NFC South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


The Falcons went heavy on the offensive line this offseason, signing free-agent guards Jamon Brown and James Carpenter and drafting both G Chris Lindstrom and OT Kaleb McGary in the first round. 

“I had told (Falcons owner) Arthur (Blank) as we were acquiring our two free agent guards, Jamon Brown and James Carpenter, that no matter what we did in free agency we were not going to be dissuaded from acquiring young talent in the draft at the offensive line position, specifically the guard position,” Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said via Kelsey Conway of the official team site. 

The Falcons were also “very honed in on the defensive line as well” according to Dimitroff, and either Rashan Gary (No. 12) or Christian Wilkins (No. 13) could have made Atlanta think twice about taking Lindstrom at No. 14. However, Dimitroff is very satisfied with the former Boston College guard. 

“He was a guy I kept coming back to study more video of [and] do more research on,” Dimitroff said. “Similar to other really important first and second-round draft picks over the years, he was in that same boat.”

Injuries tanked the Falcons season, both on offense and defense. Both starting guards ended up on injured reserve. Falcons QB Matt Ryan took 42 sacks and Atlanta’s rushing offense plummeted to 27th in the league as a result. Building depth for 2019 became a priority for Dimitroff.

“I personally felt I would never put this team in that situation again where, God forbid, we had injuries [and] that we were limited in overall depth at the position, especially interior,” Dimitroff said. “That we were going to make sure we had a rotation there that was going to be legitimate and accomplished.”


Panthers’ QBs coach Scott Turner said they are focused on putting less stress on Cam Newton‘s shoulder by keeping his footwork and upper body more compact. 

Specifically, last year, just with his footwork of just keeping compact; make sure his feet and his eyes were working together. Its carried over into this offseason, just make him a little more compact with his upper body… Just so he’s not as open throwing the ball, just to make him efficient as possible,” said Turner, via David Newton of ESPN.

  • According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, FOX is trying to see if Panthers TE Greg Olsen will be available to call a game on Oct. 20 during Carolina’s bye week.
  • Olsen called a game in 2017 during the Panthers’ bye week. The Panthers’ bye follows their trip to London this year. 


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