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Saturday, June 26, 2010
NFC South weekend mailbag

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

James in Anaheim, Calif. writes: My question relates to Tampa Bay's acquired receiver, Reggie Brown. Since the trade, I have not heard a single word about him. With all the excitement for the future with the younger guys, have you heard anything about his performance in the offseason? We could use some veteran WR leadership.

Pat Yasinskas: The media hype has been focused on rookies Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams. But I can assure you that Tampa Bay’s coaching staff has been very happy with Brown. He’s going to camp with a chance to compete for a starting job.

Jeremy in Boston writes: Over the past two years, the Falcons have traded for another player during training camp/preseason i.e. Domonique Foxworth, Tye Hill. One need that still seems glaring is the pass rush. If the Falcons do not see much improvement in the D-Line position, do you see them trading w/the Bengals for Antwan Odom or for another D-linemen during the preseason?

Pat Yasinskas: I like the way you noticed that trend. Yes, the Falcons felt vulnerable at a position late in each of the past two preseasons. They went out and did something about it. Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith are creatures of habit. If they get into training camp and a few preseason games and don’t feel good about their defensive line, I think they could look to add someone in a trade. I don’t know that Odom would be a specific target because you never know who else might be available.

Jim in Vancouver writes: Do you think the fates of Raheem Morris and Mark Dominick are still tied together? When they were both promoted everyone talked like they would both be fired if the Bucs failed. Now that they've both been on the job for a while and I feel that, while I'm still not sold on Morris, Dominick has shown himself to be a competent GM (at least on draft day). Last year he got Josh Freeman, Roy Miller and Sammie Stroughter (plus Kellen Winslow via trade) and this year he was praised for the Bucs' top picks. If the Bucs struggle this year, but the young players show promise, could Dominick stay while Morris goes?

Pat Yasinskas: Well, we’re looking down the road here. But, in your scenario, yes, I think it’s possible Dominik could outlast Morris. Dominik is well regarded by ownership and he could survive a tough season in which the young players show some promise even if Morris doesn’t. They may not be a total package deal. But, keep in mind, the Bucs still believe this duo can work out. I think steady progress in the youth movement is the goal expected by ownership this year.

Dan in New Orleans writes: I realize that Bobby McCray is one-dimensional (a pass-rusher) and isn't even necessarily the greatest in that one dimension. But what I don't understand is the timing of his release from the Saints. Why cut him between OTAs and training camp? You get to bring so many guys to camp, why not just take him and see what happens? Or why didn't they just cut him before OTAs? I can't imagine they saw something in shorts and helmets at OTAs that constituted his release.

Pat Yasinskas: Quite simply, it came down to money. McCray was scheduled to receive a big roster bonus. After seeing what they’ve got in Alex Brown and speculating on Jimmy Wilkerson coming off his injury, the Saints felt McCray would be nothing more than a backup and didn’t feel his was worth big money.