridgewater is in Miami and not in Charlotte, meaning he has yet to throw passes to any of his new receivers in Carolina. It’s less than ideal as the veteran gets another chance as a starting quarterback, but given all that he’s already overcome, the relentlessly positive Bridgewater is taking it all in stride. 

“It’s a blessing to be back in this position that I’m in,” Bridgewater said. “Having someone believe in you, having an organization that believes in you and gives you the keys and says, ‘Here, this is your opportunity,’ that’s all that I’ve asked for. I know that it’s a difficult time right now and I’m not able to be around the guys, but with technology, we can FaceTime each other. We can call each other. We can meet. Guys have questions, it’s easy to get access to each other.”

Saints

Saints WR Michael Thomas tends to get into more fights on social media than he does playing football on the field. In the latest battle, he and Dolphins WR DeVante Parker went at each other over what Parker’s response to a meme asking if it was harder to catch a pass against Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore or break up a throw intended for Thomas. Despite catching more passes for more yards than anyone last year, Thomas still has a low tolerance for what he views as disrespect. 

“I value respect at the end of the day,” Thomas said via Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Advocate. “When you put in the work, you deserve to think like that and be like that. Keep everybody honest. At the end of the day, we’ll find out who is right and who is wrong.”

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