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July 24, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

JP (Inverness, FL )

Hey Pat! As always love your stuff and glad to have you back regular. Hey do you think the Bucs are satisfied with the roster or do they make any other additions?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Just put an item up on my blog that Roy Cummings is reporting they've had some contact with Joe Horn's agent. Not sure if he'll be the guy, but I'm thinking they will add a veteran WR at some point.Welcome everybody.

Rickey Henderson (Hall of Fame)

Pat Yasinskas, you are great but Rickey is the greatest of all-time

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Think you mean Ricky Jackson??? Rickey Henderson could steal some bases, though.

Nick (sioux falls)

Hey Pat, wondering if you thought the Falcons get Roddy White's extension done before the end of the offseason

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Could be and I think both sides would like to get it done. That said, there's not a huge rush. Roddy will be restricted FA in 2010 if he doesn't sign an extension.

Steve Mort (Rural Hall, NC)

I am a big fan of yours, and always enjoy reading your column. I wanted to offer a different perspective to the Peppers contract ordeal. If the 2010 season turns out to be uncapped, the Panthers will have tremendous leverage in negotiating a long term deal with Peppers. They could in theory offer a HUGH portion of Peppers contract due to be paid during the 2010 season, and smaller (more cap friendly) payments for the remainder of the contract. This strategy would allow the Panthers to give Peppers ginormous money, without putting the team in a bad position in upcoming years. Peppers would face enormous pressure to sign because he could be franchised in 2010 again, and that year would be his only opportunity to sign during an uncapped season. If, at that time, he elects not to sign a long term deal, the Panthers would probably let him leave in 2011. He would be 31, have much less market value, and have turned his back on a ridiculous amount of money.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

Makes sense, Steve. Sure your real name isn't Marty Hurney???

D. West (Los Angeles, CA)

Hey Pat, it's good to chat with an NFL brother. I can't wait until the season begins. We don't have a team here in L.A., so I have to pick a team from another city to root for. While checking the numbers of teams last year and projecting forecasts, I came up with something interesting. If the New Orleans Saints return with a healthier version of '08's offense, and the defense is improved by 25%, the figures show them going to the Superbowl. In fact, I'm seeing an undefeated season. Is this possible? Please give me your take on this. Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

Even if the offense is same as last year and defense improves 25 percent, they're at least a contender.

Rob (Houston)

Hey Pat! Welcome back! Is Sherrod Martin good enough to not be a liability at the nickelback this year for Carolina?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Yep, Fox has had good luck with rookie nickel backs.

Andrew (Boone, NC)

Do you see Bucs WR Dexter Jackson getting on the field any this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Needs to have a heck of a training camp to even make the roster.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey Pat, how do you see the J-Stew-DeAngelo Williams time-share working out this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:05 PM)

Pretty similar to last year. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

anthony (florida)

What kind of expectations do you have for Sabby? Is he a hard enough hitter to intimidate over the middle as Phillips, or enough of a ball hawk to make splash plays? He ran a 4.40, so he should be able to cover enough ground, and should be one of the faster safeties, right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:06 PM)

I haven't been all that impressed with what I saw of him in the past. But Raheem knows him better than anyone and he's already annointed him.

Pat (Tampa, Florida)

I'm gonna be hitting up the Bucs training camp this summer, when do you think you'll be out that way?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:07 PM)

I'll probably be there first morning, before flying to Carolina. I'll hit Panthers first and New Orleans second. I'll come home to Tampa for a couple days and will swing out to Bucs before heading to Atlanta some time around Aug. 10 and will spend most of my time at Bucs after that. I'll post my full camp schedule in a few days.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Pat: With the addition of Tony Gonzales, does Michael Jenkins or Roddy White benefit more?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:09 PM)

Roddy all the way. Jenkins may even have to fight with Douglas for starting job. Did they get that drainage problem fixed at Lackawanna County Stadium? It was a mess while I was up there.

anthony (florida)

Do you think Bates' new scheme is going to be beneficial for the likes of Roy Miller and Ryan Sims?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:09 PM)

Yep, they both fit the prototype at least.

Sean H. (Binghamton, NY)

what would you say is the likely hood of Joe Horn being the Vet WR the Bucs end up with?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:10 PM)

Think he'd probably be down the list a bit behind some others. But it's at least possible.

Dirtybirdnation (Atlanta)

Hey PAT great work! Keep it up!Being a that the Falcons have 5 new starters on their defense. Could the Falcons be the Saints of 2008. Scoring a ton of points with no defense to help them out. It seems to be a running theme now used by the NFC south rival fans. You see things playing out like that for the Falcons this coming year????

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:11 PM)

Actually, I think defense will be better than last year. Last year's defense overachieved. Seriously, they were scraping by with old guys and guys that weren't made for Smith's system. There might be some early growing pains, but I think defense will be better as season goes on.

Vance (Salisbury,NC)

do the panthers have enough cap room to sign the rest of their draft picks?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:13 PM)

Yeah, don't have current cap numbers in front of me, but Hurney's smart. If he doesn't have the room, he'll restructure a veteran deal or two to make it.

anthony (florida)

Freeman is most likely going to sit a spell, leaving the starting role to be had from Byron and Luke. Luke has had much better showings this spring than Byron had, and I hear its his job to lose. How do you think Luke will perform at the helm with the line he has in front of him, his stable of running backs, and having Kellen Winslow/Antonio Bryant to throw to?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:13 PM)

Good question. I think the rest of the offense is very good and could make him look pretty good.

Sean H. (Binghamton, NY)

How close are the Bucs to signing Josh Freeman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:14 PM)

Hang loose on that one. There's been almost no movement in the first round. It'll heat up next week and I think Freeman will go right down to the wire.

Jarrett (Atlanta)

Hey Pat Who do you see as the starting corner for the Falcons opposite Houston? Also, Who wins the safety spot: Moore or DeCoud?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:14 PM)

My money's on Moore.

Pat (Tampa, Florida)

I have a terrible gut feeling that the Bucs will take a chance on Mike Vick. What are the chances HES their answer at (not QB) but their WR depth? Please say none!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:15 PM)

Absolutely NONE. You won't see Vick anywhere in NFC South. But you might want to head over to Orlando to see him in UFL.

Bobby McCray (New Orleans)

Hey Pat, would you like to come over for some of my famous chicken alfredo? Damn it's good!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:15 PM)

Sounds good. You're one of the best quotes in the NFC South.

Jarrett (Atlanta)

What about the corners Pat?? Half answering questions doesn't count!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:16 PM)

Sorry, I go too fast sometimes. Houston and Jackson are my guess.

Kevin N (Houston TX)

Pat, love the blog. quick question. with all the additions to the bucs who do you think is going to make the most postive impact on offense and on defense? why? GO PASCO PIRATES!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:17 PM)

Ward on offense. Defense: Crowell.

ryan (norristown pa)

philadelphia eagles 2009 super bowl champs eagles own everyone in the nfl mcnabb for mvp

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:17 PM)

Appreciate your persistence, but this is an NFC South chat.

anthony (florida)

The aforementioned offense is going to give Clayton copious amounts of opportunity, do you feel he'll be a quality number two because of this?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:18 PM)

He can be decent. Morris and Dominik sure think so since they gave him that contract.

Andrew (Boone, NC)

With the Panthers pretty deep at DE with Peppers, Johnson, and Brayton. What kind of impact do you expect 1st round pick Everette Brown to have?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:19 PM)

Situational pass rusher at first. But they'll work on making him into an every-down guy.

Anthony (Florida)

Derrick and Earnest should contribute well enough, but what kind of contribution do you think Clifton will make? Do you believe he'll be as dynamic of a return man this year as well?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:23 PM)

sorry, computer had a hiccup. Think you could see Clifton as a third-down back. Look for the same out of him in the return game.

lawrence (m'boro)

if bobby mccray does good in the absence of will smith and charles grant does he keep the starting job all year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:23 PM)

Think that's a real possibility.

Jangler (Boone NC)

How is the Panther's o-line depth in your opinion? I think Duke Robinson has a chance to be good but I'm worried about our depth outside of him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:24 PM)

Not much aside from Duke, which is a concern. Panthers had great depth the last couple years with the likes of Hangartner and Omiyale.

ryan (norristown pa)

pat why u hatin on the philadelphia eagles and mcnabb

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:25 PM)

Don't hate the Eagles. I grew up in PA. But my job is NFC South.

Pat (Tampa, Florida)

If Caddilac Williams comes back from injury strong, will Tampa have the new Earth, Wind, and Fire?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:25 PM)

Could be, but don't get your hopes up on Caddy. If he comes back, great. But don't count on it as automatic.

Nathan Mayer (ATL)

Falcons O-line needs help. Do they do something about it or roll the dice on what they have?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:26 PM)

Think you'll see a veteran added to the mix soon. But there's not much out there.

Hendrik (Germany)

Why in the Hell are Charles Grant and Will smith suspended while the williamses down in Min are still free to play!? Why are there separate rulings on them!? And do you think that Boby McCray and Paul Spicer can bring it!? Or should the Saints add some more depth ad D End!?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:27 PM)

Williamses got an appeal in Minnesota state court. McCray and Spicer aren't bad for a couple of games.

Foster (Atlanta)

Pat, I'm a Falcons fan and I can't get enough of Harry Douglas. His speed and quickness are top notch, and we saw him dazzle in fits last season. He has a bright future for sure, but with all of the weapons available to the Falcons this season, how do you think Atlanta will be able to tap him as an effective resource? How would You use him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:28 PM)

Liked Douglas last year and loved him at minicamp. At worst, he's No. 3. He could end up moving ahead of Jenkins and starting.

Rob (Houston, TX)

Why do you think the NFC South teams do so well at home?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:28 PM)

Because of the great fans, of course.

Sam (Raliegh)

What do you think about the NFL extending the draft for next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:29 PM)

Makes it more entertaining. I'm happy with it.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Yes but you grew up in the better portion of PA, not like those folks down in the southern part.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:30 PM)

Yes, I did grow up in the best part of PA -- best place in the world in June, July and August. Try my best to avoid it in the winter.

Hendrik (Germany)

Any news on Meachem!? Is he pulling Lance Moore or Devery Henderson for their depth chart spots!? I think he and Colston would form a top receiver duo if he lives up to his big potential!? your thoughts!? By the way its great to have the opportunity to talk to some experts... we dont have many here in Germany^^

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:30 PM)

Think Meachem steps up this year. Could be a No. 3. Liked what I saw of him in minicamp.

Anthony (Florida)

Pat, Talib performed exceptionally well for only starting one game last year and being shoehorned into the slot. What do you think he needs to improve on to become great? Also, what do you like about unheralded Elbert Mack?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:31 PM)

Talib's ready to be very good. Like Elbert Mack as the nickel, but not sure if he's the answer as a starter if Ronde falters.

Pat (Tampa, Florida)

Not sure if you've been around Ray Jay lately, but what do you think of the new art style for the Giant Pictures on the side of the stadium? I personally prefer the older version of the actual pictures.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:32 PM)

Haven't seen them in daylight yet. Will probably get by there this weekend.

Chris (Monroe NC)

Will D. Jarrett finally breakout and live up to his potential? He was a monster at USC!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:33 PM)

I think Jarrett steps up this year. If Panthers didn't think he was ready, they would have gone out and got insurance at WR.

ryan (norristown pa)

micheal vick will either be a bucs qb or panthers qb

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:33 PM)

Not a chance.

Nick (Raleigh, NC)

Hey Pat, we missed you, how was vacation? Anyway, what are the Saints doing to make themselves better at lineback, if anything, and what could they do to better their linebacking core.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:35 PM)

I'd sign Derrick Brooks, but I don't think they're doing to.

ryan (norristown pa)

patt where in pa did u grow up pittsburgh ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:36 PM)

Nah, I'm on the good side of the state, but about 2 hours north of you. A little north of Scranton and not far from Binghamton, N.Y.

Anthony (Florida)

Last question big man. I like Quincy Black's 4.40 speed and his huge frame (for the quickness) at about 240 lbs. Can you give me some of your perceived pros and cons of him, and his likelihood of starting over Crowell?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:36 PM)

Haven't seen enough of Black to really give you an opinion. But they paid Crowell pretty big money, that usually means a starting job.

Rob (Houston, TX)

What could prevent the Panthers from having back-to-back winning seasons?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:37 PM)

Injury to Smith or Jake.

Matthias (Los Angeles, CA)

Yo yo yo Pat! Falcons offensive breakdown - 55% run, 45% pass? What say you?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:37 PM)

Sounds about right.

Mike (Cleveland)

Will Jonathan Stewart split carries with DeAngelo this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:38 PM)

Look for similar split to last year.

Rickey Jackson (Laplace,LA)

Pat it was harder to sack Steve Young then to get through to you. Can the Saints D rank in the top 15? If not I'm ready to go. WHAT MORE DID I HAVE TO DO TO GET INTO CANTON?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:39 PM)

If Saints can rank in top 16, you'll be very happy. I'll be writing your case for Canton soon -- think it's scheduled to run Aug. 5.

ryan (norristown pa)

why did warrick dunn leave the falcons for the bucs i dont get it

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:39 PM)

Cuz the Falcons cut him.

Jangler (Boone NC)

Pat, what have you heard about Mike Goodson with the Panthers? I've heard rumors about possibly using him in slot and/or using his speed for kick and punt returns, any truth to that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:40 PM)

That's pretty similar to what I've heard. Very similar.

bj moates (Cartersville, GA)

big atlanta sports fan here is the falcons offense going to move to more screen plays instead of running it to give norwood more touches?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:40 PM)

Very real possibility. That's what I'd do.

J.J.C. (Spring Lake, NC)

I like your answer about the few things (injuries) that could derail the Panthers' season. Could one assume that you believe that while the Panthers schedule is treacherous, they have enough talent on the squad to be very competitive with every team put in front of them?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:41 PM)

Absolutely. They were 12-4 last year. Yeah, playoff loss was ugly. But they've got 21 starters back and they can run the ball better than Fox's teams ever have. That's a good formula for them.

JT (Spartanburg, SC)

No more vacations Pat...I'm serious!!! We can't deal w/ that generic "ESPN" reporting crap that was posted while you were gone. Are the Panthers looking to put Connor ahead of Diggs this year do you think or will they just keep him as Beason's backup and let him learn a little? Hope you had a good vacation...see you in Sparkle City!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:43 PM)

I'll be with you every day from now through the end of the season. Yes, I think they're going to give a long look at Connor. He's a Nittany Lion -- he's got to be good. I'll be in Spartanburg Aug. 2.

Kanji (Tampa, FL)

Pat - show me some love here. I maybe one of the few Bucs fans actually looking fwd to the new regime and the youth movement by Raheem and Dominik. I remember the old days at the Sombrero sitting on metal benches with about 20,000 others enjoying the creamsickle uni's and double digit losses evey Sunday. Its nice to see that we finally have some young talent to build a team off of. I was growing weary of plugging gaps in our team with aging veterans every year. We finally have the potential to have stars on offense. Imagine that!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:44 PM)

Yes, give Morris and Dominik a chance. They know what they're doing and they've put some good parts in place.

Rob (Nashville, TN )

Why did the Bucs release Joey Galloway, but are now deciding they'd like to have a "veteran" receiver? Joe Horn over Galloway? Seriously?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:44 PM)

Does it really matter? Is there any difference between those two at this point? Or Marvin Harrison?

Rob (Nashville, TN )

Hey Pat. I'm one of the few remaining Bucs season ticket holders, and I'm living in TN! What's going on with Ruud's contract status? Why are the Bucs not giving him a new contract, like yesterday?!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:45 PM)

Hang loose on that. Not saying it's going to happen today or tomorrow, but you might see that resolved before too long.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Should Falcons follow their pride and bring Milloy back?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:46 PM)

Not a chance. They've made a youth movement and moved on. Same for Bucs and Derrick Brooks and Saints and Deuce. Just not gonna happen.

Matthias's buddy (Los Angeles, CA)

Mr. Yasinkas - How many good years does Steve Smith have left? Any chance of him losing a step at all in '09?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:47 PM)

Not yet. He's got at least three years before he starts losing a step.

ryan (norristown pa)

patt who covers the nfc east

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:48 PM)

Matt Mosely.

Austin (middleton, WI)

You think the falcons should pick warrick dunn up?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:48 PM)

Not gonna happen. Sometimes, you've got to let go of the past. Again, see Brooks, McAllister, etc.

Steve Smith (Charlotte)

Now that my rival Ken Lucas has left town, I promise to be on my best behavior at training camp. With a full season under my belt, I'll put up 1500 yards and 14 TD's.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:49 PM)

Heard those promises before. Behave yourself and you might have even better numbers than you suggested.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey Pat, any work on Josh Freeman's progression?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:50 PM)

Came on strong at end of OTAs and minicamps. Looked very good at minicamp. Might be tough to keep him off the field if he continues to progress in camp.

Bill (Laplace,LA)

Do you think Deuce catches on somewhere, or is it over for him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:50 PM)

Sadly, I think it's over.

Bob (Charlotte)

When Steve Smith loses three steps, he'll still be better than 99% of the receivers in the NFL!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:51 PM)

Wouldn't argue with that one.

Rob (SF)

If the Bucs pick up Burress, another prime character player, what are the chances we become the Raiders of the East?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:51 PM)

Weren't you already that with Gruden and Allen?

Sam (Raliegh)

Any chance we can take this chat into overtime or is someone lined up behind you?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:52 PM)

I'll go a few minutes extra, but I'm not really supposed to. We'll stretch it out to 3:05 or so.

mike d (connecticut)

People keep saying the Falcons never had back to back winning seasons but the Panthers haven't either, why does that get overlooked when talking about teams in the NFC south?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:53 PM)

Actually, I'll be doing a post on that soon. Back to back winning seasons have been almost unheard of by all the NFC South teams.

ryan (norristown pa)

all the fans in the nfc south are not passonaite like the fans are in the nfc east

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:53 PM)

I'd argue that one, bro.

demondre (norfolk,va)

Chances Sam Baker becomes the Falcons' version of Jordan Gross?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:54 PM)

Pretty good, if his back stays healthy.

Neil (New Orleans)

Pat, who do you see as the third RB behind Thomas and Bush?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:55 PM)

Mike Bell.

Austin (middleton, WI)

Do you think Harry Douglas will have more yards than Michael Jenkins this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:55 PM)

I'm gonna say yes on that. Just a hunch.

mike d (connecticut)

Do you see sidbury as the future replacement for john abraham?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:56 PM)

Yep, that's why they drafted him.

JJ (Atlanta)

Would you consider this a make or break year for Jamal Anderson? I think so

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:56 PM)

Without a doubt. If he doesn't produce early, they've got Chauncey Davis ready to go.

Ralph (N. Ireland)

Are you attending any pre season matches Pat? If so, which ones?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:57 PM)

Will hit all four training camps. Not sure of my schedule for the preseason games yet.

Tommy (charotte, nc)

You think marques colston will have the year he was suppose to have before his injury ??

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:57 PM)

As long as he's healthy, yes.

Drew (Clearwater, FL)

Bucs D-line? Whos starting?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:57 PM)

Wilkerson, Adams, Hovan and Sims.

James (New Orleans)

Any idea what Aaron Brooks is up to these days? Is he still trying to get back into the league?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:58 PM)

Haven't heard anything on him. He might want to call Jim Haslett. He can be Vick's backup.

Rob (Houston, TX)

Does Jordan Gross get back to the Pro Bowl this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:59 PM)

Yes, once you make it, you usually keep going. He's a guy that should have gone several times before last year. Glad to see him getting the recognition he deserves.

Brad (Dahlonega, GA)

Any updates regarding Aaron Sears?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:00 PM)

Been very quiet and it's a sensitive subject. Just plan on having Zuttah as your starter.

Mike (Florida)

Pat Please answer my Question... How many wins will it take for the Bucs this year for Raheem to feel successful his first year??

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:00 PM)

Six or seven should suffice.

Kanji (Tampa, FL)

Pat - it sounds like you dont think Roy Miller can crack the lineup ahead of Simms. What happened to him during the mini-camp and OTA's? I didnt hear much about him but feel he can be a solid plug in the middle of Bates new DEF system.

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:01 PM)

No, don't rule Miller out. He'll at least be in the rotation.

Rick (Reading, PA)

Do you think the Bucs will use Graham at FB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:02 PM)

Only in emergency. They need two quality tailbacks.

Rob (San Francisco)

Sportscenter keeps talking about Leftwich starting, I know you like McCown more, is that because Leftwich looks "slow"? or is it because McCown is preforming above expectations?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:02 PM)

Everything I hear, it's McCown's job to lose right now.

The Walt Disney Company (EVERYWHERE)

Who said you could run your chat long!?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:03 PM)

2-minute warning.

Ryan H. (Napa, CA)

Great question Mike from FLorida. Would you answer that Pat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:05 PM)

What was the question? Antyhing that's posted should have an answer. We've had some glitches with that. Mike, please send the question to the mailbag since we're just about out of time.

Dave (Ohio)

before you go.....put on your Swamii hat and break down the records of each NFC South team this year.....

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:05 PM)

Let me see them in camp first.

J Schockey (ER in Vegas)

will i make the pro bowl this year

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:06 PM)

Good luck on that one. All right, I'm way past my cutoff time. Thanks to all for stopping by. See you next week.