Saturday, January 22, 2011
Hitting the NFC South hot spots
By Pat Yasinskas
We've got a weekend with no football in the NFC South. So let's reach into the mailbag and see what's on your minds.
Alvo in Washington, D.C. asks if the Carolina Panthers might give Armanti Edwards a shot at playing quarterback.
Pat Yasinskas: No. He was drafted as a receiver and a return man and that’s where he’ll get his shot. He doesn’t have the size or arm strength to play quarterback in the NFL. The people who drafted him, mainly general manager Marty Hurney, hope that Edwards can start contributing as a receiver and return man after doing almost nothing as a rookie. Besides, look at who the Panthers hired in their key offensive coaching positions. Coordinator Rob Chudzkinski and quarterbacks coach Mike Shula have nothing in their backgrounds that would suggest they're going to suddenly turn to a wildcat offense.
George in San Francisco says he’s a Saints’ fan and it pained him not to see Drew Brees as NFC South MVP. But he says Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman was worthy of winning the honor.
Pat Yasinskas: George, thanks for being an open-minded fan. As I pointed out in the article, I’m, by no means saying Freeman is a better quarterback than Brees. I’m just saying Freeman had more value to the Bucs this season. George also said he’s scared by Freeman’s upside and what that could mean in the NFC South for the next decade. I agree. I think we’re only seeing the beginning of how good Freeman can be, and if the Bucs can upgrade the rest of their roster, they can be a real contender very soon.
Hank in Montana says he also is a Saints’ fan, but has no problem with Freeman getting the award. However, Hank says I wasn’t accurate when I said Brees and Matt Ryan did what was expected of them and didn’t do anything special. He also asks who was the runner-up to Freeman.
Pat Yasinskas: I don’t want to undersell what Brees and Ryan did this season. It’s incredibly difficult to have a good season as an NFL quarterback, and both had good seasons. That’s why they’re going to the Pro Bowl. But I still believe Brees and Ryan pretty much did what was expected of them, largely because their past performances set the bar pretty high. Their teams each lost in their first postseason game. That’s why I’m saying they didn’t do anything special. As for a runner-up, I really don’t have an answer for you. I was trying to choose between Brees and Ryan when I thought about Freeman and his “value’’ to the Buccaneers. I saw Brees and Ryan basically even. If I hadn’t gone the Freeman route, I probably would have flipped a coin between Brees and Ryan. Or I might have gone in a different direction and given the award to Roddy White.