I just finished my portion of the NFL kickoff chat. Let’s take a look at some of the team-by-team highlights:
Randy (CT): Hey Pat...GREAT JOB ALWAYS..Going back to your Turner looks better when he's wearing D's down...Is this going to still be the case with the lighter workload??
Pat Yasinskas: Yep, can be. Running Turner 30 times a game isn't the only way to wear down a defense.
Thomas (Savannah): Think the Falcons are comfortable with Dent as starting LB or do they wish they spent a little extra to keep Lofton?
Pat Yasinskas: No, I think they're all set with Dent. Curtis got his feelings hurt, so there was no chance of return unless they paid him $8 or $9 million a year.
Tyler (Greensboro, NC): Do you think the Panthers fixed their special teams, especiallty coverage, enough during this offseason? Seeing those kick/punt return tds in preseason was like last year all over again...
Pat Yasinskas: It was a little scary. Think that's why they went out and traded for Colin Jones.
Phillip (Gramling, SC): what do you think the Panthers will do if Stewart can't play Sunday, leaving Williams as the only RB on the roster?
Pat Yasinskas: Umm, I think you'll see some of Mike Tolbert at tailback.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA): I don't think the Saints D will be as bad as some people think. I'm excited about the D-line, even with Will Smith suspended. Akeem Hicks is going to turn out to be another Jimmy Graham type steal.
Pat Yasinskas: Agree on Hicks. Also think, if healthy, Lofton and Hawthorne will make them a lot better at LB.
Sean (Vegas): Do you think Saints are keeping 5 backs until a team sustains an injury at the position? If so, who do you think will be traded??
Pat Yasinskas: Certainly possible. They're not going to trade Sproles or Ingram. I think Thomas and Ivory are the two that could be candidates.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Me (Philly): How do you feel about Schiano as a coach, will he succeed or be another bad College to Pros coach a la Petrino?
Pat Yasinskas: Think he'll be all right in short term. But he's got to have some early success so that players keep buying in for the long term.
Hanson (DC): Josh Freeman one step forward or another step back?
Pat Yasinskas: I say forward with better coaching and supporting cast.
Here’s the transcript of the kickoff chat, which is still going on with some of our other NFL writers.