hey pat, what do you see the panthers doing about the d.t? do you think they will bring someone else in and if so who?
All right, I'm jumping in early this week, so here we go. Johnny, I think it's safe to say the Panthers will bring in at least one more DT before all is said and done. Tough to speculate on names of who might come available right now. But keep an eye on Titans. They've got an abundance of DTs. Panthers may wait for someone decent to get cut elsewhere. But don't rule out possibility of a trade. Remember, they did that to get Chris Harris when they were desperate at safety a couple years ago and it worked out nicely.
Does it look like to you that the Saints defense has done enough to improve to make the playoffs??..Compete for a Super Bowl??
On paper, they should be very good. I was impressed with what I saw of the D in camp. But we'll have to wait to see if it all translates into the regular season. And, as we know from last year, it's important to stay healthy.
Do the Bucs have their eyes on any WRs now that Bryant and Clayton are banged up?
I think they'll go through the first preseason game and see if any of the young guys step up. But I still suspect they'll bring in a veteran at some point. Could be somebody that gets cut somewhere else.
What do you think of the Falcons D this year? Also what about Moore when he comes back? Will he be a starter at some point?
Think DeCoud has the job locked up for now. If he starts off well, he'll keep it. Overall, I like the Falcons D. Yeah, I know, they've got a bunch of new starters. But these guys fit Smith's scheme and the coaches are really high on them.
What do you think of smitty coming back earlier than expected
Can't see it being anything besides good news. That said, I'd still hold him out of at least the first preseason game -- and limit him the rest of the way. Need him healthy for regular season.
First i wanted to know, Richard marshall was a decent nickelback, how will he change into a number 2 cornerback, second is mike goodson as good as they are making him, and do you think there is a chance of him becoming a slot receiver
I think Marshall is at least as good as Lucas, who was breaking down late last year. Might be an upgrade. As far as Goodson, I really like what I've seen and heard. But you can't take too many carries away from DeAngelo and Stewart.
Its not looking like Freeman will win the Job at Qb this year. Do you think the bucs will find a way to get him on the field this year or will he just hold a clipboard in his hands this season?
Either McCown or Leftwich will start the year as the starter. If they struggle, I guess Freeman starts by midseason. If they play well, Bucs will be happy to see Freeman sit all year because it means they're doing well.
pat, Why do you hate us Buccaneers? I do realize that "hate" is a very strong word, so you can substitute it with "dislike" if you want.
What are you talking about??? I don't hate -- or for that matter, love -- any team. I cover all of them and do my best to do it fairly.
how is brent grimes looking?
Very good. I'll be doing a column on him shortly. Think he's pretty much locked up starting job.
Been hearing alot about Geno Hayes in Tampa Bay...do you see him emerging as a starter for the Bucs?
Right now, it sounds like he could be ticketed for that.
Can we be done talking about Vick as far as the NFC South and your stories go?
I think that situation has taken care of itself now.
What are your impressions of Rod Coleman so far
Still trying to play his way into playing shape. Needs to show something in the preseason games to make the roster.
The panthers have their first depth charts out and i was wondering what you thought of Nick Hayden taking the spot of Kemo?? I think that Marlon Favorite is going to be the one that stands out in my opinion. Hayden is good but do you think that with his size he will be able to fill the slot that Kemo had?? Your thoughts, thanks Pat
Still think they'll bring in someone else. Favorite fits that position better because he's bigger, but it's an awful lot to expect an undrafted rookie to be your starter there.
Can I have a Brooks update? Please tell me he is not going to NO
Think Oakland's a possibility. Saints want to go through first preseason game and see what they've got. That kind of implies Brooks' workout wasn't that great.
Dose Warrick Dunn have a job?
Not yet, but word is he still wants to play. Think you could see something happen if some RBs get banged up in the preseason.
Jon Gruden was amazing last night, I loved every word. What are your thougths on Chucky?
I only got to catch the first five minutes in the Atlanta airport before flying out. But I thought he was good. He's a natural. Great talker and absolutely loves the game.
Should we look more into why Caddy is being benched for the first 2 preseason games?
I think they're just being cautious.
QUESTION TO PAT YASSINSKAS 1.20PM HI PAT WHATS THE DATE FOR EAGLES FALCONS
Dec. 6 in Atlanta.
Pat, have you heard if the Panthers are interested in Dwayne Robertson? They tried to trade for him as part of the Jenkins to Jets deal, he is a free agent and former 4th overall pick.
Doesn't seem like they're jumping up and down to get him. Don't rule it out, but I think they want to see who else might be available first.
ive heard alot of good things about Dwayne Jarrett this off season, is he ready to step up and contribute for the Panthers?
I've heard and seen the same things. I think he's ready to step up, but didn't we all think the same thing last year?
is chris houston capable of being the falcons number 1 cornerback? is he afraid to tackle?
Well, he pretty much already has been the No. 1 CB. Tackling isn't one of his strenghts. But, if can cover WRs, that's the main thing.
how are the linebackers looking for the falcons? is curtis healed fully, is mike looking old, and is stephen nicholas looking good?
Peterson's not looking old. He's looking energized and has taken on the role of leader of the D. Lofton's on his way to being at full strength. Coaches are very fired up about what they've seen from Nicholas so far.
Do you see Jenkins starting this year for the saints, or is he more a nickle/dime player in year one
I'd say nickel or dime to start the season. Holdout set him back some. Other CBs are playing well. He could move up as the season goes on.
Do you think Bidwell is done for the year >?
Can't say that yet, but it's definitely a concern. Stay tuned on this one.
Would you please follow-up on the Cadillac question. Is he expected to return to near what he was? That would make him the most talented back on the roster again.
As I've said many times before, don't get your hopes too high on Caddy. If he gives them anything, it's a bonus. The guy's had two major knee injuries and nobody knows what he'll be. They paid Ward lots of money and Graham is pretty good. Those two will get most of the carries.
Certainly don't want to harp on Vick, but I do have an NFC South related question. I know Vick will be back Week 6 at latest, but is there a possibility he will be reinstated Week 1?
We've got to wait for Goodell to make his decision. My guess is Vick won't be playing against the Panthers or Saints.
Are you a Madden gamer?
Not anymore. Used to be up until two or three years ago, but don't have the free time for it. I do play a little Golden Tee golf from time to time, but that's about the extent of my video game involvement these days.
Pat, what are your thoughts on the Falcons as compared to the rest of the teams in the NFL so far this camp?
Not sure you should read too much into training camps. But I thought the Falcons were the most impressive of the four during my camp visits so far.
Do you feel Morris will cut down to 3 QB's by the end of preseason week 2?
No, I think he'll probably wait until end of preseason to do that. There's no need to rush.
when will tampa cut dexter jackson the non super bowl mvp type
Not so sure that's going to happen. He's having a nice camp so far.
matt ryan is locked up as the falcons starter. how are the other quarterbacks looking? is dj shockley looking good so far?
I was real impressed with Shockely when I was up there. I think the Falcons are at least considering moving him up to No. 2, if he shows well in preseason games. I was pleasantly surprised by his arm strength.
What did you think of Peria Jerry, our #1 draft pick?
Looked solid in camp. Think he's going to be fine and could really boost rest of that D-line.
What do you think of Atlanta's WR depth with the recent signings of veterans Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson? Do you think Brian Finneran makes the final roster again? Which Falcons WR do you envision will take over Harry Douglas' slot receiver position this season?
I think Fin sticks again. I think they'll keep one of the two others -- Ferguson's looked the best so far. I think they'll keep one of the young kids as the fifth guy.
Anything about the new signing Anthony Hargrove? Will he be a sleeper contributor for the new look D in NO?
Excellent question. I know the Saints coaches think they've got a steal in Hargrove. They think he could be a real factor.
Do you still think the Saints will pass on signing Derrick Brooks?
Wouldn't totally rule it out. But I think they would have signed him while he was there if they thought he could solve all their problems.
Will the Saints secondary be the most improved unit in football this season? I say yes. What say you Pat?
I'll go with you on that. They're definitely way more talented than a year ago and I think Williams will really help those guys.
Pat, love your blog.. I am trying to keep up with my Panthers as much as i can and it seems this is the best place to do so, with that why is it they are not getting the love? Atlanta had a good year last year but i just dont see them becoming the dominate force in the South like everyone expects, and picking NO over the cats seems crazy given the track record.. I know Jake and the team fell apart in their playoff game but this team was STRONG last year and i am only seeing improvement from that team to this one. Thoughts? Thanks Pat!!
Can't say why they're not getting the love elsewhere. But I've still got them as No. 1 in the division. They're a 12-4 team with just about everyone back.
What will you be watching for in the Saints offense in this first preseason game?
First, getting the starters in and out without getting anyone hurt. After that, Meachem. They like what he's done in camp, but need to see it in preseason games to be sure.
Luke Mc Cown has a break through season with tampa bay what are you thoughts on that?
Entirely possible. Tampa's got a good offensive line and good RBs. Winslow and Bryant give them threats in passing game. I think this is a decent situation for whoever plays QB.
Hey Pat, I caught a Panther's practice last week and noticed that several players and coaches including Fox have really trimmed down in weight. Is this a new philosophy in Panthers camp?
Not sure if it's a philosophy, but it was a big deal during the offseason. The coaching staff had a little contest to see who could lose the most weight. OC Jeff Davidson lost a bunch. Fox looks like he's in great shape. But Fox often tones down in the offseason and puts it back on during season, which is understandable, given his job and work load.
Angelo Crowell... Good signing..or Bad???
Not looking too great so far.
Pat,Hey, you said a while back that John Fox's hand will always be in how the defense is ran at Carolina, no matter who the D-Coordinator is. I agreed with you when you said that, however all I have been hearing from the players is, "I love this new system", "We will be able to use out atheltic talent more in this sytem", "We will be more aggresive this year", etc. etc. Is Fox going to give Meeks a little more power at Carolina? I hope so!
Fox is always going to have a big hand in that defense.
Pat, do you think the saints will be this year's Cardinals if the defense can just be average?
Could be. I've said all along all they need is for the D to be average.
From what you've seen personally in training camp for the Bucs, does Freeman only start the season if he lights it up with starters?
So far, it's looking like they'll open season with either McCown or Leftwich.
You've said repeatedly that the Falcons plan on giving Jamaal Anderson every opportunity to play up to his potential. How did he look in camp? How did Sidbury look? And while we're on the D-Line, does Babineaux look like he's ready to take yet another step forward?
Saw him getting chewed out pretty good by one of the coaches once. But that means they're still looking at him. He'll still get a chance, but don't be surprised if you see a lot of Chauncey Davis. On Babineaux, I think he's one of the most underrated players in the division. The arrival of Jerry should only help him.
When will you be back to buc traing camp
I'll be out there Monday.
Do you see Tony Gonzalez being a role player in the Falcons offense this season or having potentially another Pro Bowl season?
What rookie will have the biggest impact on the division next year?
Peria Jerry -- obviously, he's not a skill-position guy. But he's going to play right away and should help rest of D-line.
Which NFC South team has the most potential at the wide reciever position?
Easy one -- Saints.
Pat,Hey, looking back to the 2008 draft. It is looking more and more like the Panthers' draft was a great one. We all know about Jonathon Stewart, Jeff Otah, Godfrey. Dan Connors was leading the team in ST tackles when he went down with injury, but it is playing well in TC so far. Gary Barnidge is running with the starters now at TE. Hayden looks like he will play a lot and they have said good things about Bernadeau and Schwartz at OL. Best draft class from 08? Best in team history?
Has the potential to turn out very nice. But it has a long way to go to top the 2001 class -- Morgan, Jenkins and Smith. Heck, you can even throw in Weinke and I think Jarrod Cooper was fifth-rounder that year.
Who well did Roddy White look at camp? I hope he can stay healthy.
Looked very good. Was standing at practice with Buck Belue, who sees the Falcons all the time, and he said White's in best shape of his career.
whats up with the south having all these big name TE all of the sudden Shockey, Gonzo, Winslow
Copy cat league and copy cat division. But, hey, I think it's great. I also think Carolina TEs might surprise you a bit this year. They don't have anybody with the names like the other three, but all three of their TEs are decent.
Do you think Pierre and Reggie can produce enough of a rushing game to give the Saints a more balanced offense? I believe they have the o-line to do it.
Yes, I think it will be slightly more balanced. But they're not going to take the ball out of Brees' hands too much.
Is Raheem Morris the most upbeat coach you have ever seen?
Yeah, definitely the most energetic.
How did Babs, Trey Lewis, and Peria Jerry look ?
All looked good. Think they can be very strong in the middle this year.
If Grimes takes the other CB spot, is it b/c he won it or no one else was all that impressive?
Because he won it. He's having a great camp. He won the job at start of last year, before getting banged up.
Do you think Matt Ryan will be a force to reckon this year or was last year a fluke?
Absolutely a force. This guy is the real deal.
do you think elbert mack can beat out ronde for the 2nd corner?
Did you get a chance to check out Captain Munnerlyn while you were in Spartanburg? Seems like everyone is giving him a lot of praise. Even John Fox, who, as you know, doesn't like to give praise to rooks this early. Chris Harris and Thomas Davis have both said he was a steal in the 7th round. I even read where someone told Munnerlyn if he would have waited one more year at S Carolina, he would have been a top 15 pick. What do you think about him. Sounds like he may beat out Martin for nickel back.
That's the word I'm hearing, too. Harris keeps singing his praises and Harris is a guy that's been around and knows the game well.
How is elbert mack looking as the bucs nickelback?
Fine as a nickel back, but not ready to jump ahead of Ronde this year.
please answer this question: who will have a better season, steve smith or roddy white?
Hard to go against Smith. Also, Gonzalez could take some of White's opportunities.
who is the front runner for Carolinas back up QB job Moore or McCown? I really like Moore and hope he is our QB of the future
McCown's the guy for now. But I also like Moore for down the road.
How did Thomas Decoud look to you ? Will Decoud become a impact/playmaker safety.
Very good. Coaches are thrilled with him. He was way ahead of Moore before Moore got hurt.
Pat, is it fair to throw Bush in with Leinart and Young as major busts? I think Bush hasn't lived up to his potential, but the B word might be a bit harsh. What about all his contributions when healthy?
I think bust is too strong for Bush. He hasn't been a bust. He's contributed in different ways when he's healthy. If he can stay on the field a whole season, I think he can do a lot. But it's awfully hard to live up to his draft status.
leftwich is just there to give some pointers to the young guys and push mc cown a little the bucs are looking to build a franchise and will keep there three young potentally talented quarterbacks to star the season what do you think .
Leftwich might actually win the job. Even if he doesn't, don't you want someone with experience? I don't see Josh Johnson making this roster.
Do you think Gonzo will help the passing game in ATL or take away catches from the WR core?
He'll definitely help. But I think the numbers will be spread around a bit more than last year.
How good of a safety do you think Charles godfrey will become in the future?
Thought he was good at times last year, but also made some rookie mistakes. If he can stop the mistakes, he can be very good.
pat what is the link for the madden simulations espn has for every team for the season this year i cant seem to find it GO BUCS
Don't have link handy, but try to find our video games page. If you can't do that, go back through the blog. I had an item on this in late July or early August.
Do you think Charles Grant regains his starting DE spot after his suspension?
Depends on how Hargrove and McCray do. I can see Hargrove staying in there if he plays well.
Do you think the Panthers will regret not bringing anyone in to Challenge Delhomme this year?
Thing is, they couldn't have brought someone in even if they wanted to. They simply didn't have the salary cap room. Right or wrong, Fox and Hurney are committed to Delhomme.
Which TE ends up with the best numbers? Shockey, The Soldier, Gonzalez, or I have no idea who the Panthers TE is?
I say Gonzalez. He's the most dependable of that bunch.
I saw some highlights of Booker from last season and he made some impressive catches. Does he look out of shape or just not as good as Ferg? Also which of the two is faster?
It's way early to call that race, but the coaches think Ferguson has been the best of those two through the first few practices they've been there.
How have the Bucs' D Line looked this offseason? Is it inevitable that they are going to struggle this year because of lack of depth and overall talent, or will someone step up?
I don't really like the talent. But I'm going to give Jim Bates the benefit of the doubt for now and see if he can coach them up.
Pat after visiting the Saints camp, did you get any read on how Usama Young is doing at safety? He had good size and speed for a corner already, but if he can use his athleticism and ball skills at safety, it could make a smooth transition for when Sharper leaves. I've heard nothing but good things so far but was wondering if you saw anything first hand. Love your blogs and keep up the great work. God Bless.
Coaches have been raving about Young and I also liked what I saw. Not sure how much Sharper's got left. You could be seeing Young even before you expect.
Wilkerson double digit sacks??
Don't rule that one out. I think Wilkerson's very underrated.
How many sacks will Charles Grant get this year?
1.5, just a guess.
Gaines double digit sacks?
I'll give him 8.0.
Do you think the Bucs are underrated???
I think a lot of people are selling them short by ranking them among the worst teams. Yes, they've got a lot of questions. But they've also got some good things going for them -- good o-line, good RBs and excellent MLB.
What do you think about Charles Johnson? I think he will be like Al Wallace was a few years ago.
Could be. I know Carolina's coaches think Johnson is having a very good camp.
i heard a rumor the panthers were leaving charlotte. is this true? i would be devastaded. i have been a life long panthers fan and this would kill me.
Where'd you hear that??? No way. Jerry Richardson would never do that. Plus, Panthers have great support. They've sold out all but two games (and those were in the miserable 2001 season) since they've opened the stadium.
What other free-agent wr's could the bucs bring in this year to bolster their wr core; experience?
Hang loose and see who gets cut by other teams.
who are the bucs captains this year?
Don't think they've named them yet. Generally, teams don't do that until right before regular season.
I know on paper the Saints probably are the most talented team in the NFC South but are they practicing like it? How do they look compared to the other NFC South teams?
Saints are practicing very aggressively. Part of it is to instill that attitude into defense. Flip side of that is you can get people hurt or worn out.
A rumor that the panthers leaving charlotte is about as rich as the rumors that vick was going there. not sure which is more ridiculous. thoughts?
Is Peyton taking it 'easy' on the Saints in training camp this year vs other years?
Easier than last year in that he's mixing it up and doing some indoor practices and some light sessions. But I'd still say they have toughest camp in NFC South.
Who has more tackles this season: Ruud, Beason, or Vilma?
I'll say Beason.
with captains, will peppers be a captain for the panthers this season after saying he was done in carolina?
That's going to be interesting to see. It's going to be up to his teammates. But I think he'll end up being a captain.
Why is it that the Panthers are interested in any player available yet have no money under the cap?
They have no cap room because Peppers, Gross, Smith and Delhomme are eating up a ton of space.
Hey Pat, love the blog. How does Muhammad look in camp? Will he bring the same thing to the table this year, or are there signs of him losing a step?
Looked the same as always. Keep waiting for him to fade away, but I haven't seen signs of that yet.
Nothing yet. Just a hunch, but I say it'll happen before regular season.
who is more likely to sign with the bucs, marvin harrison, plaxico, or someone else?
Plax -- just my opinion.
How worried should we be about J-Stewart's injury?
I'm a little worried. But also, remember, Fox tends to be overly cautious with these things. Two-minute warning.
What are your rankings of the South? carolina still number 1?
Right now, I say Carolina, Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.
will julius peppers be traded?
Can't be -- until after the season.
Your impressions of Josh Freeman? (2 positive, 2 negative)
Let me get out there Monday and see him again.
Still no news on the Arron Sears front?
Nope, all quiet. Basically, I think the Bucs have to plan on going without him. If he comes back, it's a bonus.
With three really strong teams in the South do you think that it will challenge the NFC East as the toughest division in the NFL?
Absolutely. Think it will be a lot like last year.
Was Roddy White justified in holding out, what affect, if any, will it have on the season?
Thought they could have made it happen without a holdout. But it still worked out and I don't think there were any negative effects.
youre formats a little messed up pat. u just answered a question that didnt get asked
Sorry for any technical issues. I'll report them to our tech folks. I know they're still working out some kinks in our new format. Time for me to sign off. Thanks to all for stopping by. See you next week.