Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Visiting with NFC coaches
By Pat Yasinskas
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- I’m about to head out to the NFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings.
The way things usually work are there are 16 tables with 16 coaches. Local writers generally stay with the coach they cover and national writers tend to bounce from table to table. In past years, I’ve tried to spend a little time listening to each of the four NFC South coaches.
But this isn’t anything close to a normal year, so I’m going to play a read-and-react scheme. We’ll see if New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton shows up or if Bill Parcells or someone else is in his chair. I’m guessing the New Orleans table will be empty or simply won’t be there. Payton addressed the Saints' bounty program Tuesday and said he was only staying for a day. If there’s nothing to cover with the Saints, then that narrows things.
I’ve also already spent a good chunk of time with Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith and gathered lots of nuggets, some I’ve already shared with you and some more that will be spread out over the coming days. I still may stop by and chat with Smith a bit, but there’s not much ground left to cover with him.
That leaves Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera. I’ll probably split the bulk of my time between those two. I’ll share some quick notes with you Wednesday and also gather some stuff to use during the little bit of a lull that comes between the end of the owners meeting and the time when things really heat up before the draft.
Speaking of the end of the owners meeting, it’s supposed to wrap up early Wednesday afternoon. I’ll be back with some stuff from the coaches. Then, I’ll hit the wrap-up news conference with commissioner Roger Goodell. Right after that, I’ll head right into the media room and stay out of the hallway because things tend to get a little crazy as owners, coaches and league and team executives rush off to catch their flights home. Since I’ll be driving home, I’ll write for a while and let them all get out of the way.