NFC South: transcript

Film of the NFC South chat

June, 8, 2013
Let’s take a look at some team-by-team highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


Thomas (ATL): I'm not so sure why you want a veteran QB with Davis and Renfree in the mix. Traditionally, they've had a veteran to help Ryan grow and read defenses but now, he's mature and at the point of teaching others. With all the talk of not letting young players step up, why not let them play it out in camp, especially given the high quality of play from last preseason. If they both (play badly), then think about bring in someone. No point in drafting and developing someone to hold a clip board, in my opinion.

Pat Yasinskas: I just think a team like the Falcons -- a team that appears to be on the cusp of a Super Bowl -- needs to have a veteran backup in case Ryan goes down for a game or two. I like [Dominique] Davis a lot, but I think it would be a lot to ask him to go in and start at this point in his career.

Chris P (ATL): A big concern from most people is the Defense for ATL. However, last year I saw one of the best if not teh best Defensive effort against the Broncos. They had P. Manning lost most of that game. More movement from ATL than I've ever seen. Do you think we see a ot more of that style of D from ATL given they will give mixed looks between the 4-3 and 3-4 packages?

PY: That's a good point. They did a great job of disguising things in that game. Yes, I think you'll see Nolan do more of that this season.


Cory (Johnson City): Welcome Pat... What do you think the Panther's plan on doing with their remaining cap space? Sign a free agent or two? or roll over for upcoming extensions?

PY: You might see a signing or two, but what's really out there? I think their main plan is to carryover as much cap room as they can to help with next year's cap.

michael (hickory nc): Pat, I've noticed that a lot of people in the Carolinas and yourself seem to be low on Armanti Edwards, it seems that people forget that he went through a position change and had to adjust to a faster game than the FCS subdivision.

PY: The reports out of Carolina yesterday were glowing about Edwards. Maybe he finally is catching onto the WR position. Still might have a shot.


Marc (Metairie, LA.): Pat, which four linebackers do you see for the Saints will be in the starting lineup come the season opener against the Falcons?

PY: My early take on that is [Victor] Butler, [Will] Smith, [Jonathan] Vilma and [Curtis] Lofton.

Matt (Pensacola): What are your thoughts on the Saints after seeing them this week?

PY: Was amazed at how many different looks they were using on defense. Defensive attitude seemed much more aggressive. If they can just be decent on defense, they should be able to get back to where they were a couple years ago.


Matt (Sarasota, Florida): Pat, I've read reports that say that Demar Dotson has tremendous upside. He believes he can be one of the best RT's in the game. How do you feel about him?

PY: Still a work in progress, but I do think there's a good amount of upside there.

Nathan (Orange County): Hi pat. Happy Friday. Any word on Mike Williams' contract situation? It seems to be dragging it's feet a little. Tampa needs to lock him up asap.

PY: Seems quiet, but that could change at any time. I would think they'd want to get something done before the start of training camp.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

May, 18, 2013
We had all sorts of great questions in Friday's NFC South chat. Here's a team-by-team look at some of the highlights:


eric (arcata, ca) [via mobile]: the last time the falcons dropped 100 mill on a qb it didnt turn out as well. do you think this time is different with matty ice and do you think he deserves it? thanks pat and happy Friday.

Pat Yasinskas: Yes, I think he deserves it. He's produced five straight winning seasons and I don't think there are any off-field concerns with Ryan.

Sean (Vegas): Which rookie in the NFCS is going to have the biggest impact?

PY: I'll say Desmond Trufant. Think he starts right away and opposing offenses will challenge him right away.

Nathan (Mayer): Pat, if Matt Ryan doesn't have an extension does he hold out?

PY: I seriously think something will get done before camp.


Rick (Charlotte,NC): Is it time to start giving David Gettleman a little credit for what he has managed to do with the Panthers given the situation he had going in?

PY: Yes, he's making the most out of it. And I think the DeAngelo restructure was bigger than people realize. They freed up cap room in 2014 and '15, which is hugely important because they already were way over where the '14 cap is going to be.

Hank (Charlotte, NC): What do you see Gettleman doing with the money D-Will's restructure freed up?

PY: I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. Might make a mid-level move or two. But I think he's just setting up as much carry-over money as possible for next year's cap.

Prashanth (San Jose): Pat, I liked your piece on the Panthers OC Shula where you mentioned that he should be better at this role than he has been in the past, due to better talent he has at his disposal. But I am still concerned that conservatism is a deep instinctual behavior and this may well affect the Panthers offensive production this year. What do you think?

PY: Give Shula a chance. Think you might be pleasantly surprised. He had nothing to work with in his Tampa days. Plus, some of the conservative nature (maybe most of it) was due to Dungy. Shula and Rivera are coaching for their jobs. I think they'll play to their strengths.


Scott (CJS): Why do you think Sedrick Ellis is out of a job? From what I remember, he was solid for the Saints.

PY: Wouldn't say he was solid. I'd say he was an underachieving former first-round pick.

Brian( Kenner LA ) [via mobile]: Hey Pat. Just a quick statement. I don't think the Saints D is as bad as the stats say. Everyone, even you, thought it was a middle of the pack D last year and with the additions of Bunkley and Lofton they were better. So when you throw in a new coach and all the bounty stuff. I feel like they were set up for failure. With the additions this year and some normalcy, I see a bounce back. At least to the middle of the pack. Which is all they need. Thoughts??

PY: If they can get to anywhere near the middle of the pack on defense, Saints will be in great shape.

Paul (Knoxville): Any chance the Saints are setting up to release Harper, sign a veteran S (Woodson?) to replace Harper, and start Vaccaro..then upgrade the pass rush?

PY: Half of Harper's base salary is guaranteed. They'd take a cap hit if they cut him.


Nicolas (Parkland, FL): Is there a good chance that Mike Glennon starts at QB over Freeman in the first regular season game?

PY: Let's not get carried away. Freeman's going to camp as the starter and I expect him to open the season in that role. If he starts off poorly ...well, then things could change.

Darin (Louisville, Ky): Hey Pat with a healthy Bowers and Clayborn, and the addition of Gholston and Spence... How u think the pass rush will compare to that of last year?

PY: Remains to be seen. But I think it's pretty clear the Bucs have very big expectations for Bowers. We'll see if he can deliver. The potential is there.

BMand (Sarasota, FL): When is Revis expected to be able to fully participate in practice?

PY: Dominik has said he's confident Revis will be ready for start of training camp.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

May, 10, 2013
Time for a look at some team-by-team highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


Jack (Atlanta, Ga.): Who's do you think would be the best free agent fit for Atlanta right now?

Pat Yasinskas: I'll go the popular route and say Richard Seymour. But probably not until after June 1 when they have more cap room.

Brad (Atlanta): Do you think Roddy remains the #1 WR as long as he is a Falcon? Or do you think Julio takes that role soon, and if so should there be a worry that Roddy would be too "diva-ish"?

PY: Think they're already kind of 1A and 1B. Roddy certainly has some diva tendencies, but he's a guy that wants to win first and foremost.


Rob (Houston): Pat - should the Panthers try to sign Quentin Jammer as a #1 CB? I'm surprised with the former Charger pipeline set-up that he hasn't at least been brought in for a visit.

PY: Probably a reason he's not already there. He showed signs of age last year.

Tyler (In Class): I used to think fairly highly of Marty Hurney. But the more research I do, the more I dislike him. He brought in some great players, even possible hall of famers. But when it came to the business side I think he really messed up.

PY: Well, they do have a cap mess now. But not sure Hurney deserves all of the blame. Think he might have been ordered by ownership to give some contract extensions that weren't all that prudent.


Mark (NH): What are the expectations for the Saints now that "Bountygate" is virtually behind them? Coach is back, players are back, and the team has changed a bit. What type of team will they field?

PY: Think just getting Payton back is going to help tremendously. But they still have to play some defense.

Scott (Northglenn, CO): Fair to say that injuries were the reason for Jimmy Graham's regression last year, and that if he's fully healthy, he should be dominant again?

PY: Think that's probably fair to say and I think the injuries also factored into his issue with drops.


Brenden (Florida) [via mobile]: Hey Pat, I know by some of your earlier articles that you were never a really big fan of Ronde Barber in the hall of fame and I was just wondering if you have changed your stance yet on wether Ronde should or could be in the hall and if so do you think he will make it on the first try? Also had Ronde played another year and pushed his career interception total to 50 and his career sack total to 30 he would have been a lock for the hall? Considering if he had gotten significant playing time.

PY: He's in the conversation for HOF. But I don't think it's the slam dunk that so many seem to think. Terrell Buckley had 50 INTs and nobody even thinks of him as a potential HOF. Aeneas Williams had over 50 INTs and he can't get into HOF. Ronde has a chance, but it's not automatic.

kyle (northampton, pa): do you see Doug Martin rushing for 1500 yds this year? with 8-10 TD?

PY: Think that's entirely possible. Having Nicks and Joseph in front of him for an entire season is only going to help his numbers.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

May, 3, 2013
From Matt Ryan’s probable contract extension to the usual questions about Carolina’s secondary and New Orleans’ pass rush to an inquiry about Tim Tebow and the Buccaneers, we covered lots of ground in Friday’s NFC South chat. Let’s take a look at some of the team-by-team highlights:


Matt Riddle (Atlanta, GA): Hey Pat, A lot of people are expecting Ryan's extension to be finished soon. You seem to think he should get Flacco and Rodgers money, but others point to his 1 playoff win and not winning a SB. Would you expect Ryan's agent to aim for $21+ Million per year?

Pat Yasinskas: Yep, his agent wouldn't be doing his job if he aimed for less.

Anthony (New Jersey): To sign their rookies will the falcons have to cut anyone with such little cap space?

PY: Not necessarily, if they want until after June 1, they'll get a cap bump for Clabo.

Devin (Atlanta): Bradie Ewing makes his "return" this year....which is basically his introduction to the Falcons. What does a healthy Ewing bring to the Falcons offense that we didn't see last year?

PY: In theory, he should give them solid all-around play at fullback. They think he can be a very good one.


Mark (NC): Without any real talent in the secondary aren't the Panthers settng themselves up to have to air it out also to keep up on points?

PY: Yep, they're not looking too strong in secondary right now. I'd like to think Gettleman has something up his sleeve. But not sure where help is going to come from at this point.

Domo (NC): The Panthers finished with the best secondary (statistically speaking) of the NFC South last season and were ranked in the top half of the league as far as passing yards given up. While the Panthers may not have any big names, they still have have the same corners that helped end the season on a positive note. Why do you think the Panthers should bring in more competition than they already have brought in?

PY: To be totally honest, I think their CBs are all No. 2 or No. 3 guys.

Trae (Charlotte, NC): A lot of people seems to speculate that DeAngelo Williams is going to traded or released. Can you explain their logic in that? He is still a great player.

PY: He's taking up a lot of cap space, not only this year but in the future. And they've got cap issues now and in the future. It's not about his ability. It's about the cap.


SJ (Alexandria): How is Akiem Hicks progressing?

PY: They haven't even hit the field yet. But Loomis has talked about how they have high hopes for him.

T Scott (Grand Saline TX): Hey Pat, I saw that some ranked the Saints Undrafted Free agent class as 3rd best. Personally I am pumped about their draft picks this season, especially about the pickup of Chase Thomas. Given their current roster, what do you think about Chase breaking into the starting lineup this year or at least in the rotation?

PY: Think he'll have a chance to compete with Butler, Wilson and Galette. Have heard a lot of good things about Thomas.

StShockey (Mississippi): I don't think the pick of Vacarro automatically dooms Jenkins or Harper, but it's obvious that Loomis and Co. believe he is the future. Your thoughts on moving Jenkins to SS, finally, Vacarro to FS, and Haprer as a Joker/Blitzer?

PY: Could be something like that or maybe Jenkins sliding inside for nickel situations?


Nicolas (Parkland, FL): Do the Buccaneers have one of the leagues best secondary's with the addition of Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, and Jonathan Banks?

PY: Potentially, yes. And don't forget Mark Barron. I think he could be ready for a big year.

Tuck Bucs Fan (Philly): Im worried about the leadership Tampa would lose in the locker room if Ronde doesnt come back. Assuming he does, who do you see being able to step up and fill that void best?

PY: Think Goldson and Revis can bring some leadership.

Tony (Daytona): Pat why all the hate for Tebow what can it hurt to bring in tebow and give him a chance. I mean god forbid he unseats mike glennon for backup i mean what would the bucs possibly do if that "great" pick didn’t mean anything.

PY: Look, Tebow's a great guy and I respect him. But let's be real honest, he can't throw a football. That's kind of important for an NFL QB.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

April, 26, 2013
As we wait for the NFL draft to resume in a few hours, let’s take a quick team-by-team look at some of the highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


Zach (Starkville): What do you see as the Falcons biggest need now that the CB hole has been filled?

Pat Yasinskas: Don't see any remaining huge need areas. All about depth now. Maybe D-line, maybe LB, maybe a TE and maybe one more offensive tackle. That's about it.

Eliot (NY, NY) [via mobile]: Confidence Holmes/Johnson will be able to start in place of Clabo next season?

PY: Not sure. Offseason isn't over yet. Could see one more guy brought into the mix.


Tyler (In Class): Pat, Gruden seems to think Mathieu is the best corner in the draft. What if carolina takes him in the 2nd? he could play safety as well couldnt he?

PY: Not sure Jerry Richardson would sign off on that one.

Norris Gastonia, N.C. [via mobile]: Hey Pat! What do you feel are biggest needs for the Panthers to address in today's rounds and who do you see them drafting? Thanks!

PY: Secondary. Not sure they can trade up. They only have four picks remaining.


Tony (Richmond, Calif.): Should the Saints have gone with a LB or DL instead of taking Vaccaro when they did?

PY: You could make that argument. And a part of me believes they should have gone with a pass-rusher. But Vaccaro is versatile and he'll help a secondary that needs help.

Will (NOLA) [via mobile]: Think the Saints try to get into the 2nd round? And do you think The Chris Ivory trade is coming today or tomorrow?

PY: I think a Chris Ivory trade will come at some point during the draft. But don't think the Saints have the resources to get into the second round.


Andrew (Annapolis MD): Do you think Blount will be traded during the draft? If so, what's logical compensation?

PY: Think it certainly is well known that he's available. But doubt they'll get more than a 6th or 7th round pick.

Mike from mass [via mobile]: I disagree with the TE pick for tampa and am convinced they will take a D lineman what are some good options for tampa on the D line?

PY: I wouldn't argue with d-line. Margus Hunt or Carradine or a DT.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

April, 19, 2013
Let’s take a look at the team-by-team highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


David (Atlanta): Hey Pat. If the falcons mortgage another draft to get someone like Milliner, do you really think it is worth it? Falcons are one of the oldest teams in the league and in a year or two from now, they are going to have a lot of holes, especially on the defensive front. Is it really worth it?

Pat Yasinskas: That's a question Dimitroff and Smith have to weigh carefully. If they think they're one player away from winning it all, then they'll go for it.

Jeff (New Jersey): Does ATL need another pass rusher to win a championship?

PY: It wouldn't hurt, but I think they need another CB even more.

David (Atlanta): Any idea on Matt Ryan's demeanor with respect to an extension? Is he more of a let's-keep-the-team-together guy or is he adamant about being the highest paid player in football?

PY: Matt's very much a team guy. That said, it's his agent's job to get him the best deal possible.


Ray (Orlando) [via mobile]: Could you see Carolina ponying up their 2nd round pick for Brandon Albert?

PY: Doubt it. They can't afford to pay him.

Nicolas (Parkland, FL): How likely is it that the Panthers select Sheldon Richardson with their first round pick?

PY: Think he's the odds-on favorite for Carolina.

JM (Charlotte): With the brutal schedule next season, is Ron Rivera already in trouble??

PY: Safe to say he enters this season on hot seat. He barely made it through last season.


Nicholas Medica (New Jersey): Of the Saints' two breakout candidates at the WR position, who do you think will have the better season; Joseph Morgan or Nick Toon?

PY: Toon. Think they liked what they saw out of him before he got hurt last year.

jay (Mississippi) [via mobile]: Pat What's the latest on the Vicodin issue? Seems like I read something a few days ago about it and haven't seen anything else

PY: Washington Post said federal authorities still were considering whether or not to fine the Saints. Guess the next step is up to federal authorities.

Cary (New Orleans): Any chance the Saints put a productive 3-4 defense on the field this year? Especially with their cap situation and lack of draft picks.

PY: It's going to be a challenge. But the good news for them is it would be hard to be worse than last year's defense.


Nicolas (Parkland, FL): Is there a possibility that the Buccaneers will trade up to draft Dee Milliner?

PY: If they don't trade for Revis, yes, I think that's a good possibility.

Kyle (northampton, pa): if TB loses Revis to another team I wouldn't be bothered. That's alot of $$ and draft picks to tie up in 1 player who may/may not be a sure thing.

PY: I see your point. But I still think they're determined to get Revis.

Mike (Toronto): If the Bucs address corner in the 1st round, WHO do you think they'll target in the 2nd?

PY: Tight end or defensive tackle.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

April, 5, 2013
Time to take a look at the team-by-team highlights from Friday's NFC South chat:


David (Atlanta): any chance the falcons go after revis?

Pat Yasinskas: No, absolutely no chance. They wouldn't be able to pay him and Matt Ryan both.

Dave (NY): Hi Pat, the general consensus seems to be that Clabo was cut because of cap-issues - but what about the simple fact that he was cut because The Falcons simply just want to get a younger O-line (Kontz already replacing McClure)?

PY: There's some truth to that. And people that know more about o-line play than I do seem to think Clabo's play dropped off last season.

Matt (NJ) [via mobile]: Do you think John Abraham will be falcon by the start of the season

PY: I really doubt it. I think once you make a decision like that it's final.


Tyler (Panthers fan) (In Class): I entirely agree with your article on Williams and Stewart. It was so frustrating for me watching that first half of the season. Let Cam be a qb and let double trouble do their thing. What are shula's tendencies when it comes to offense? will he do just that?

PY: I'm looking forward to seeing Shula's offense. I think he's a better coach than people in Tampa Bay and Alabama give him credit for. He worked with what he had to work with in those places. He's got the talent to have an explosive offense now. I don't see him being nearly as conservative as he was in the past.

JM (Charlotte): Panthers can't afford to keep the RB trio can they?

PY: They have so far, which surprised me. If they're going to trade anyone, Williams is the one that makes most sense.

Murph (Charlotte) [via mobile]: What do the Panthers have to do To get DeAngelo to see That restructuring is the best thing for him?

PY: Give him money up front and don't ask him to take a cut in pay. In other words, convert most of his base salary into signing bonus money.


Todd (New Orleans): Pat, what have you heard about Nnamdi Asomugha's reasons for choosing the 49ers over the Saints?

PY: Think he just wanted to get back to Bay Area.

Stout or Porter? (In Bruges): How much of a rebound do you see from the Saints this year?

PY: Potential is there for a big rebound. They obviously have the offense. Just need to get up a little better on defense.

Steve A (Ventura CA): Pat, I'm a big Saints fan and I read you blog daily. Do you see Clabo pulling a Lofton and going over to the Saints? Even though he's older and not great, I see him being a good fit because of his price tag and the fact that the Saints have solid guards to pair him up with, like Strief. Thoughts?

PY: I would not totally rule that out. Think he could fit there. Problem is the salary cap. Saints really have very little room to work with and I think some other teams are willing to pay Clabo decent money.


Preston (New York): I'm tired of the Bucs-Jets rumblings involving Revis. At this point, would it be more of less expensive for the Bucs to trade up high enough to get Dee Milliner? Younger, no ACL injury, and much cheaper. Win?

PY: It is tiring. But sometimes that's how this league works. You've got to be patient to get the best deal. Revis is proven. But I don't think that trading up for Milliner is a bad idea.

Eddie(go bucs) (Saint louis): Any truth to the rumor us fans have created about a revis and tebow trade since we don't have a back up qb?

PY: You think Tebow's a QB? I don't.

Scott (Northglenn, CO): Any reason to be concerned about Doug Martin regressing his second year? More focus on him?

PY: Doubt it. He'll have his two Pro Bowl guards back and that should make him even better.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

March, 22, 2013
Let's take a look at some team-by-team highlights from Friday's NFC South chat:


CP: Start it off Early my friend! Happy Friday. Over/under on Matt Ryan and a $20M contract? Any chance you think he gives the Falcons some relief so they can actually field a team in the future?

Pat Yasinskas: I think he gets right around $20 million per year. But I think it will be structured as cap friendly as possible.

Joe (Portland, Maine): Do you think Eddie Lacy is still a possibility? Or has Jackson completely eliminated that? Additionally who is the runningback of the future? Is it Jaquizz or do you think the Falcons will look elsewhere when Jackson is done?

PY: I think you can count out Lacy. But wouldn't be surprised to see them take a shot on an RB in the middle rounds. They could take Lattimore and put him on the shelf for a year to get healthy.


Ben (Atlanta): Pat - what do you think of the moves Gettleman has made so far? Personally, given the mess he inherited, I think he has made good, low risk moves with a lot of potential.

PY: Low risk, but I don't see a huge amount of upside with any of those guys. But we knew going in that they wouldn't be able to make any big splash in free agency.

Rick (Charlotte,NC): Pat...your thoughts on Carolina signing Ted Ginn...?

PY: Should help the return game. Not sure he'll have much impact as a WR.


Charles (houston, tx): Pat please help me get rid of my pain and tell me whats taking the Saints so long to sign Nnamdi and Victor Butler?

PY: Nnamdi's choosing between Niners and Saints and Butler is still visiting with Saints. Think there's a shot at both.

AP (not Adrian Peterson) (LA): Pat... How much salary cap do the saints have?

PY: Haven't seen the new Herring deal yet. But before that they were right about $3 million under.


Harry (Babylon, NY): Pat - there is a lot of posturing from the Jets, Bucs and Revis camps to the point where it is hard to root for any of them. Do you see a Revis trade happening before the draft or will the back and forth continue until one side finally gives in?

PY: Just my guess, I think it drags on for a while. Think it might happen right before draft.

Frank (Jersey): What makes you believe Bowers legal situation will work itself out. He tried to bring a handgun onto a plane in one of the stirctest gun control states. Buress got two years for that and shooting himself.

PY: I'm no legal expert, but Bucs officials keep telling me they don't think he'll face jail time. In fact, they seem very confident about that.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

March, 15, 2013
Let’s take a look at the team-by-team highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


Pete (ATL): What changed your tune on Steven Jackson?? You were wary from the start, was it the modestly priced short term contract?

Pat Yasinskas: I wasn't wary. I said it wouldn't be a bad move. All I said was I thought it would be a better long-term solution to draft someone. Still feel that way, but also like the Jackson move.

Khalif (Atlanta): Any news on Brent Grimes resigning with falcons?

PY: All is very quiet on the Grimes front. Suspect that, like a lot of other CBs, he's finding out the market isn't what he thought it would be.

Michael (SC): What do you see Atlanta doing on defense now?

PY: Getting a pass rusher somehow.


JM (Charlotte): Why release James Anderson with the recent injury history of the Carolina linebacker group?

PY: Had way too much money tied up at LB.

IKNOWFOOTBALLKNOWLEDGE (CT): DO YOU THINK THE PANTHERS ARE GOING TO DRAFT A DT OR WR and also I could see the PANTHERS drafting an OG in the first what do you think?

PY: I'd go CB if there's one there in first round.

Joe (Savannah): Is there any buzz about who the panthers are most interested in? At this time last year the consensus was Kuechly, is there someone out there like that now?

PY: Sheldon Richardson is the one I've heard most. But it hasn't been as strong a buzz as last year.


Ryan Mullen (DeRidder, LA): I believe that Charles Brown is talented enough to keep Drew Brees off of the ground, considering NO's offensive style. He has been EXTREMELY injury-prone, though (he claims 100% health now). What are the chances he starts, and his backup comes from the draft? or, Does the LT need HAVE to be addressed in FA?

PY: I'd get someone as an insurance policy. But I think they're hoping Brown can step up and be the guy.

Randy (New Orleans): I really believe in this offense happy league, the best defense in NFC South will probably win this division. Can Ryan change culture of Saints defense to get them where they need to be?

PY: Possible. They just need to be respectable on defense to be a very good team. Still need to add some personnel.

Randy (New Orleans): Any chance of Saints landing Ed Reed?

PY: Sounds like Texans are leaders in that clubhouse. Haven't heard anything to suggest Saints have gotten involved.


Kyle Knapp (Tampa FL): Pat, where do we stand with Revis, are things still looking good for us to trade for him? And are we in play with any other CBs that are still available?

PY: Think it's still a possibility. But think Bucs are waiting for Jets to drop the price tag for compensation.

Harry (TB): How can Bucs be so sure Bowers won't serve prison time for bringing a loaded handgun in his carryon bag?? Letting Bennett leave for $5mm seems like a horrible idea, why are Bucs being so stingy?

PY: Bucs are confident Bowers will come out of that all right. I don't think Bennett was about being stingy -- they just paid a fortune to Goldson.

Ryan (Melbourne, FL): Pat, Do you think Tampa is going to release Eric Wright? and what is going on with the grievance he filed?? Thanks

PY: Don't know on the grievance, but think it's a long shot that he'll win it. Think they're holding on to him just until they get some other CBs.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

March, 8, 2013
Let’s take a team-by-team look at the highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


CB (Charleston): I really like your idea of the Falcons going after Avril. He's young and could lock down the defense for a while. With around 20 mill in cap space right now, it seems that we have a ton of room to work with. Resign Moore and Baker - go after a CB in FA, and draft Eddie Lacy. sound good?

Pat Yasinskas: Well, it won't be a ton of cap space if they re-sign Moore, Baker and Grimes. But they could do some more restructures to free up more room. Falcons are always good for one big splash move an offseason.

Dustin (Charlotte): Is Dimitroff looking to resign Grimes or explore free agency for a new CB?

PY: I think they're at least attempting to re-sign Grimes, but have to have alternative plan in place in case he goes elsewhere.

Kyle (Atlanta): Let's say Atlanta drafts Montee Ball. Do you think that Ball would become our Feature Every Down Back behind his Wisconsin FB and C in running packages, share evenly with Rodgers, or (share but) backup Rodgers?

PY: Wouldn't have to be a feature back. Could share time with Rodgers. They're pass-first offense now. They don't need a true feature back.


katie (panther fan relocated to LA): The cornerback position is worrying me. With gamble now cut what is the possibility of getting Talib?

PY: He certainly is a talent worth considering. But I don't know if Jerry Richardson would want him.

Ben (Atlanta): Do you have any sense that Gettleman is more of a risk taker with respect to character issue players than Hurney was? If so, will that override Richardson's reputation for avoiding those types of guys?

PY: Richardson still is the owner, so I doubt things will change in that regard.

Brett (Charlotte, NC): Not a high priority position, but with Anderson as a free agent, what does Carolina do to shore up the #2 QB spot? Entrust Clausen or find a free agent with some experience?

PY: I say go with Clausen. He knows the offense. And, as long as Cam stays healthy, he'll never have to play.


Scottie (NJ): Why are the Saints switching to the 3-4? Does Sean Payton think Rob Ryan can bring back the "Dome Patrol"?

PY: It's a copy-cat league and teams have been having success with 3-4 lately. But you have to have the right personnel to pull it off.

Seth Poczatek (Green Bay WI): Ed Reed in Black and Gold? Malcolm Jenkins tweeted something about it yesterday. I see him and the corner from the steelers coming Home to the Dome! Do you?

PY: I could see Ed Reed in New Orleans. Sharper was a similar situation a few years ago and that worked out well.

Martin (Orlando): Any chance the Saints try to trade Pierre Thomas? They don't seem to have many trade-able pieces outside of him and Colston. We both know Colston isn't going anywhere.

PY: Think that's always a possibility since Saints have so much depth at RB. Plus, Pierre's good enough that there should be a market for him.


Ryan (NJ): Any new info about Revis and Tampa? I know they said they weren't going to be big spenders, but Revis is the best player at a position where the Bucs desperately need improvement on. Also, any new word on Welker?

PY: Bucs will be rumored to be interested in every big name because they have so much cap space. They won't all be true. But I expect them to make a few big moves and Revis and Welker would both make sense.

Red (NY): why haven't the bucs released wright yet?

PY: Excellent question. Simply because they don't have to. They're in good cap shape. So they can wait to see how things play out in free agency and maybe even draft. If they can't get CBs they want, they could keep Wright with a pay reduction. But I still think he'll be released in due time.

Darin (Louisville, Ky): Hey with Bowers looking at jail time and Bennett heading for the open market, do bucs offseason needs at all? Like DE....

PY: Think Bucs are fairly optimistic that Bowers will come out of that all right.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

February, 23, 2013
Let’s take a team-by-team look at the highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


Ryan (St Petersburg, FL): So looks like Turner's days are numbered. Does Atlanta go and get a top FA like Reggie Bush (if he doesn't resign)? Or do they pick up someone in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft and hope he can produce? Going to be hard to find a starting RB with a pretty weak FA class and draft class

Pat Yasinskas: As I've been saying, I think they can find a RB any time from the second round on. You can get good RBs in the middle of the draft. They don't need a superstar, just someone to share time with Jacquizz Rodgers.

Eric (Atlanta): Will the Falcons save money on Matt Ryan by virtue of not going to or winning the Super Bowl? Will Flacco really get 20M? And what do you think Ryan will get?

PY: No, I don't think that will lower Ryan's price. He was 10 yards away from the Super Bowl. He's good and he's just entering his prime. I expect him to end up being one of the highest-paid QBs.

Mike (Atl): Do you think there comes a point where Smitty and Dimitrof set a deadline fore Tony? They have to know what they have headed into the draft

PY: I think the unofficial deadline is March 12, when the league year starts. They need to know by then.


Eric (Charlotte nc): Pat is their any chances that instead of cutting Chris Gamble and Dwill that the Panthers will be able to trade both of them and get some decent value in return for them.

PY: Might be able to get something in a trade for Williams. But not Gamble. He's not young, he's coming off injury and the rest of the NFL knows Panthers are going to release him. So why give up a draft pick when you might be able to sign him without giving up a draft pick?

Mike (greensboro): when should we expect to see some moves by the Panthers?

PY: Closer to March 12. Not just by the Panthers, but all teams.

Greg (Charlotte): Alright, I've read a lot from some sources that the Panthers can save money by releasing Williams and I've read in other places that the Panthers wouldn't save any cap room and would just have to spread hit out over two years. Who do I believe and how likely is it that DeAngelo is out?

PY: They'd have to designate him as a June 1 release and spread it over two years to free up cap room this year.


Ricky (Houston, Tx) [via mobile]: The Saints are obviously planning on bringing in some help for our secondary after releasing J. Patrick. Is it more lilely for us to move Jenkins out to CB and go after a safety in the draft or keep jenkins where he's at and go after a CB in the FA market or draft?

PY: Think they'll keep Jenkins at safety and pick up a CB.

Steve A (Ventura, CA): Hey Pat. Love the blog. Why is everyone writing about how bad the Saints secondary is? Despite their struggles, any solid defensive unit will struggle if you give your opposing QB all day to throw without any pressure. Seems to me if the Saints fix thier DL to create some pressure up front, they would be much improved. Thoughts?

PY: It would certainly help if they had more of a pass rush. But still think they need to get better at DB.

Yogi (Alaska): Which Saints RB leads the team in carries next season?

Pat Yasinskas: I think they'll finally start using Ingram more.


Nicolas (Parkland, FL): Would the Bucs make a trade for Darrelle Revis? They have a major need at cornerback and have the draft picks and cap room to make a trade?

PY: Wouldn't totally surprise me. They certainly have need at CB. And, like you said, they have the resources to pull of something like this.

Darin (Louisville, Ky): Gotch ya. Just curious why didnt the Bucs go after Monte Kiffen when he was available? Seemed like the D was good when he was there...

PY: Not sure Schiano wanted him. Schiano likes a different kind of defense.

Kasy (Hattiesburg, Ms): Does the great Ronde Barber hang up his cleats this offseason?

PY: Don't know, but I expect we'll hear Ronde's decision before March 12.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

February, 15, 2013
Let’s take a team-by-team look at the highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


Darin (Louisville): Hey Pat I heard the bucs want to bring in another qb to compete with Freeman. Why? He did break a few franchise records. Over 4000 yrds n 27 tds....

Pat Yasinskas: He also had a couple of four-interception games during a five-game losing streak. I still think there's hope for him, but it doesn't hurt to add an alternative just in case.

Jessie (NC): Bucs Fan Here!!! Hey Pat do you see Tampa making a push at getting Revis? If so you do think they will still draft a CB in the first or maybe grab a Greg Toler like player?

PY: I think they need to add two, maybe even three, CBs.

James (Tampa): When is Tampa going to release Eric Wright?

PY: There's no big rush for them to do it. They don't have to trim cap space like most teams right now.

Jared (Tampa): I have read that the bucs might go after Talib as a free agent, this just seems crazy to me? I know we really need to rebuild the CB position from scratch but are the Bucs so desperate that they would really try to bring him back?

PY: I see absolutely no way that happens.


charles (Houston, TX): Hey Pat, and chance of the Saints signing Ed Reed?

PY: Wouldn't surprise me. He's got ties to the area and Saints have history of bringing in vets. Key will be money. They're not going to be able to pay much.

Pat McEniry (Yocumtown, PA): Do you think the Saints will look at getting a new stadium considering there's had issues in the SB?

PY: No, they just put millions into the Superdome a few years ago. I'm sure the power situation can be fixed.

Tony (NY): Pat, there's not much talk about the Saints extending J. Graham. What have you heard and wouldn't this cost BIG money hurting the Saints' chance at signing other needs as well?

PY: Not necessarily. If they structure the deal properly (and Loomis is good at what he does), the cap hit for this year could remain pretty low.


Jeremy (Norfolk): I hope the Panthers never leave North Carolina, but do you think Jerry Richardson stating that he will never move the Panthers was the right move to get what he want from the NC legislature?

PY: Yeah, I think it helps his case in showing that Panthers aren't going anywhere.

Tyler (Panthers fan) (In class): Jon Beason: Does he restructure? or will he be released?

PY: Don't know the answer to that one yet. In some ways, I suspect decision might be up to Beason. Will he take a cut in pay and be content to move outside? Or does he want to go elsewhere?

Ben (Atlanta GA): Pat do you agree with some of the fan and pundit sentiment that Hurney's decisions in the draft and with re-signing players were made in a flailing effort to save his job?

PY: I think ownership might have influenced some of his decisions.


Dustin Murch (Charlotte, NC): Do you think the Falcons will move turner and pick up a big name back in free agency?

PY: No, I say do it in the draft. They don't need a big-name RB. They're a pass-first team now. They just need to get someone decent and pair him with Rodgers.

Sharell (Raleigh, NC Falcon Fan): PY. What part of Mike Smith's coaching style do you believe is holding his team back? Not just in the playoffs but even during the season, why want the Falcons ever step on the throat of their opponents.

PY: I think Smith is a tremendous coach. But I worry that he's kind of like Dungy in his Tampa Bay days -- a little too conservative, perhaps. But maybe he'll change his ways.

Brad (Atlanta): Pat, what is your honest opinion on Gonzo returning? What percentage do you think now that TD is saying 50-50?

PY: I've been saying all along I think there's a decent chance he returns. Probably better than 50-50.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

January, 19, 2013
Let’s take a look at the team-by-team highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:


Eric (Atlanta): Can Sidbury help if Abe is unable to play effectively. He sure seems to have gotten on the coaches' bad side in the last year or two. If not, why do they even keep him around?

Pat Yasinskas: First, it sounds as if Abe will play. Second, Matthews and Massaquoi got the snaps when Abe was out Sunday. They're clearly ahead of Sidbury in the eyes of the coaches. Think Sidbury's days in ATL are numbered.

Marc C (Virginia Beach): Who do you have winning this weekend, Falcons or 49ers?

PY: I took the Falcons. Think I had it at 31-27.

Eliot (Roswell, GA): Do you think the impact of Atlanta having home-field advantage this weekend is being underplayed, grossly underplayed, or both? I've heard it thrown to the wayside several times, and if it was factored in to someone's analysis, all I heard is that it will make Colin Kaepernick more effective because of the turf. Thoughts?

PY: Underplayed. Falcons have been very good in GA Dome since Smitty arrived. And I'd expect the crowd will be louder than ever on Sunday.


Ray (Orlando): Hey Pat, did you find it odd Carolina interviewed Shurmur for the OC job?

PY: A little bit. He's a West Coast offense guy, which doesn't fit with Cam Newton. As I've said before, I'd just promote Shula. Think that makes the most sense.

Ceaser Loco (winston-salem, nc): if khalil, charles johnson, beason, and gross restructure is it possible to sign greg hardy AND look good to make a free agent move?

Pat Yasinskas: Can probably take care of Hardy, but they're not going to have room to get any big free agents.

Mike (greensboro): Pat, but when Deangleo started after JS got hurt, we started winning. i say get rid of JS. Just my opinion.

PY: I would agree with you if money wasn't a factor. But it's a huge factor there. Williams is counting more than $8 million against cap. Stewart's counting $2.8. Plus, they'd lose cap money if the cut Stewart.


Not a Falcons question (Atlanta): I am a Falcons fan, but was wondering just how close Sean Payton came to being the Cowboys coach.For me, I did not see it. Benson would not let him get away so easy and I don't see Payton wanting to work for Jerry Jones....Just how close was he to leaving?

PY: I don't think it ever got real close. Benson wasn't going to let him get away. And I think Payton wanted to come back and right the ship.

Jeff (Charlotte): Pat, will Vilma finally drop the Bountygate thing and move on?

PY: I think it's over now. There's really nothing left he can do.

Tommy (New york ): Saints fan here. Is a certainty that will Smith will be cut?

PY: I'd say it's likely. Cap figure is over $14 mil and he's getting up there in age.


Sam R (Boston, MA): Hey Pat. What do you think the Bucs will/should do with Eric Wright? Many are speculating that he's not gonna be with them for much longer. Also, any news on Quincy Black?

PY: Think it's pretty obvious Wright will be gone. We're talking $7.75 million. Last I heard on Black was he was still seeing specialists to figure out exactly what's going on.

Michael (London): Hi Pat, What cornerbacks do you reckon the bucs could realistically go after in free agency and also if we go cornerback in the 1st round of the draft, is the drop-off from Milliner quite high or do you think there are some other top corners to be taken at 13?

PY: Most people have Rhodes in the late 20s. But the demand could push him up. So could good workouts.

Darin (Louisville Ky): Hey Pat i have heard how Martellus Bennett wants to play with his brother. Any chance he goes to the bucs? They kinda need a TE. Also with Nicks n Joseph returning does Doug Martins numbers get even better?

PY: I think Bennett makes sense on many levels. And, yeah, could only help Martin if he's running behind two Pro Bowl guards.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

January, 11, 2013
Before we get to the team-by-team highlights of Friday’s NFC South chat, let me answer one question I didn’t have the answer for during the chat. A reader asked when the Seattle Seahawks were leaving for Atlanta.

I just checked with NFC West colleague Mike Sando and got the word. The Seahawks are practicing in suburban Seattle on Friday afternoon. After they finish, they’ll head to the airport and fly to Atlanta. They’re expected to hold a walk-through practice at an undisclosed location in the Atlanta area on Saturday.

Now, onto the highlights of the chat:


Davon Williams (NYC): Do the Falcons need their running game to be clicking in order to win this game?

Pat Yasinkas: I think they should come out throwing the ball all day. Forget about forcing a running game that's not there.

CC (Atlanta): Will Pioli end up in ATL with Thomas D?

PY: Certainly is logical because of his connection to Dimitroff and Caldwell's departure. But I've heard rumblings Pioli might want to take a year off.

Keaton (Myrtle Beach, SC): Any chance we see some more exotic looks from Nolan? I can't help but to think he's been holding some things back for playoff time.

PY: I strongly suspect you might see a wrinkle or two that you didn't see all year.


CJ (NC): With the hiring of Gettleman does he have a good history of picking players in the draft? We are going to need an extremely good draft class this year to make up for the many losses we are going to have?

PY: Gettleman has NO history of picking players in draft. He' been a pro personnel guy, not a college scout.

Bill (Davidson NC): Pat, a lot of speculation about where Tebow will end up next season. Would it make sense for a team like the Panthers, which ran a read-option offense for Cam, to sign Tebow as a read-option sub in (worst) case of injury to Cam? BTW, thanks for answering my question a few weeks ago.

PY: Just my personal opinion and I've said it before (many times) -- Tebow is not an NFL QB. If he's going to play in NFL, move him to fullback or tight end.

JM (Charlotte): Do you think the panthers got the best person for the job regarding the GM position?

PY: Time will tell. But I think Gettleman was a decent hire. Has a good rep. But part of me wonders if they would have been better off with someone that's been a GM before, like maybe a Jerry Angelo or someone like that.


Hodges (LA): Who do you think the Saints should target with their first round pick in the draft?

PY: Too early to zero in on a specific player, but I think it has to be a defensive lineman.

charles (houston, tx): Hey Pat, any offensive or defensive player big names you can see the Saints going to aquire in the offseason?

PY: Don't think they need to do too much on offense, but defense needs plenty of work. They're not going to have a lot of cap room. But Loomis is pretty good at working the cap, so they might be able to squeeze in a couple of mid-level defensive free agents.

Charles (Houston, TX): Hey Pat, Vilma, smith, and Ellis gone from the big easy next year to free up Cap space? what do you think?

PY: Think Vilma and Smith probably go. Or at least they get major restructures. Ellis is going to be a free agent and doesn't count against cap, so I think they let him walk.


Dylan (Rock Springs, Wy): What do the Bucs plan on doing with LeGarette Blount?

PY: Probably put the restricted tender on him. Maybe they can get a draft pick for him that way. If not, he can stay as an inexpensive backup.

Ben (Ft Bliss): Sheridan is not a good D coordinator with a large amount of quality coaches out there right now why dont we make a change, especially with two (Tucker , Jauron) with HC experience to help out?

PY: Talk to Schiano. He's the one making the call and it doesn't seem like he's planning to make a move, at least as far as I can tell.

Justin (Colorado): Pat, I'm a big Freeman fan and I hate the recent talk around the sports world about QB competition. If the Bucs bring in a guy to compete, will it mess with 5's psyche and then the Bucs have fulfilled their own prophecy of Freeman not being the guy?

PY: Look at the flip side -- maybe it prompts Josh to step up. I think that's possible. He's a very talented kid.

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

Film of the NFC South chat

January, 4, 2013
The passion of NFC South fans never ceases to amaze me.

Although the Falcons don’t play until next week (and we don’t know yet who they’ll play) and the other three teams are done for the season, Friday’s NFC South chat was even more active than a lot of our chats during the regular season.

Let’s take a team-by team look at some of the highlights:


Johnny B/ sw Florida [via mobile]: Do you feel that Mike Smith's approach for the week 17 game against the Bucs was more about staying sharp than actually (to the dismay of Herm Edwards) "winning" the game? Does that bode well for falcons starters in the divisional round or does this loss cause regression?

Pat Yasinskas: Don't think it will cause regression. If anything, it might have been a bit of a wake-up call.

Thomas (ATL): Think Harry Douglas could have more catches if the o-line gave Ryan more time to go through his progressions. With Jones, White and Gonzo, hea??s usually a last ditch effort.

PY: Yeah, but might also be because Jones, White and Gonzo always get open.

Jeremy Cartersville GA [via mobile]: What do the falcons do at RB in the off season this feels like turners last year?

PY: No doubt it's Turner's last year with Falcons. They'll bring in an RB to go with Rodgers. Just don't know if it will be through draft or free agency.


justin (Woodruff South Carolina): hey pat, honestly do you feel that ron rivera will return to the carolina panthers in 2013 and with the same coaching staff?

PY: I'm not saying that's the right call, but it is what I think is going to happen. However, I think there probably will be some changes on the coaching staff. Not necessarily the coordinators.

Paul (Charlotte): Hi Pat, what do you know about Brandon Beane's background? Does he have scouting experience? Don't want a Hurney re-tread in Charlotte.

PY: Brandon Beane is a great guy. But, no, no scouting experience. He's been their logistics guy -- setting up travel, setting up training camp, etc.

mike (greensboro): pat, why would panthers let williams go? look what he did when stuart got hurt (which is always!). i like stuart, but williams, even with a big contract is a better runner in my opionon

PY: I've said all along I think Williams is better than Stewart. But the fact is they need salary cap room. They can get it by letting Williams go. They'd lose cap room if they let Stewart go.


Ronen (México): Is it only me or did you also see flash of greatness in the young Akeem Hicks, for a third round in a awful defence, he had some good plays right?

PY: He certainly showed some promise. One of the few bright spots for that defense.

Mookie (Snellville): I know it's Spagnuolo's first year, but in my mind 7,042 yards given up in his first season means he has to get fired. I don't want this team, while trying to figure out Spags defense, ruin the 4 years Brees has left on his contract, Any chance they take that into consideration and fire him ?

PY: I think anything is possible on that one. That story that came out the other day certainly didn't reflect well on Spags.

Davis (Virginia): It seems like the Saints have lots of needs on defense and another WR and have no cap room, what is the best we can hope for next year?

PY: Difference between the Saints and Panthers is there are reasonable ways for the Saints to free up some cap room. They're not completely buried under long-term contracts. Loomis will get them to a spot where they can at least bring in some free-agent help.


Brandon (Vancouver): I really can't believe how many Buc fans are calling for Freeman's head because he had two bad games. The Bucs didn't make the playoffs this year because our secondary and pass rush were awful.

PY: I'm with you on that. Freeman was far from perfect. But, at times, he did some good things. That team had much bigger problems in other places.

Kevin (Tallahasseee): Greg Schiano seems to be a reincarnation of Ray Perkins...Perkins was also known to run his teams ragged and the teams fade throughout the season.

PY: Yeah, but it's not quite the same. Perkins was doing three-a-day practices in training camp. The new rules don't allow Schiano to do anything close to that.

Mario (Tampa): But in Tampa, isn't there a lack of leadership in Freeman? I know there are problems in other areas, but starts from QB, don't you think?

PY: Lack of leadership??? Never seen or heard anything to suggest that about him. You certainly can question his play, but not his leadership.

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