Mailbag: Postcards from Tampa

January, 28, 2009
1/28/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- I took Tuesday night's NFL media party off to work on this mailbag and to get to sleep early because I've got to be at the Cardinals' media session by 8 a.m. Anyway, I've got some non-NFC South duties during Super Bowl week, but I don't want to ignore the mailbag.

So let's do some catching up.

Richard in Fayetteville, NC writes: Hey Pat, I do like Jake Delhomme as the QB for Carolina and a person, but he is getting older, and I do believe that Matt Moore is the future QB for the Panthers even though everyone is saying they should draft a QB for the future. Do you think that Fox and crew should be getting Matt Moore to take over for Delhomme?

Pat Yasinskas: I'm not sure that Matt Moore is the long-term answer although I do like the little I've seen of him. I think another year of grooming under Jake Delhomme could get him to a point where he's ready, but I don't think he's better than Delhomme right now. I could see the Panthers drafting another quarterback. But I think the wild-card in all this is Josh McCown. From what I know, the Panthers like him better than Moore. He's got some starting experience and a season in Carolina's offense. After the way Delhomme's season ended, I could see the Panthers going to camp and at least opening up the competition to McCown.


Easy in Sumter, S.C writes: It's reported Fox took over Panther Defensive Meetings for Trgovac after the tampa loss, and it has been speculated that Trgo (and the defensive staff) bailed on Fox because they were tired of Fox playing the 'Puppet-Master' and running/directing HIS defense. Fox has now quickly filled Trgo's position with Indy's DC, Meeks. I am now hearing that Meeks was hired not to run the Panthers D but to be the next 'Puppet' allowing Fox to pull the strings. What is the potential for this being true? IF Fox was calling the shots on D instead of Trgo and JP was unhappy with Carolina's defensive scheme, it would then be safe to say JP was really unhappy with FOX, right?!

Pat Yasinskas: See, that's what I like -- a reader who can take some information, piece it together and come up with a reasonable conclusion. That's called logic and I think there might be some very good logic in your theory. Remember, in the coaching business, it all starts at the top.


Unsigned in Tampa writes: Do you think tampa bay will resign Ben Troupe? Or is his NFL career over. I think he is a great TE just need to stay healthy. The break may have been good and just what he needs to get back.

Pat Yasinskas: Too early to answer. If Troupe's healthy again, I think he still can play. But I don't know if it will be in Tampa or not. We still don't know what kind of offense the Bucs are going to run yet and what kinds of tight ends they'll be looking for.


James Col, GA writes: Pat, do you think the Ron Meeks hiring will inspire a defense that seemed ordinary the last 6 weeks of the season and could his hiring be enough to bring back Peppers?

Pat Yasinskas: I'm afraid that bridge has been burned. I think Julius Peppers and his agent have made it very clear he wants out of Carolina. I think the only option is for the Panthers to franchise Peppers and trade him away. Maybe they can draft some defensive ends to replace him.


Stephen in Wilmington, NC writes: Will sam mills get into the Hall of Fame?

Pat Yasinskas: It's painful, but I've got to give you an honest answer and I'm afraid Sam Mills will not be a Hall of Famer. He was a very good linebacker, but I just don't know that he was dominant enough or played on consistent winners enough and that makes it difficult for him to get in. If there were a Hall of Fame for human beings, Sam Mills would go in on the first ballot. He was as classy a coach or player as I've ever encountered.


Brian in New Orleans writes: If Rey Maualuga is still on the board at 14. Any chance the Saints grab him and move Vilma to outside? The Steelers proved that you build a defense with tough LB's.

Pat Yasinskas: I think the Saints might already have found an upgrade at linebacker with Dan Morgan saying he's coming out of retirement. I know Morgan's injury history brings uncertainty. But this guy has had time to heal up and is in the best physical shape of his life. If he's healthy, leave Vilma in the middle, play Morgan on the weak side and let Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita battle for the other spot. That would free up the first-round pick for help on the defensive line or in the secondary.


Ben in LaGrange, Ga writes: Pat, I love how Atlanta seems to be the only team that is content with it's coaching staff at the moment. Could we see any changes at all with the Falcons and if so, where?

Pat Yasinskas: Enjoy the peace and quiet while you can. I think you were fortunate offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey didn't get more interest as a head coach. If Matt Ryan has another season like he did as a rookie, Mularkey's going to end up as a head coach. But, other than that, Mike Smith looks like he's going to be able to keep an excellent staff pretty much in place.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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