Lots of good questions in our weekly NFC South chat. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
Brian (New Orleans): What are realistic expectations for the Saints this season? Assuming Brees is back.
Pat Yasinskas: Let's see what happens as far as player suspensions and how that will impact the defense. But, assuming Brees situation gets resolved, I would expect the offense to be as productive as it's been in recent years, so that should keep them in decent shape.
Mike [via mobile]: Do you think that Joe Vitt will be a good coach?
Pat Yasinskas: Yeah, he's a long-time NFL assistant. He's respected around the league. Players respect him. He'll keep things as close to the Payton way as possible.
Steve Albarado (Ventura, CA): Been a longtime fan of your blog Pat, I check it daily. Just gonna put this out there though. The Saints will move on from this huge dissapointing scandle, and us Saints' fans look to you and your blog to keep us informed very often. Any way you can stop all your Saints bashing?
Pat Yasinskas: Bashing? I work with what is there to work with. There's not a way I can put a pretty spin on what's been going on and say everything is rosy right now. For the last three years, I wrote almost all glowing things about the Saints because they were winning.
Pat Yasinskas: Looked at that this morning. Think they're about $5.1 or $5.2 million under. Also, keep in mind, they're lugging around the full $7.6 cap hit for Travelle Wharton until June 1. After that, they can spread that between this year and next.
Trey (charlotte nc): Do u think the panthers can revive their defense this year like they did their offense last year?
donte (Chattanooga): Pat, your article yesterday (Door Open In NFC South) insinuates my Falcons are on the way down...guess that means I can go ahead and purchase my Super Bowl tickets now?
Pat Yasinskas: Really, you took it that way? I think I just mentioned the fact they haven't done much in offseason and could still be dealing with mental aspects of playoff loss to Giants. I only slightly suggest it's at least possible they could slip. I don't think they will slip.
Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga): As a Falcon fan there is nothing I would enjoy more than to have a Hard Knocks featuring my team and I hope that they accept the offer. Having said that, there's a lot of speculation that Atlanta is more of the methodical, workmen-like, or in other words boring type of team compared to some others out there. Being in the locker room and knowing the players, do you agree with this stereo-type and do you think the Falcons can provide a highly entertaining product to the nation? Thanks.
Pat Yasinskas: I think it's probably going to happen. Their locker room isn't filled with the type of drama many locker rooms have. But I think they'd still be interesting. They're a team that clearly is feeling pressure to take the next step. Plus, Roddy is capable of being entertaining or creating drama of his own at any time.
Otto (Jackson, MS): Is there any word on the Bucs season ticket sales since making a splash in FA?
Pat Yasinskas: They haven't given any exact numbers or anything like that. But they said they have seen a sales increase since the big signings.
Tony (new jersey): Pat as a lifelong bucs fan I am a rare breed up north, I just want to know is there a real possibilty of the bucs replacing blount at rb, i know he needs to improve in certain areas but the reality is he can be a good back with good coaching, your thoughts..
Pat Yasinskas: Might want to ask Greg Schiano about that one. He's been sending some pretty strong messages on that.
Here’s the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.