NFC South: Jay Feely

Hitting the NFC South hot spots

February, 19, 2011
Let’s reach into the NFC South mailbag and see what’s on your minds. I picked one question per team.

Ryan in Statesboro, Ga. asks if I’ve heard anything on a contract extension for Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

Pat Yasinskas: The general expectation was that an extension would follow soon after coach Mike Smith signed a contract extension. To my knowledge, nothing has happened yet. But here’s the thing with general managers, teams don’t always announce when they sign contracts. Carolina’s Marty Hurney signed a new contract at some point last offseason and the team never announced it. That’s because Hurney didn’t want the attention, and Dimitroff also is a guy that doesn’t seek the spotlight. Has he secretly already signed a contract extension? Probably not. My guess is he and the Falcons just haven’t had time to work a deal. But I think it will come at some point, and I don’t anticipate any problems with this happening.

Lorenzo in Stone Mountain, Ga. asks if the Saints should take Mark Ingram if he’s available when they draft in the first round.

Pat Yasinskas: A lot of people automatically are giving the Saints a defensive end at No. 24, and that’s logical and entirely possible. But, if Ingram is sitting on the board, I think the Saints at least have to strongly consider the Alabama running back. They need more consistency in the running game, and Ingram is a solid all-around back. The last time the Saints drafted a running back from a local school early, they had pretty good luck. That guy was Deuce McAllister, and he became a New Orleans icon.

John in Raleigh, N.C. asks if the Panthers might trade the No. 1 overall draft pick and a player for Kevin Kolb.

Pat Yasinskas: I like Kolb a lot and I’d love to see the Panthers get him, but I think your price tag is way too high. You don’t give up the No. 1 overall pick in a draft (plus a player) for a quarterback who is promising, but largely unproven. If the Panthers could get Kolb with a combination of later picks or players, I’m all for it. But the Panthers have a chance to get a cornerstone player with the top draft pick. I don’t think you give that away for a player that comes with uncertainty.

Jorge in York, S.C. asks if I know what really happened between Jerry Richardson and Peyton Manning in the labor meeting the day before the Super Bowl.

Pat Yasinskas: I don’t know much more than what’s been reported. But much of what’s been reported came from Arizona kicker Jay Feely, who wasn’t even in that room. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who was in the room, has downplayed the reports and said there was nothing disrespectful. Richardson and Manning have not talked about the alleged incident. But I’m a little hesitant to take the early reports on face value. They might be right, but the information seems sketchy. Maybe Manning or someone else said something to prompt Richardson? Maybe Richardson’s quotes haven’t been portrayed accurately, or maybe they were taken out of context?

Jason in Medway, Ohio asks if I think the Bucs are interested in Bob Sanders.

Pat Yasinskas: You’re one of many Tampa Bay fans asking this question, and it’s a logical one. Tampa Bay has uncertainty at safety. Tanard Jackson is suspended until at least late September and there are no guarantees he’ll ever return to the Bucs. Cody Grimm showed some promise in his rookie season before getting hurt and could be a starter. But he’s undersized and didn’t have enough playing time to become established. Sean Jones is just a guy, and there’s not much else at safety. I can see the Bucs at least looking into Sanders and maybe making an effort to sign him if they can get him at a low price and they believe his injuries have healed. But I don’t think they go overboard to bring in a veteran safety who has been banged up a lot for the past few seasons. It doesn’t fit with Tampa Bay’s youth movement. They can address the safety position in the draft, or look for a younger safety in free agency.
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who generally despises being in the spotlight, suddenly has it glaring upon him.

According to several reports, Richardson allegedly spoke to New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning in a condescending tone during a labor negotiating session the day before the Super Bowl. Richardson reportedly asked at least one of the players if he needed help reading a revenue chart.

Manning and Brees have not talked publicly about the alleged incident. Arizona kicker Jay Feely, who was not in the meeting, provided some details in a radio interview.

Richardson has been leading the owners’ side of the labor negotiations. He also is the only owner to have played in the league.

I have a call into Richardson to see if he wants to discuss the alleged incident. I’ll let you know if he has anything to say.

Wrap-up: Cardinals 30, Saints 20

October, 10, 2010
Wrapping up the New Orleans Saints' 30-20 loss against the Arizona Cardinals.

What it means: There are holes in the machine that rolled to a Super Bowl title last season. We had seen some cracks in the first four games, but now a lot of problems have been exposed. Yes, the Saints have some injuries, but that’s no excuse. When you go up against a mediocre Arizona team that’s starting undrafted rookie Max Hall at quarterback and you’ve got Drew Brees, you’ve got some pretty big problems.

What’s next: The Saints have to go on the road again next Sunday for a game that probably looked like a piece of cake when the schedule first came out. But they’re traveling to Tampa Bay and the Buccaneers are suddenly 3-1, which puts them a game ahead of the Saints in the loss column. For those watching the standings, the Falcons lead the division at 4-1, followed by the Buccaneers and the Saints are 3-2.

Bizarre stat of the day: The Cardinals really didn’t do much offensively. In fact, they didn’t score a touchdown on a pass or a run, which should have been a good sign for the Saints. But the Cardinals returned an interception for a touchdown, a New Orleans fumble for a touchdown, had an offensive lineman fall on a ball for a touchdown and Jay Feely booted three field goals.

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas


Atlanta reportedly has traded for Denver cornerback Domonique Foxworth. Makes sense because there was a real need for experience. Foxworth likely will start off as the nickel back behind Brent Grimes and Chris Houston, but he could challenge for a starting job.


After Carolina's defense looked great throughout the preseason, we'll find out right away if it's for real. There might not be a bigger test for a defense than San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson.


The team is keeping a very low profile in Indianapolis. There was no media access to players Monday and the same policy will be followed today. The players won't be available to the media until Wednesday. General manager Mickey Loomis spoke briefly Monday and the Saints are trying hard to stay out of the spotlight. But that's not going to last. They'll be one of the biggest stories of opening weekend.


After a rocky preseason by Matt Bryant, the Bucs are at least exploring other possibilities at kicker. They had Jay Feely in a few days ago and worked out three kickers yesterday. As of now, though, Bryant remains Tampa Bay's kicker.

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

After Matt Bryant missed two first-half field goal attempts, Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden was visibly angry at his kicker.

Bryant's been reliable in the past, but he's struggled this preseason. Gruden isn't always known for his patience, but he might have settled down after Bryant made two kicks in the second half. But I still wouldn't be surprised to see Gruden bring in a kicker or two for a workout in the next few days -- mainly just to send a message to Bryant.

One guy I wouldn't be at all surprised to see is veteran Jay Feely. More than a decade ago, Feely kicked at Tampa Jesuit High School, which is a mile or two from Raymond James Stadium.