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Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The evening mail

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas.

Appreciate you guys filling up the mailbag so quickly. I had been doing mailbag posts once a week, but it didn't take long to realize that's not often enough to keep up with your questions. Keep sending them and I'll keep answering.

Here's the next edition:

Daryl in Alberta, Canada writes: I see nothing wrong with holding Galloway out of camp and exhibition games, especially if he does actually have an injury, even if it's minor. I would play him more than need be even if he wasn't. But should I be worried that this is a sign? Galloway is 36 now and never been the most durable, without him this team is in huge trouble. Garcia's injury really has me worried though. I know he's tough and plays through pain but he hasnt played 16 games since '02 and I have little faith in the players backing him up. This seems like soemthing that has already dragged out and something that could hinder him to start the season. What do you think? Is Garcia going to be 100% in Week 1 and is Galloway something to be concerned about?

Pat Yasinskas: Galloway's back at practice now and I think the Bucs were just being overly cautious with a veteran player who already knows the system. Nothing wrong with that because Galloway is so critical to this offense. He just needs a couple weeks of practice to get his timing down with Garcia. I think they'll both be fine by the start of the regular season. If not, the Bucs have plenty of depth behind Garcia and I really think Antonio Bryant can have a nice season at receiver. Bryant appears headed for the No. 3 spot. But, if something happens to Galloway, I can see him jumping up to No. 1.


Roger in New Jersey writes: Pat, I know you covered the Panthers for a while and that is my favorite NFL team, Do you think with a HEALTHY roster the Panthers can make a push for the Super Bowl and if not are they at least a legit playoff contender?

Pat Yasinskas: Definitely a playoff contender. Take last year's 7-9 team and give it a healthy Jake Delhomme for the entire year and the Panthers would have been in the playoffs. All indications are Delhomme is going to be fine and that's going to make a big difference. Plus, the Panthers improved the rest of the offense -- bringing in receivers Muhsin Muhammad and D.J. Hackett and running back Jonathan Stewart. The defensive line, particularly Julius Peppers, needs to be better than last year, but John Fox can coach and he seems to have the personnel to play his kind of football again.


Sharell in Raleigh, NC writes: Will Jamaal Anderson, of the Falcons have a better year. He produced 0 sacks!! Was it Petrino and his staff or Anderson?

Pat Yasinskas: I'd like to put all the blame on Bobby Petrino, but that wouldn't be accurate. Anderson wasn't as prepared for the NFL as he could have been and that showed. When I was in Atlanta's camp a few weeks ago, the new coaching staff was excited about Anderson and his potential. Mike Smith is a defensive coach and he's going to get more out of Anderson this year. I'll make a bold prediction and say Anderson has more than zero sacks.


Doug in Bedminster, NJ writes: Why no consideration to Mike Kenn as the Falcons' franchise player? 5x pro bowler with distinguished 17 year career with the Falcons. I know OL is boring, but getting it done up front is the key to success in the NFL.

Pat Yasinskas: Excellent point. Kenn was a five-time Pro Bowler and started all 251 games he appeared in. Hate to admit it, but the offensive line sometimes gets overlooked. While I'm making admissions, I'll also say that Paul Gruber probably should have gotten some consideration for Tampa Bay.


Matthew in Baton Rouge, LA writes: With the addition of shockey and vilma and other offseason aquisitions do you think they should add aj feely a good veteran kicker and release gramatica and if so where do u see the saints this year?

Pat Yasinskas: The Saints have to keep an eye on all the kickers that come available. They also have draft pick Taylor Mehlhaff, who has a strong leg and lots of potential. But the way the Saints have approached the rest of the offseason, they want to win now. If there's concern about the accuracy of Gramatica or Mehlhaff, I don't think they'd hesitate to make a move. As I've said previously, I think the Saints are a definite playoff contender and the favorite to win the NFC South.


Lee in Tampa Bay writes: Don't you think Anquan Boldin would be a great fit in Tampa? We have the cap room to renegotiate his contract as well as extra pieces at quarterback and running back for a trade. If we were to offer Chris Simms and say a 2nd round draft pick do you think Arizona would consider?

Pat Yasinskas: Boldin would fit nicely in a lot of offenses. The Bucs definitely could use a playmaker, but I don't think Arizona's going to let Boldin go for a price tag like you mention. The Cardinals don't really need a quarterback and Simms doesn't carry a lot of value. The Bucs are trying to deal him, but they'll be lucky to get a sixth- or seventh-round pick in return. Everyone else in the league knows Simms isn't staying in Tampa Bay and they may wait and force the Bucs to cut him.