NFC Notes: Saints, 49ers, Barth, Eagles

The Saints won’t displace Zach Hocker right now, even after auditioning several kickers, as Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets. Hocker missed a potential game-winning field goal on Sunday night against the Cowboys before New Orleans won in overtime, and missed a field goal and an extra point in the team’s Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay. However, he’ll get at least one more opportunity to hang onto the job going forward.

In yesterday’s workout for the Saints, Randy Bullock hit all of his field goal attempts, while Kai Forbath missed a 53-yarder but made up for it with a 55-yard make, per Garafolo. Kyle Brindza, recently released by the Bucs, also got a look from the Saints, Field Yates of tweets.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Head coach Jim Tomsula disputed the notion that the 49ers added inside linebacker Gerald Hodges because they’re unhappy with the way starter Michael Wilhoite has played. “There’s nothing there,” Tomsula said, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Tomsula went on to explain that the 49ers have liked Hodges since he came out in the 2013 draft. On Tuesday, San Francisco sent center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft choice to the Vikings for Hodges.
  • Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth is happy to return to Tampa Bay, telling Fred Goodall of The Associated Press that the winding road he took back to the Bucs isn’t unusual for someone who plays his position. “You’ve got to look at as a business, and you’re kind of a consultant,” Barth said. “There are 32 jobs. It’s just a blessing to play and be one of 32 guys.” Barth was the club’s full-time kicker from 2009 to 2012.
  • According to Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, Drew Brees was a key point of reference when Philadelphia decided this offseason to acquire Sam Bradford, an oft-injured quarterback with significant potential. Brees had been considered an injury risk due to a shoulder issue when the Saints first acquired him. Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer has the details on Kelly’s Bradford/Brees comparison, along with the quotes from the head coach.
  • After signing a five-year deal worth nearly $39MM in the offseason, Bears pass rusher Pernell McPhee is off to a hot start, and joked that he wants J.J. Watt money now, as Jeff Dickerson of writes.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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