NFC South: Steve Sith

NFC South evening update

May, 3, 2012
Let's take a spin through some of the day's headlines from around the NFC South.
  •'s Mark Kreidler writes that New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma was a scapegoat for the NFL. Vilma drew a season-long suspension for his role in the bounty program. That’s about half a season longer than I expected Vilma to be suspended for. But the reality here is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was faced with all sorts of legal implications when making his decision. He had to be harsh to make sure that no team ever again runs a bounty program because that potentially could bankrupt the NFL and every one of its teams. Yeah, I guess that makes Vilma a scapegoat. But some player had to be used as an example to the rest of the league. Goodell went hard after the player who was the leader of the New Orleans defense.
  • Former Texans receiver Jacoby Jones reportedly visited with the Carolina Panthers. If he’s signed, it would make lots of sense. The Panthers have Steve Smith as one starting receiver, but the other spot is open. The team has high hopes for Brandon LaFell and David Gettis, but there is no guarantee either is ready to be a full-time starter. The Panthers also think Kealoha Pilares and Joe Adams could have bright futures, but they’re viewed as backups and return men at the moment.
  • ESPN draft guru Todd McShay never stops. The 2012 NFL draft is over and he’s already got a mock draft for 2013. Check out this Insider post. The good news is none of the NFC South teams are projected to have top-10 picks. Perhaps anticipating huge seasons from Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Josh Freeman, McShay sees the NFC South teams going heavy on defense in next year’s first round.
  • Joseph Person has a post-draft projected depth chart for the Carolina Panthers. He’s starting rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly in the middle and sliding Jon Beason to the outside. It could sort out that way or the two could swap spots. I think the Panthers will let their linebacker situation sort itself out in training camp.
  • Wesley College linebacker Mike Asiedu hasn’t been signed by the Carolina Panthers yet, but he reportedly will get a tryout with them during their upcoming rookie camp.
  • Former Atlanta running back Jamaal Anderson has joined a legion of other retired players suing the NFL for allegedly not properly protecting its players from concussions.

Film of the NFC South chat

April, 14, 2012
Lots of good questions in our weekly NFC South chat. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Brian (New Orleans): What are realistic expectations for the Saints this season? Assuming Brees is back.

Pat Yasinskas: Let's see what happens as far as player suspensions and how that will impact the defense. But, assuming Brees situation gets resolved, I would expect the offense to be as productive as it's been in recent years, so that should keep them in decent shape.

Mike [via mobile]: Do you think that Joe Vitt will be a good coach?

Pat Yasinskas: Yeah, he's a long-time NFL assistant. He's respected around the league. Players respect him. He'll keep things as close to the Payton way as possible.

Steve Albarado (Ventura, CA): Been a longtime fan of your blog Pat, I check it daily. Just gonna put this out there though. The Saints will move on from this huge dissapointing scandle, and us Saints' fans look to you and your blog to keep us informed very often. Any way you can stop all your Saints bashing?

Pat Yasinskas: Bashing? I work with what is there to work with. There's not a way I can put a pretty spin on what's been going on and say everything is rosy right now. For the last three years, I wrote almost all glowing things about the Saints because they were winning.

Laurin (Chatham,VA): Since the Panthers extended Steve Smith's contract and resigned Jordan Senn, where does that put them in respect to the Salary Cap?

Pat Yasinskas: Looked at that this morning. Think they're about $5.1 or $5.2 million under. Also, keep in mind, they're lugging around the full $7.6 cap hit for Travelle Wharton until June 1. After that, they can spread that between this year and next.

Trey (charlotte nc): Do u think the panthers can revive their defense this year like they did their offense last year?

Pat Yasinskas: Not sure it will be as dynamic as the offense. But I think simply getting Ron Edwards and Jon Beason back makes them a lot better on defense.

donte (Chattanooga): Pat, your article yesterday (Door Open In NFC South) insinuates my Falcons are on the way down...guess that means I can go ahead and purchase my Super Bowl tickets now?

Pat Yasinskas: Really, you took it that way? I think I just mentioned the fact they haven't done much in offseason and could still be dealing with mental aspects of playoff loss to Giants. I only slightly suggest it's at least possible they could slip. I don't think they will slip.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga): As a Falcon fan there is nothing I would enjoy more than to have a Hard Knocks featuring my team and I hope that they accept the offer. Having said that, there's a lot of speculation that Atlanta is more of the methodical, workmen-like, or in other words boring type of team compared to some others out there. Being in the locker room and knowing the players, do you agree with this stereo-type and do you think the Falcons can provide a highly entertaining product to the nation? Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas: I think it's probably going to happen. Their locker room isn't filled with the type of drama many locker rooms have. But I think they'd still be interesting. They're a team that clearly is feeling pressure to take the next step. Plus, Roddy is capable of being entertaining or creating drama of his own at any time.

Otto (Jackson, MS): Is there any word on the Bucs season ticket sales since making a splash in FA?

Pat Yasinskas: They haven't given any exact numbers or anything like that. But they said they have seen a sales increase since the big signings.

Tony (new jersey): Pat as a lifelong bucs fan I am a rare breed up north, I just want to know is there a real possibilty of the bucs replacing blount at rb, i know he needs to improve in certain areas but the reality is he can be a good back with good coaching, your thoughts..

Pat Yasinskas: Might want to ask Greg Schiano about that one. He's been sending some pretty strong messages on that.

Here’s the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.