The New Orleans Saints and the fallout from their bounty program continue to dominate the talk in the NFC South. We dealt quite a bit with that in Friday’s NFC South chat.
But we also covered a lot of other ground across the entire division. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
Matt (Unknown): Do yo have any updates on the Drew Brees contract situation?
Pat Yasinskas: Seems to be quiet. Obviously, Saints have been a little busy with other matters. But they need to get the Brees situation settled quickly.
Steve (Rural Hall, NC): Pat, At this point do you think (1) Gregg Williams SHOULD receive a live time ban, and (2) do you think he WILL be banned for life?
Pat Yasinskas: Yes on both.
Mort (Rural Hall, NC): Last year the Panthers took a chance on Cam because they needed a impact QB with a high ceiling. Do you think they take a chance on Poe for a similar reason?
Pat Yasinskas: Not necessarily. They took Cam because they realized it's a QB-driven league. I don't think it's a DT-driven league.
Steve (Atlanta, GA): Do you foresee the game officials being particularly watchful of the Saints defense this year? That has to be a concern of Spagnuolo.
Pat Yasinskas: I think officials will be particularly watchful of all defenses going forward.
Jon (Rainy SoFlo): I find it laughable that Blount will be upset if the Bucs take Trent with their first pick...Now I want the Bucs to take Richardson and trade Blount...You think we could get a second round pick for blount? He is entering his prime and has physical skills that can't be coached.
Pat Yasinskas: If they got a second-round pick for Blount, Mark Dominik instantly wins Executive of the Year.
Pat Yasinskas: I think Julio will continue to emerge. But I don't know that they expect him or Roddy to be a true No. 1. I think they'd like them to share that role.
Jason (Wichita): With the looming player suspensions for the Saints and coaching staff already "out of the mix" for the 2012 season. What odds do you give them to repeat as division champs?
Pat Yasinskas: I'm not an odds-maker. They certainly have taken some hits and probably will take more. But, as long as they have Brees, anything is possible.
Tym (Denver, CO): How sold are we on Zuttah at Center? And is Trueblood still considered a decent RT? I hopped off Jeremy's bandwagon a few years ago.
Pat Yasinskas: By "we" I'll assume you mean the Bucs coaching staff and front office. I'd say pretty sold on Zuttah. They gave him a nice contract and released Faine, so he's clearly their guy. Trueblood? I think he's a question mark. But, so far, it looks like Bucs are planning to stick with him.
Jaryd (Ashland, Va): I think it is absurd all the people clamoring for Trent Richardson to be a Buccaneer when there are more pressing needs in the Secondary and with the Linebackers...You will be able to find a very good complement for Blount in a later round. None of the best teams in the league are powered by a dominate running back but a running back by committee approach.
Pat Yasinskas: No argument here. I say take Claiborne at No. 5. You can always get a running back a little later.
Ty (Nashville): PAT!!!!!With the number of FA LB's the saints have picked up in the past few weeks, who do you see as their week 1 starters excluding the possibility of an off season surprise in performance and the fact that Vilma will likely be cut/suspended.
Pat Yasinskas: Too early to tell. There could be other LBs suspended as well. Only one I can say for sure will be in opening-day lineup is Lofton. The other guys will all be competing for jobs.
JB (Far From Falconland): Are the Falcons serious when they say they'll stand behind Sam Baker, or is that just coach-speak until they lock down a replacement?
Pat Yasinskas: I suspect he'll at least have some competition in training camp. But I think it's possible he could end up being the opening-day starter.
Here’s the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.