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Tuesday, April 6, 2010
NFC South mailbag

By Pat Yasinskas

Ramoo in Atlanta writes: Our kicking hurt us last season. I honestly believe we would easily have had at least two more victories last season. I know Matt Bryant is a solid veteran kicker but is there any plans Falcons have to pick up a long term kicker late in this year’s draft? I hate to see another Jason Elam this season.

Pat Yasinskas: No doubt kicking was an issue for the Falcons last year. But I’m not a big believer that you should draft kickers and immediately expect them to be great. Traditionally, some good kickers bounce around the league before truly finding their home, and there always are some decent kickers available. Give Bryant a chance. I know he’s settled into a home in Atlanta and is working hard to get his career back on track. He’ll get his chance to show the Falcons what he’s got left. But I’m also sure they’ll be keeping a constant eye on what other kickers might be available.

Will in New Orleans writes: The Times Picayune is reporting that the Saints are bringing Alex Brown in for a workout. If he signs with them it would seem to resolve their problem at defensive end, who would you predict them going after in the draft if they fill that spot first?

Pat Yasinskas: Yes, signing Brown would seem like a very logical move for the Saints and probably would be an upgrade over Charles Grant. But, let’s hang loose on this one a bit. The Saints have had some visitors already this offseason and they’ve let them leave without offering contracts. Those were mostly running backs and the Saints simply were doing their due diligence. It might be the same with Brown. Besides, he’s drawing interest elsewhere. There are reports saying Tampa Bay will be next on Brown's tour. I also know Carolina’s at least entertaining the idea of pursuing him. However, if the Saints do sign Brown, I think they’d be pretty well set at defensive end and their needs in the draft would be narrowed. Outside linebacker would probably top the list and there should be some good ones available at No. 32 overall. But that would give the Saints flexibility to not have to absolutely lock in on one position with their first pick.

Unknown (only because I accidentally erased the name as I pulled the question out of the mailbag and I’m sorry about that because it’s a good question) writes: With all the talk of needing a QB to go with Matt Moore in Carolina, why not Jeff Garcia? Granted they are going younger but with the lockout looming why not? He could probably be gotten on the cheap and would be a great mentor for Moore. Especially if this is John Fox's last year, you know there will be another purge with the new regime.

Pat Yasinskas: Jeff Garcia has been many things and, at times, was a very good quarterback. Not sure how much he has left. But one thing Garcia never has been and never will be is a mentor. He’s never been content to be a backup. That’s not necessarily a knock on him. He’s just a very competitive person and competitive people aren’t going to go out of their way to help the people they’re competing with.

Ryan in Wilmington, N.C., writes: Forget about Jason Campbell. What about the Panthers having a true viable alternative to Moore with Marc Bulger? I want Moore to get his chance, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable having a true vet like Bulger in case things don't go so well and Campbell is more questionable than Moore is in my opinion.

Pat Yasinskas: I think the Panthers have to at least consider Bulger. He’s a veteran and has done some good things. But at this point in his career, is he that much better than Jake Delhomme? Not so sure. If I were the Panthers, I'd want to sit down with Bulger first and see exactly what his mindset is (see Garcia question above). I’d prefer the Campbell scenario, even though there are no guarantees with Campbell. But Campbell still has upside. I say bring in Campbell, throw him out there with Moore and see if one of them rises up. One of those two guys just might emerge as a franchise quarterback -- at least in Carolina’s system.