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June 19, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Matt (Charlotte)

Pat, great blog post today about Stephen Nicholas. As for my question, do you see any of the Panthers' 2009 draft picks playing a significant role this season? If so, which ones?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Thanks. For those who haven't seen the Stephen Nicholas piece yet, here's the link: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcsouth/0-12-92/Very-special-Father-s-Day-for-Falcons--Nicholas.htmlIt was a fun story to do and timely with Father's day. As for the Panthers, yeah, Everette Brown's going to be very much in the mix and they need the rookie to step up as nickel back. Think Goodson could be force on special teams.

Ray (Scholls, OR)

Did Peppers not move to another team because Carolina really wanted him or were other teams scared of the economics and compensation issues? Do you anticipate Peppers being upset he's had to stay at Carolina, or ready to dominate again?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Economics. Any team that got him would have to have given him a huge contract. I think he might hold out for part of camp, but end up back with the Panthers. Your guess is as good as mine as to what his attitude and effort will be like when he comes back.

Peter King (Boston)

Your colleague, Matt Mosley, nauseatingly uses the term ?NFC Beast? to refer to the division he covers. I know the East teams are tough, but they are also way over-hyped ? particularly the Eagles. Do you and Mosley have any side bets on the overall East vs. South record against each other?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

No, no side bets. You should know that -- if you were the real Peter King -- journalists can't have any vested interests in what they cover. Mose does his thing and I do mine.

RAY GORDON REID ( BILOXI MISS 39533)

QUESTION TO ESPN NFL PAT YASINSKAS AT 1.10 PM HI PAT WHICH OF NFC SOUTH TEAMS LOOK GOOD IN THERE OTA

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

They all look good in OTAs. They're not in pads and they're not hitting. It's not real football. Don't put much stock into OTAs. Wait for training camp.

peter (baton rouge, la) [via mobile]

do u think dan morgan retiring again was a shock to the saints? and does that hurt the team any?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

No, given his history, they had to see it as a possibility. They weren't counting on him totally. If he had stayed healthy and played it would have been a nice bonus. But, obviously, that didn't happen.

Shane Minnesota [via mobile]

What division is the most interesting to watch this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

NFC South -- would you expect me to give any other answer?

randy:(cut off, LA) [via mobile]

how much potential does william moore have?

randy: (cut off, LA) [via mobile]

how much potential does jerry have?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Lots. He'll start right away. He's been compared to a young Warren Sapp.

Scott (Atlanta)

Why do the Bucs get tied to every free agent wide receiver that comes up when they have Antonio Bryant, Michael Clayton, and two pass-catching tight ends in Kellen Winslow and Jerramy Stevens, especially when Morris claims this is going to be a run-first offense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Because they've got no WRs behind Bryant and Clayton.

Jim (DC)

Pat, what do you remember from that 1993 TB squad that you could share with us? I only remember a young Courtney Hawkins being about their best player...not a good sign. Any memories or stories to share?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

So long ago. I remember a lot of losses and a lot of wackiness by Sam Wyche. He was always entertaining. Might have been a year or two after 93, but I remember him handing a pay check to Lamar Thomas, who had dropped three passes in a game a couple days earlier, and saying, "don't drop it".

Pennahatchee Snatchee (Willacootchie, GA)

Pat, great blog! What are the odds that the Falcons give Norwood a few more carries this season

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Very good. Can promise you they don't want Turner carrying 375 times again.

Dylan (Las Vegas)

Pat, All of ESPN and NFL Network are calling Leftwich the eventual starter in Tampa, but with the reports of his performance showing otherwise, what are the chances Leftwich could actually be cut or used as trade bait before the start of the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Very possible. And I don't think all of ESPN is saying Leftwich will be the starter. From what I've seen and heard, it's McCown's job to lose right now. Although Freeman's coming on strong. I think some messsages about Leftwich have been a little off base.

Carlton (Elkridge, MD)

Do you think the Nicholas situation from last season is one of the reasons the coaching staff thought, with that behind him, he could really focus on football this season, so Boley and/or Brooking became expendable?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Yes, absolutely, Falcons think Nicholas can be really good and they privately knew he had a family crisis to deal with last year. He's going to start. Again, here's the link to the Nicholas story if you haven't seen it yet: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcsouth/0-12-92/Very-special-Father-s-Day-for-Falcons--Nicholas.html

derrick brooks at the house [via mobile]

Pat? Why isn't my phone ringing before training camps start? I know I got something left in the tank!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

You might want to see if your gas gauge is really working. Know it's tough to walk away, but it doesn't look like teams are jumping up and down to get you.

Dylan (Las Vegas)

Pat, word is Keenan McCardell was at One Buc Place to get a feel for what coaching is like, any chance Tampa gives him any offer?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Yeah, saw him out there the other day and was part of the media that interviewed him. I think he might be looking at doing something more like coaching high school or college to start.

glenn [via mobile]

Leftwich and a 2nd for brandon marshall

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Oh man, are we gonna start more trade rumors?

Chris (O-Town)

Whats the deal with Plax and Tampa any new updates?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Nothing new right now. I'm thinking Tampa won't be a real player for Plax.

Tim (Gainesville)

It looks like the bucs really want Freeman to win the starting job in Tampa, they mentioned changing the game plan to fit him.. is this all hog wash or for real?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Tell you what, in the workouts I've seen, Freeman's looked pretty darn good. Better than I expected. Haven't seen anything special from Leftwich or McCown. If Freeman's close to ready, why not start him? Good o-line and decent running game to keep pressure off him.

Jarmaine Cypress, Texas [via mobile]

Great blog Pat! I was wondering that if the Saints defense become at least decent do you see them winning the division and why is reggie bush so under rated he was one of the best backs in the league through eight games last year in terms of overall production and he is a important part of one of the best offensive unit in the league.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

With even an average defense, Saints are a playoff team.

big t (california)

plax did say he wanted to go tampa right? why wouldnt tampa be a real play for him??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Money, distraction, possibility of him going to jail ...

Dylan (Las Vegas)

Is Drew Bennett really an option Tampa is considering? Would he be a good get in your opinion?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Just a guy they worked out, along with D.J. Hackett. Could sign one of them, but neither of those guys will solve all your problems.

Albi (Manhattan)

Any chance the Saints can find a LB this late? I feel that's the one place they haven't improved in the offseason.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

If I were Sean Payton, I'd sign Derrick Brooks. But I'm not Sean Payton.

Clay (Charlotte)

Matty Ice, sophmore slump or does he keep on chuggin?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

No slump. He's for real and Gonzalez will only make him better.

derrick brooks unemployment line [via mobile]

Got a job at espn waiting on me?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Call Dilfer, Gruden or Keyshawn. They've got more pull on the tv side than I do.

Malcolm (Blacksburg)

Do you completely buy the Beason and Peppers relationship? It eases my mind to know Pep is talking to somebody, but I'm not sure Pep would go to somebody that puts his words out to the media.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

No, not completely. I'd like to hear something directly from Pep or his agent. They've both been underground for months.

Matt (Atlanta)

Has Brian Finneran been released yet? Will he be released?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

No, still with them. Gonna be a close call in camp. they've got some young WRs that may move ahead of him because they can play special teams and he doesn't.

Sean (TR NJ)

Ever since the new format I never get questions posted or answered on any of the chats can you atleast let me know if you see my requests so I dont think its just me?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

I see this one right now. Didn't see previous ones, but I only see 15 at a time and they might have been covered over by other incoming questions. Keep sending them.

Chaz (Mom's Couch)

You want some meatloaf?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Wedding Crashers, right?

Stephen (Chapel Hill)

Has Jerry Richardson recovered completely?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

He's coming along very well.

Gary (Charlotte)

Hey Pat apparently Pep was at Dale Jr's bar last night in Charlotte along with Beason and Dante Rosario. Is that a good sign?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Saw that. But I wouldn't read much into that at all.

george (england)

Better offense: Saints or Falcons?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Saints.

Dustin (Atlanta, GA)

Besides Stephen Nicholas, who do you think on defense is going to really step up this year and shine?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Jerry -- he'll be a force right away. Also, Chevis Jackson.

Jay (Charlotte)

Pat, give this to the Malcom from Blacksburg guy. http://obsent.blogspot.com/2009/06/whiskys-celeb-filled-birthday-bash.html Beason, Peppers and Rosario at a celebrity party downtown Charlotte this past weekend. I believe Beason is clearing the way to help Pep come back into the circle at least for one year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Yeah, here's the mention of Pep being at a club in Charlotte. Again, I wouldn't read too much into that. Pep's been known to be seen around town.

Mike (Ohio)

Are you familiar with the friendly "feud" going on between your colleagues Paul Kuharsky and Tim Graham? Who ya think will come out on top?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

No idea.

Dylan (Las Vegas)

Hey should NFC South defenses really be concerned about Jeremy Shockey, or has not he not completely healed from his injuries and is not the same player?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

We'll see if he can stay hydrated.

James (Franklin, IN)

Atta boy Pat. Wedding Crashers it is.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Great movie.

Dylan (Las Vegas)

Pat, why does the NFL not consider games played out of the country like Tampa's London game this year an away game for both teams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Cuz everybody's got to have eight home games and eight road games.

Danny (Crystal River, FL)

Is Marvin Harrison still a possiblity for the Bucs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Possibility. Not saying it'll definitely happen. But I know Bucs have sniffed around on this.

richard (charlotte,north carolina)

how will do you think j. stewert will do this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

If he's healthy, very similar to last year.

Dale (Jax, Fl)

Hey Pat, How hot is John Fox's seat this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Go easy on him right now. They were 12-4 last year. If somehow they bomb this season, the seat gets hot. But it's way too early to get into that talk.

Tim (Athens)

Will Brees hit the 5K passing yd mark again this yr? I'm considering him as my 1st pick in my fantasy leagues.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Actually, I say he comes in under 5,000. Say around 4,400 because I think they'll be better running the ball. He's still a good pick.

Tommy (Metairie,La)

Does Shanle hold on to the weakside lb spot now or is there someone who could challenge him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Shanle probably starts. Maybe Simoneau. Not a lot of attractive options.

JT (Spartanburg, SC)

I hear a lot of talk about Fiammetta (sp?) taking Hoover's job this year. I know it's not training camp yet but is this kid that good?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

They've had a bunch of guys supposed to take over Hoov's job in the past -- Kyle Johnson, Casey Moore, etc. Hoov kept beating them out. Difference this time might be Hoov's getting old. His body's taken a pounding and not sure how much he's got left.

Tym (Orlando, FL)

PY, I saw the Madden ratings for the bucs... Not sure how much you follow that stuff, but is it just more or is it really odd that Trueblood was rated only a 79? I thought he was one of the better RTs in the league. I mean, he's no Kenyatta Walker, but who really is... or wants to be? (note the sarcasm)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Not sure we should put too much stock into Madden rankings.

Jay (Charlotte)

Pat, do you think that Deangelo and Stewart, with the addition of Goodson, will be as good as last year? Also, do you believe that Jake is as bad as all of the talking heads are making him out to be, or was it as John Fox said, "just a bad day to have a bad day" ? They went 12-4 last year, not to shabby for a weak team.Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Actually, I'd say Fox had the bad day that day. I mean, you've got Double Trouble and you're playing at home in the rain against Arizona and you decide to start having Jake throw the ball all night? Should have never come to that.

Tommy (Metairie,La)

Sean Payton has been impressed with Usama Young's transition to Safety any chance he bumps Sharper or Harper out of a starting spot?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Good point. Don't rule that out. Nobody knows how much Sharper has left.

Nat ((MD))

Actually, I would say that while the Saints have the better offense, the Falcons have the more complete offense, with a much more solid running game behind Michael Turner.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Won't argue with you on that.

cali boi los angeles ca [via mobile]

Do you think derrick ward can have a break out year like turner did for the falcons.........ward had a 1000 season as a back up thanks alot

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Yeah, Bucs paid him a lot of money. They're going to give him the ball and they've got a good o-line.

Rich Rodriguez (Michigan)

If you follow Madden rankings you need to get a life.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Thank you!!!

Tym (Orlando, FL)

I'm not so sure about that. If they had a Madden NFL Sports Reporter 2010, I'm pretty sure your OVR would be at least 94. And I heard that your Stiff Arm is like 98...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Yeah, but my knees are shot. I finally had to give up softball.

Drew (Buffalo)

Who do you have winning the UFL championship?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Orlando -- they've got Jim Haslett, who's got ties to the NFC South. I say Vick ends up joining him in O-town.

Jimbo Gilley (A-Town)

Pat, great job as usual, one thing I'm expecting this year with regards to Matt Ryan is increased arm strength after an offseason of NFL conditioning. Tom Brady had a similar frame and arm when he came into the league, and in time, has improved his velocity and distance. Did you notice more zip on his ball in minicamp?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Yes and he had pretty good zip prior to this year. He's gotten stronger all the way around.

Tym (Orlando, FL)

Hey now, I have a life. But it's June... What else is there to really talk about that hasn't be talked to death already???

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Just having fun with you. Hey, I've been writing about the Madden rankings -- but that's mainly because it's so slow everywhere now with all the coaches and players taking time off.

JT (Spartanburg, SC)

We could talk about Peppers some more!!! Just kidding Pat.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Not funny! Well, your line actually made me laugh.

Derrick Brooks (Tampa, FL)

Hey Pat, any chance where I'll end up?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Retired in Tampa?

Carlton (Elkridge, MD)

Most indispensable player for each team? I say, Brees, Ryan, Steve Smith, and maybe Barber...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

With you on the first three. For Bucs, I'd say Ruud, Faine or even Donald Penn. Where else you gonna get a solid LT after the draft?

Tym (Orlando, FL)

Franchise showdown: Who would win in a fight, the 79 Bucs or the 02 Bucs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

79 -- I think my friend Scot Brantley was there then. I'd take him in any fight.

Rob (Jacksonville Fl)

Do u think Dan Morgon will sign as a panther just so he can retire as a Panther?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Nice idea, but that's kind of overrated. It's not like he's going to Hall of Fame. Besides, his last game was with the Panthers. They're the only team he ever truly played for.

Zack (Reading, PA)

Pat before all the "Freeman will start" rumors started going around, I kept hearing about Leftwich. My question: why no stock in McCown?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Think there might be some bad rumors out there. From what I've seen and heard, if the season started today, McCown would start.

Stephen (Chapel Hill)

How much is my autographed Dan Morgan jersey worth now? He was a Pro-bowler for one year!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Keep it as a memento. Morgan's a guy worth looking up to. Great guy. Just a shame he couldn't stay healthy.

Adam (Jersey)

Is Mark Dominick in over his head? I know it's early in his GM career, but I'm a little worried. He's refusing to even meet with Barrett Ruud because of "his personal policy on contract extentions" despite giving Winslow that huge raise even though he hasn't played a down for the Bucs. Elsewhere, Donald Penn wasn't happy that he only received the RFA tender and Bryant didn't like his Franchise tag either. They're $30 million under the cap!! Sign some of these guys!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I know Dominik's new as a GM, but the guy knows what he's doing. He's been behind the scenes for 15 years, but very involved with everything. He's a smart guy.

Jeff (Atlanta)

Thanks Pat, I have a 16 mo old boy and the office is wodering why I cant talk now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Thank you. It was a bittersweet story to write. I thank Stephen and his wife, Irene, very much for sharing it. Here's the link for those who haven't seen it: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcsouth/0-12-92/Very-special-Father-s-Day-for-Falcons--Nicholas.html

Dakota (Charlotte, NC)

It's 5 years from now. Who is the Carolina Panther's starting QB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Aaron Murray from U of Georgia, by way of Tampa's Plant High.

Hodges (ATL)

Anybody standing out in the Falcons Secondary?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Hearing good things about Chevis Jackson.

Kareem (Kansas City)

I am a huge Tony Gonzalez fan, and was very sad to see him leaving Kansas City, but how do you see him faring in Atlanta? Do you think his addition finally makes them a Superbowl contender?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

It definitely puts them closer to that.

Tym (Orlando, FL)

Hey Pat, with McCardell coming back with the hopes of coaching, and I know Quarrels was on the staff in some capacity a few years ago. What's the chances we see Brooks, Lynch, and/or Sapp coming back? It could be a nice tradition. call it "Bucs U."

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Nice idea, but Lynch and Sapp are making more money in tv than they ever could in coaching and the hours aren't nearly as bad. Brooks? I could see him some day being a coach just for his love of the game.

Rob (MD)

How has Malcolm Jenkins looked so far?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Very early to judge him. He looked fine at minicamp when I was there. Training camp will be the real test. Two more questions before I have to run.

chris (il)

Will D Jerret step up this year or is he a bust?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

I think this is the year Dwayne Jarrett develops into at least a decent third WR.

Rob (Jacksonville Fl)

Do you think the Panthers linebacker crew this year can be as good as some of the past better crews..ie Green and Lathon and Mills

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Yes, Beason's already great. Davis is pretty good and can get better. If Connor comes on and replaces Diggs, yeah, they could be very good.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

All right, thanks to all for stopping by. Enjoyed it. See you next week.