METAIRIE, La. -- We just finished a very active NFC South chat with a lot of good questions from all precincts.
Before heading out to Saints’ camp this afternoon, I’m going to spend some time getting started on my Camp Confidential profile on the Saints, which is to run Monday. Fans in Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Carolina, hold tight, I’ll be hitting your camps, too, and we’ll have Camp Confidential profiles on all four teams over the next couple of weeks. Meantime, here’s something that involves all four teams.
Here are the highlights of Friday’s NFC South chat:
Carl Carlson (Springfield): Having turned 30 in February, does Michael Turner have one more big year left?
Pat Yasinskas: I think Turner still has something in the tank. That said, I think you'll see them do some different things with their RBs this year. You'll see more of Jacquizz Rodgers and maybe even Jason Snelling. But Turner still will be the main ball carrier.
Dom (Stone Mountain): How good can Nolan make the Falcons D this year if everyone stays healthy from this point out?
Pat Yasinskas: I think they have a lot of talent on defense. Just a matter of Nolan getting everyone on same page and instilling a more aggressive attitude.
Michael (brunswick, ga): any chance that we might see Peria Jerry reach his full potential any time soon?
Pat Yasinskas: Sadly, I'm not sure we'll ever see that. I think the injury was so severe, he may never be more than a role player.
Ken (NY): Who wins the starting receiver job opposite Steve Smith? Murphy, Gettis or Lafell?
Pat Yasinskas: I say LaFell, but what happens in camp and preseason games will determine the winner.
James (Lincolnton): Pat how do you feel about Kalil predicting a championship season?
Pat Yasinskas: Although I'm sure some people in the front office and on the coaching staff cringed because they like to stay under the radar, I don't have a problem with it. In fact, I like what Kalil did. I think it shows he's stepping up as a leader of this team. He's seen some good things this offseason and I think he did it to encourage his teammates to keep doing what they've been doing and take the next step.
James (Fort Mill, SC): Who do you think will win the Panther's RT job now that Otah is going out the door? Byron Bell showed promise last year, is the job his to lose?
John (New Orleans): Between Shanle, Casillas, and Chamberlian who do you think will win the other OLB job at camp?
Pat Yasinskas: I think Shanle is the safe, fall-back option. But I think they're really hoping one of the other two can step up and win the job.
Scott (Northglenn, CO): What do you expect from Jimmy Graham this year? On one hand, he's only played football for like 3 years and has unimaginable upside...on the other hand, there's natural regression from an amazing year and also the ability of defenses to adjust...what do you think?
Pat Yasinskas: With Brees as his QB, I'm not counting on Graham regressing.
Pat Yasinskas: I think Okoye is the guy they expect to start. But they also think highly of some of the other guys.
Tim (Athens): Penn has never been one to keep himself in tip-top shape and now appears to be sitting out of the first 2 weeks practice. Do you think he is also at risk of being cut or is he too valuable?
Pat Yasinskas: Excellent question. Can't imagine them cutting a left tackle, especially if injury is minor. I'd say it's a real long shot. But, then again, Schiano has made it clear that nobody is sacred.
Kyle (northampton, pa): I was surprised to hear that Blount was always late for meetings, practices, etc. and that behavior was allowed under the old regime. it explains alot when you ask how a team can lose 10 straight. how many other players had similar problems.
Pat Yasinskas: I was not surprised.
Here is the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.