Pat, are you taking all NFL questions, or just NFC South?
Just NFC South. Sorry. Assume you're an NFC North guy. Check the sked for when Kevin Seifert is chatting. All right, we're jumping in early today. Let's get it rolling.
Does Josh Freeman truly have a chance to start at quarterback or is the job a competition between Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich?
No, it's between McCown and Leftwich right now to open the season as the starter. You could see Freeman take over at some point, but they're going to open with either McCown or Leftwich.
Pat,Since you didn't get to my question last week, I'm still interested in knowing what you're focusing on for the four NFC South teams' preseason games. Me: CAR - 2nd string QB competition, ATL - 1st string offense, NO - Bush, TB - QB competition.
I'm with you on Tampa Bay. On ATL, I'm watching the D more closely -- 5 new starters. On Saints, defense also. They're not going to show too much of Reggie Bush in the preseason. On Carolina, I think they're pretty set on McCown as No. 2. I'm watching their DT situation.
What happened to Landon Johnson? He went from leading the Bengals in tackels in 2007 to being nonexistant last year. Also, do you see him making the 53 man roster?
Probably will make it because he restructured his contract to make it cap friendly. But don't see him being a big factor other than on special teams. They've got some good young LBs that seem to be higher in their eyes than Johnson.
Hey Pat. I was wondering what is the status of Jamal Brown of the Saints.
Still waiting to hear. He was getting checked by Dr. in Philly. They think it's a sports hernia. Those can be tricky. I've seen some guys come back in a few weeks and others miss the whole season.
Is Robert Meachem finally.....actually I dont even have to finish the question for you to know what I am asking.
I think so. Saints seem excited about him. Actually, I'll tip you off to a future story I'm working on -- I'm going to write about Meachem being the breakout player in the NFC South.
Hey Pat who might the Panthers be watching for the DT spot or are they trying to fill it in house with there cap issues?
Is Jonathan Stewart's durability a major concern or are the Panthers just being absolutely sure that he's well rested for the regular season?
All indications are they're just being cautious and making sure he's ready for the regular season. They took a similar approach with him last year. All that said, though, it's a little scary that a young guy like that already is having injury issues. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Do you think Cantwell has a shot at replacing one of Carolina's backup QBs
No, I think they're locked into McCown and Moore. If they can get Cantwell on practice squad, I think they will.
Does 2008 first-overall pick Matt Ryan take the next step and become one of the elite quarterbacks in the league or does he suffer a sophomore slump while facing a much rougher schedule in '09 than in '08?
No slump. Ryan's for real. He had good weapons last year and now he's got Gonzalez.
Pat, I am curious to know what you think of the Saints Defense. Granted they only played a quarter or two, but I was impressed. It seems they are really aggressive this year going after the ball.
What I saw in camp was very impressive. Think Gregg Williams has drummed the aggressive attitude into them. I think it's going to pay off, but we'll see.
Longtime Falcons fan, here, and I love your blog. My question: Chevis Jackson really came on the end of last year, but I don't hear his name mentioned in discussions about the Falcons' CB situation. What's going on with him?
He seems to have fallen behind. They're ready to go with Houston and Grimes as starters and they like Owens a lot. I'm a bit surprised because I thought Jackson showed some good things last year.
If that is the case, are there any backups that can fill in for Jamal Brown if he is out for a while?
Well, Zach Strief would be the guy. He might be all right for a game or two, but don't think you'd want to go longer than that with him. If it's a long-term injury, I'd guess the Saints will look to bring in someone from outside.
Can Rhys Lloyd kick field goals. If so then when?
He can, but he's not nearly as accurate as Kasay. As long as Kasay wants to play, he'll be kicking field goals for the Panthers.
Hi Pat:What's the status of Moore, the Falcons second round pick? Also, Is Weems going to win a roster spot as a kick returner/5th reciever?
Moore should be back before the end of the preseason, but DeCoud already has secured starting job. It's looking pretty good for Weems as the No. 5 receiver right now.
The Panthers surely HAVE to make a trade at a DT, right?? I know it was only one preseason game, but the defensive line looked pretty bad.
Yep, I expect some sort of trade for a DT. Also could bring in somebody that gets cut elsewhere. Even that would probably be better than what they've got.
Also, with the release of Jason David, are there any speculations that the Saints might get Derrick Brooks? Keep up the good work.
If the Saints were so fired up about Brooks, I think they already would have signed him. Not saying it's totally out of the question. My guess is they might be waiting to sign him in Week 2 of regular season -- that way, they wouldn't have to guarantee his salary for the whole year.
If the Panthers were going to trade a player from their team for a starting caliber DT from another team, who would be expendable or trade bait?
Don't think they'd trade a player. I think it would be a draft pick or picks.
Pat, we've all been hearing all offseason that Pierre would be the lead back, but it seems in camp that Reggie has played very well and seems to be getting all the carries with the first unit. Do you think some pundits were too quick to jump the gun on naming Pierre the starter?
I think you're going to see a balanced split between Bush and Thomas. They each have their strengths and Payton's got to play to those strengths.
Is Shockey finally going to be what he was supposed to be coming out of college and what the Giants and Sean Payton though he would be in the NFL? A Tony Gonzales Antonio Gates type Tight End?
I'm giving him benefit of the doubt now that he's healthy. Maybe not Gonzalez or Gates numbers. But look back at his New York days, when he was healthy. He might be able to give you 60-some catches for about 700 yards and six or seven TDs.
Is there any truth to what Gruden said on MNF, that there are some people around the league that view D. Williams as THE best RB in the league?
I haven't heard that from anyone except Gruden. But I don't think he's too far off. Right now, I think the list starts with Peterson. But, after that, I think Williams falls somewhere in the next few spots.
Luke McCown looked bad, still has same characteristics that has prevented him from starting. Josh Johnson looked good in his one series. Johnson seems to be the smarter QB and with some reps could be something. Is there a chance that the Bucs keep Johnson, start Leftwich, sit Freeman, and cut McCown?
Do not rule that one out. It's possible.
Has Angelo Crowell completely lost the starting strongside linebacker spot to Quincy Black?
I think so.
Can you give an update on the progress of Hargrove, Coleman, and Pressely for the Saints?
They're thrilled with Hargrove and think he can help get them through first four games. Maybe even stay as a starter after the other two come back. Coleman hasn't shown a lot -- not sure he'll make it. Haven't heard much on Pressely.
A lot of people (notably in the FFB world) are on on Pierret Thomas. Given the Saints SoS playing the AFC and NFC East, I dont see a lot of games for the Saints where they are so comfortably ahead they try to grind out the clock. I anticipate at least half the Saints games will be won/lost in the final few minutes of the game, with the majority of the game being dictated by Brees and his arm. Thoughts?
They're never gonna be a grind-it-out team. Why would they when they've got Brees? But I still think you'll see a bit more running than last year.
What exactly happened to Talib? The details are sketchy...and please don't tell me he got arrested..Details?
Reportedly, he punched a cab driver in the back of the head while the cab was going about 70 on an interstate highway.
Sounds like Chris Houston's hammy isn't serious... can you confirm that pretty please?
Yes, that's what I've heard.
Do you think Talib will be suspended?
Yes, I do. And I suspect it will be for more than one game.
Pat, What type of picks would the Panthers be losing for a DT?
Hard to project trades and who might be available. But think back a couple years to when Minter retired and they were desperate at safety. They traded a fifth round pick to Chicago for Chris Harris and that worked out very well. If they can do something like that again, it would be great.
Shouldn't I get some looks with the first team D? I have played great recently and Marshall has done nothing to impress...
Think you've got a real shot at being the nickel back.
Thank you...What about Aaron Sears, this whole "personal matters" has gone on too long...Is the problem family related, health, some kind of alcohol/drug treatment???
I've got to play by the ethics of journalism and common courtesy here and all I can say at the moment is it's a "private mattter". That's really all that can be fairly said unless Sears, his agent, a family member or the team comes out and goes on the record with the details.
You seen the Falcons throwback unis? God I love those. Just wish they went w/ the old red Bartkowski jersey.
Yep, I like them.
Its been reported that Barnidge is winning the TE spot away from King. Why so? King has proven to be consistant. He easily has been the Panthers best since Wesley Walls.
Don't be so sure on that one. The way Fox uses TEs, they're all going to play a lot and kind of share the position.
People were saying that it looked like Atlanta was planning on using Tony Gonz. more for blocking than he has been used to in the past. Is this what you have been seeing out of Atlanta's camp? Would you project higher or lower catch/TD totals from him this year?
They didn't trade for Gonzalez to use him as a blocker. They wanted another weapon for Matt Ryan. His numbers might not be quite what they were in the past, but they'll at least be close.
Winborn seemed to be having a solid game and has starting experience any chance he can brak the starting line-up instead of Nicholas.
Nah, they're set on Nicholas. Winborn is just insurance.
Long time Saints fan...Who does it look like will be starting alongside Greer at corner? It seems like Porter has the edge now...I even read Young has been practicing with the 1st team. Is Jenkins still competing for starter or do you think he'll start out as nickel back?
I think it'll be Porter and Greer to open the season with Jenkins as the nickel. Might not stay that way all season, but I think that's how they open.
Turner or Williams?
Flip a coin. Seriously. They're both great backs.
So has there been any more word about Pepper's and a long term deal after the season?
No and nothing can happen on that until after the season. I think we could see another long-drawn out deal again next year with the Panthers franchising him again.
With the suspension of Tanard Jaskson do you think the bucs will move Flip back to saftey and start Crowell/Hayes, Ruud, and Black at LB?
At the moment, it sounds like they're going with Will Allen at safety. Yeah, I know he's hurt right now, but he'll be ready for the regular season. Not sure I agree with that. I think I'd move Phillips back to safety because they've got a bunch of LBs that can play.
Who are the current front-runners for the two starting safety jobs in New Orleans?
Sharper and Harper. But there could be a surprise down the road. They like what they've seen out of Young and they've given Jenkins a little work at safety. Not sure how much Sharper has left in the tank.
If the Saints do have to go "outside" the current roster to fill in (or replace) J. Brown, are there any possibilities out there right now at all that would limit the drop off in production?
Brown's a very good LT. Not sure you'll find anybody of his level at this time of year. But let's wait and see what they say about his injury.
What have you heard about Reggie Bush's calf injury?Do you take his claim to "stop juking seriously? If so, will it positively or negatively affect his play this season?
Don't think the injury is too severe. I wouldn't totally stop juking if I were him. Cut it down a bit, yes. But it's also something that helps him sometimes.
Who would be your preseason pick for the division winner right now and why?
Hang loose on that. We'll be making our predictions for the season very soon.
Can Grimes last 16 games, despite his small frame and being a liability. I know a consisnet pass rush can help him, but I dont have much confidence in Grimes.
His lack of height is scary, but he's a great athlete. Coaches believe in him, though, and they know way more about football than I do.
Why wouldn't the Falcons try Brown at punt return? He did pretty well there in college. He looked a little skitish on kick return, but I think he was just getting the rust off and a little worried about that groin injury.. Any word on that position?
I'd give him a look. I think Falcons are going to continue to look at a bunch of options in the return game. Grimes and Norwood can do it, but you don't want to wear them out because you need them at their other jobs.
Stylez White looked good in the 1st preseason game. Do you see him breaking the starting lineup? Or just maybe be our 3rd DE?
No, he's No. 3. Wilkerson and Adams will start. Now, if Adams starts off badly, you could see a move.
DERRICK WARD OR EARNEST GRAHAM
Ward. Follow the money. They signed him to a big contract.
Who will be the starting DTs for the ATL?
Peria Jerry and Babineaux.
Pat, how is the PSU legend Dan Connor looking for the Panthers and will he be starting this year?
Looking good, but he won't start. He'll be top backup at LB.
Has Roy Miller stepped up in training camp enough to be a starter?
Close, but they're still going with Hovan and Sims at the moment. They say they'll rotate Miller in quite a bit. I'd just go ahead and start him now.
Will Allen for starting New Orleans safety? I think you misread my question :P
Not sure what happened there. Might be a tech issue. But here's the answer I gave on Saints safeties: Pat Yasinskas: Sharper and Harper. But there could be a surprise down the road. They like what they've seen out of Young and they've given Jenkins a little work at safety. Not sure how much Sharper has left in the tank.
QUESTION TO PAT YASSINSKAS AT 1.45 HI PAT WHO YOU THINK WILL BE BUCS QB NFL OPENING DAY
Leftwich. Unless he has a horrible game Saturday and McCown has a great one.
Any chance that Josh Johnson makes the team? He sure showed some wheels against Tennessee.
Yes, it's at least possible. Can see a scenario where McCown could be cut if Leftwich wins starting job. They could go with Leftwich, Freeman and Johnson.
is bryants days numbered in tampa?
Assume, you're talking Matt Bryant, not Antonio. Yes, sadly, I think that's the case.
Will Dexter Jackson with Tampa get significant playing time this year or is he a bust?
Right now, it doesn't even look like he'll make the roster.
Can Coleman play SS?
Yes, Erik Coleman can play either safety spot.
do you think cadilac will be cut?
Doubt it, but won't totally rule it out. They've got a jam at RB and are going to have to make a tough decision.
Pat you have been to a couple of the Bucs practices. If you were Raheem Morris who would you pick to be the 3rd WR?
Slim pickings. But I think Stroughter is the best of the bunch.
Pat, you posted my question on Dan Conner and never answered. How he looks and will he be starting soon? thanks
Again, I think we might be having some tech issues. Try hitting the refresh button and see if that does anything different. Anyway, my answer was Connor won't be starting, but will be the top backup at LB.
You do you think will start for the Falcons at DE opposite John Abraham on opening day, Jamaal Anderson or Chauncey Davis?
Think they'll open with Anderson and give him a few games. If he doesn't produce, then they make the switch to Davis.
Pat, you need to get on ESPN, this newest format for the chats is by far the most confusing. Answers before questions, numerous questions with no answers, answers to wrong questions... I know this has not been an issue for you, so it must be the system.
Yes, I've talked to the folks in Bristol about this before and will do it again today when we finish. Sorry about this.
Who has the leg up for the 3rd WR spot in Atlanta?
Robert Ferguson, from what I've heard.
hey pat, do you see kyle moore and/or roy miller starting at some point during the season?
If it were me, I'd start them both right now. I'm not impressed with the two veterans who are starting.
Pat, if Dwayne Jarrett is a bust this year, do you the Panthers will stop drafting receivers from USC finally?
Yes, if that happens, I don't think you'll see any more WRs from USC in Carolina.
I say Jonathon Babineaux is the MOST underrated defensive player, he lead all DTs in tackles for loss with 11.....do you agree with Babs being the most underrated Defense player in the league
Ding, ding, ding. I've been saying for a long time that Babs is underrated.
Does Lance Moore repeat his success from last season?
Yep. His numbers should at least be close to last year.
Pat How Has Mike Bell Looked This Year? Do You Think He Will be A Good Short Yard Back This Year?
Was impressed when I saw him in camp. I know they're looking at the young guys, too. But I'd go with Bell as the short-yardage guy.
Any chance Marlon Favorite is going to get reps with the 1st team this week? he looked really good from what i seen and he cant be worse then Nick Hayden
Could happen. But neither one of those guys are the long-term answer.
Is Crowell going to finally see some playing time this weekend vs Jacksonville?
Yep, he's supposed to play, but he's tumbled pretty far down the depth chart.
Are you impressed by Chris Owens ?
Didn't get a real good look at him when I was at Falcons camp. But I know the coaches think he's coming on strong.
Cadillac gettin cut? Doesnt sound right to me. I think they should keep the four backs they have now and have graham run some FB.
Careful here, I didn't say Caddy's going to be cut. I just said they've got a jam at RB and there are going to be some tough decisions. Not sure they want to be using Graham at fullback except in emergency. I think they keep all four tailbacks and try to get Huggins on the practice squad.
If you think that Meachem is a breakout player, who will he take receptions from, L. Moore?
We're talking about the Saints' offense. There are plenty of receptions to go around.
Runyan a nice fit for brown should brown be out for a duration ?
That would be the first guy I'd look at.
if you had to tell some fantasy football dork one surprise player from the panthers that would be a considered a "sleeper" who would it be? I would say Mike Goodson, then punch him in the face.
He had a nice preseason game, but don't get carried away. They've got DeAngelo and Stewart and Fox isn't going to give a lot of carries to a rookie.
Pat, you covered the Panthers for years and now the NFC South. Although you are a professional with your work, do you have a favorite team?
Nope, it's a job and I don't (and am not allowed to) root for or against any team. As many of you know, I do my rooting on Saturdays -- for Penn State.
Are the Bucs looking into any free agent DBs since the whole jackson and talib incidents?
I would hope so. Seriously, I think you'll see them pick up a DB or two that gets cut somewhere else.
Ferguson over Finneran? Surely that was an oversight!
Nope, that's what I hear.
Pat, is Donald Penn the real deal? We always hear that he's a serviceable left tackle, that he's young and expected to improve, but is he really athletic enough to hold down the position for the next 10 years?
He's shown he's at least solid. I'd give him a new contract and not worry about going out and drafting a LT early that's going to cost you a fortune.
Do you think Dexter Jackson will make the Bucs team? Does Gruden being gone (as Jackson was his pick) give him less of a shot.
I think he'll be gone.
Stewart was a rookie and look at the carries he got.
Different style back and different situation. Stewart was a first-round pick with only Williams ahead of him. Goodson's a fourth-rounder with some questions and he's got two great backs in front of him. Think back to how DeAngelo was used behind Foster as a rookie.
Pat, just a heads up, there is a great story in the Charlotte observer about Hoover by Sorentston about the 124 yard rushing game he had against Green Bay as a rookie. Check it out.
Read it and it was very good. And Tom's name is spelled Sorensen. Was at that game and remember it well. It was a fun night. Still remember Dennis Miller saying, "Nice move by the Hoov".
Who Would You Take, Mike Bell Or Deuce????
Bell. Let the Deuce thing go. Great player and great guy, but it's over.
do you think the league will suspend talib, and if so for how many games?
Yep and I'm thinking and hearing it might be for more than one game.
do you see antonio bryant having another breakout year? thanks
My sister weighs 370 and is wanting to play for the Panthers. Is there a position on the team she could fill. She really doesn't have any skills but just likes to take up space.
That's all the Panthers really need. Call Marty Hurney.
Hey Pat, best tight end in the NFC South?
Gonzalez. All right, two minute warning on the chat.
Hey Pat! I was unimpressed with the panthers first preseason game. They didn't look good at all. Can you give me something, anything positive from that game??
Yep, preseason games don't mean a thing.
I'm guessing talib is suspended 2 games. What do you think?
Pretty good guess.
Ok But Who Do You Think Will Have The Best Season At TE In The South?
Gonzalez. But read my piece on the Saints on the blog that just went up this afternoon. I think Shockey will have a good year.
As a Saints Fan, I loved Deuce as much as anybody. But, most Saints fans can't accept the fact the he's gone and he's not coming back. With that said, other than Mike Bell, what other running back in camp has a realistic shot at winning that third running back spot in New Orleans?
who do you see being the first string running back in tampa?
Ward. Always follow the money.
Why are the Bucs and the league going to suspend Talib before he has even entered a plea? I thought it was the commish's policy to wait until the legal side played out before handing out punishment.
Nothing's done yet. They're following procedure and looking into it. But, keep in mind, Talib's had some other issues in the past that might play into all this.
Hey Pat, thanks for posting my question! I've sent in so many, it's awesome to see it finally posted. Great work on the NFC South blog, keep it up.
You're welcome. I try my best to hit as many questions as possible. But there are literally hundreds of them. All right, we're past the deadline. Time to run. Thanks to all for stopping by and enjoy the preseason games this weekend. See you here next week.