It seems to me like the Saints have asserted themselves as being the NFC South favorite, based upon their performance in the pre-season games. Do you think the NFC South has the potential to field 2 teams in the playoffs this year?
I think the Saints have set themselves up for nicely. Gotta look at them as legitimate playoff contender. Could be tough for two playoff teams out of NFC South this year because of the brutal skeds. But I think Saints, Panthers and Falcons all are at least candidates.
Heading to the game tonight? Wanna get me into the Press Box?
Yep, I'll be there. Sit in the stands. It's way better than the press box. Wish I could sit in the stands sometime. Think last time I did that as a fan was at Outback Bowl in like '94 -- Penn State and Auburn, I think.
Any news on the kicking situation out of Tampa? And has it really come down "kick tonight or you're cut" for Matt Bryant. . .
No new news. But I think Bryant's probably going to be out no matter what.
Hi Pat-With the Billy Miller injury, the Saints are suddenly very thin at TE. Are there any specific TEs you think they might look to acquire, either as free agents or via trade?Keep up the excellent work on the blog!!AS
Not sure who's going to be out there. But all teams have to get down to 53 by Saturday afternoon and I'm assuming there will be some decent tight ends out there. Ben Hartsock got cut by Atlanta the other day. Not sure if anybody's grabbed him yet, but he's a decent role player.
Pat - name the week 5 starting secondary for the falcons:SSFSCB1CB2CB3
Coleman and DeCoud as safeties. Houston and Grimes open as starting CBs and Hill as the nickel back. But I think Hill starts before long, once he learns the system. You could see Owens work his way into playing time, too.
hey Pat! Since Coach Fox plays everything so close to the vest; what is he going to do with Goodson? 3rd down back? slot receiver?
A little bit of all of the above would be my guess.
Who do you believe is going to be the Falcons number 3 Quarterback after last night, What do you believe the fate of the other on will be?
Doesn't look good for Shockley right now. But I could see them only carrying two QBs on regular roster and putting Shockely or JPW on practice squad. Just a thought.
who will get the majority of the work at rb in tb
I think Ward will get the most carries. But I think it will be a split with Graham getting a fair amount and maybe even Caddy.
Any chance you can elaborate on Raheem Morris' comments regarding the firing of coach jags?
Not sure there's a lot to elaborate on. Thought Morris was about as forthcoming as he could be in his comments. Basically, the feeling was that Jagodzinski wasn't organized enough and didn't really have the tools to be a coordinator. They made a big mistake hiring him, but at least they've admitted it and done something about it.
With Billy Miller's injury I'm concerned about the Saints being too thin at TE ... I wonder if this means an already Darnell Dinkins makes 53 man cut ( at least until next week's player pick ups ) ??
Stay tuned on this one. Like I said, cuts around the league have to be made by tomorrow afternoon. Sure the Saints will be watching closely.
Ben Hartsock was signed by the Jets
Thanks for the update.
Pat, Tye Hill says his knee is fully healed. He probably won't start immediately because he needs time, but do you think he can have an impact in that secondary?
Absolutely. Think back to what Foxworth did for them last year. He came in late, too and it took him a bit to get up to speed, but not all that long.
will the panthers have a running game similar to that of the giants last year?
I think it would be good if the Panthers had a running game similar to that of the Panthers last year. Mostly DeAngelo and Stewart, but now a little bit of Goodson sprinkled in.
How can the bucs honestly start Ronde Barber at corner when he cant play man coverage and makes every one he guards look like Randy Moss in his prime?
What other options do they have at this point???
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Jags may cut CB Brian Williams. Williams is set to make 4mill this year. do you think the Falcons would be interested? He used to play for Coach Smith. But I don't even know if he is any good. Thoughts?
I think they already made all the moves they're going to make by getting Tye Hill.
In all brutal honesty. Do you see the Bucs getting 3 to 4 wins this year? I mean it doesn't seem like theres a worse way to go into the season than how we are right now.
Well, it's definitely not looking great right now. But Atlanta last year was proof that anything can happen and we could be surprised.
Hey Pat, curious about if you're hearing that the Panthers will continue to look for options at DT. I can't imagine that the 'Skins, 'Boys, Giants, Falcons, and Bucs aren't salivating at the thought of some power running plays this season.
Yes, believe me the Panthers still are looking at any and all DT options and I expect they'll bring in one or two more DTs who get cut elsewhere.
Gene Woj Predicts 1) Saints, 2) Falcons, 3) Panthers, 4) Bucs. Sound reasonable?
Could see it playing out that way. My picks will be coming out net week.
Pat, I am so disappointed are you really throwing in the towel on Raheem just because he fired Jags. Wasn't Jags questionable to begin with? And does it really make a difference, this offense is not going to take rocket science to run.
How did I throw in towel??? All I said was I've been trying to give Raheem benefit of the doubt all along, but that's getting tougher to do with all the strange things that have been happening. I don't think that's unfair at all.
Do you think Roy Miller is starting at DT for the Bucs by the end of the year?
Yes, maybe even by midseason.
Who will lead the saints in sacks and interceptions this year?
McCray on sacks. INTs, hmm, I'll go with Porter.
Should Saints fans be concerned that Reggie Bush has been bitten by the nagging injury bug again this preseason, or has all of it been precautionary? I'm wondering if all the focus shouldn't go to Pierre Thomas.
It's been precautionary more than anything. But you always have to be concerned because of Reggie's past history of injuries.
Any update on why the Richardsons stepped down from the Panthers Front Office? I'm hearing it's as innocent as they just wanted more personal time with families, etc. but that doesn't smell right.
I might buy that excuse on Jon. But I think there was something pretty heavy with Mark. Don't know any concrete details and can't speculate or fuel rumors. But I definitely think there's a lot more to this than has officially come out.
Pat, with the addition of Tye Hill, do you think the Falcons are going to try and make any more moves for players after the cuts tommorow? Or are the content to go with what they have? I think we still need another veteran secondary player mayber bring back Milloy?
You won't see Milloy back. Don't see them making any more major moves.
Pat, I am a huge fan but really re-read you blog. It is pratically a cuxifiction of the organization. Maybe you were writing in the heat of the moment but you were brutal.
Beg to differ. Think you're reading it as a sensitive fan and I respect that. But I was writing it as a journalist. If you look at what's going on in Tampa, you have to at least have some questions or concerns.
Greetings from the Dalton burbs... What do you see as the most glaring need post-cut the Falcons will be looking at when the final cuts are made?
Ah, Mill City -- Falls and Lake Winola, too. Do I know you? If I were the Falcons I'd look for one experienced, quality o-lineman. Just think they could use some more insurance there.
It seems like every team in the NFC South has some questions on the defense, how would you rank all four defenses as of right now.
They've all got questions, yes. Right now, I'd go Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. But that all could change.
Pat, predictions aside, who do you feel has the most impressive roster, top to bottom, in the division?
Purely on paper, I'd say the Saints. Not saying that means they win the division. But I think they're loaded with talent.
Pat, FO and Fox loyalties aside, do you think the Carolina CB situation is what it could/should be? Or do you think that the Panthers should have brought in some outside talent? Also, do you think the Panthers can afford to carry 2 FB and 3 TE in the depth chart with questions on both OL and at DT?
Loyalties? Just because I covered a team doesn't mean I have loyalties. My job is and was to be objective. I think they were fine in thinking Marshall could be a starter and Lucas was getting old. But I think they might have missed on the Martin pick. At least so far, he hasn't worked out like they hoped and that's going to hurt. I think they'll carry two FBs and three TEs. That's usually been the way Fox goes.
any news on disciplinary action that will be taken against talib?
Still waiting to hear. I still think there's a good chance something will happen. If it's coming, my guess is we'll hear early next week.
Drew Brees is my fantasy QB...am I gonna have him for the record breaking yardage season?
Might not hit 5,000 again. But I think he's good for at least 4,400.
I didn't mean you had loyalties, I meant that Fox and the FO tend to have loyalties to their own players, rather than seeking outside talent to fill voids. Sorry for the confusion and thanks for your opnion!
Oh, gotcha. Thanks.
Pat i dont want to be quick to judge Raheem and the new regime yet but offensively speaking do you view the firing of coach Jags as a set back for the Bucs or could could Raheems insistence on detail mean better things for them going forward?
Could mean better things than what they were headed for. I mean it's pretty obvious they now believe Olson is a better coach than Jags. But, still, this isn't something you want happening on the eve of a season.
Biermann looked good last night for Atlanta, Davis got paid in the off-season, Sidbury was drafted in the 3rd round. Jamal Anderson has to be concerned about making the 53 man roster, correct? If the Falcons keep 8 DL, Abraham, Davis, Babs, Jerry, Biermann, Sidbury, Lewis, Johnson, Walker, it could really get close for Jamal.
I think Jamaal makes roster. But his starting job sure is very much in jeopardy.
Pat, the fact that you raised those concerns in the blog isn't the problem. It's your tone. Maybe you should go back and re-read your article. You sounded like a petulant school child. It had a "nanny nanny boo boo stick you head in..." feel. I'm just saying...
Come on. Bucs are getting criticized everywhere today. It goes with the territory with what happens. They come out and win a couple games at the start and it all goes away.
How many more years before I retire?
Think you've probably got about three years.
Hey Brian, let it go...Pat was clear
Pat,Do you think Stewart is damaged goods for the year and at some point he goes on IR? This injury seems to be bothering him more than he or the Panthers are willing to let on.
Pat, have you ever been called a petulent school child before?
Haha. No, can't say that one's ever happened before.
You really think Talib gets suspended? Brandon Marshall was accused of beating his girlfriend and the league waited to address a suspension until after the trial (where he was eventually acquitted). Why do you think the Talib case will be different? I can see the lawyers delaying this case until after the season...no?
I think something's coming. I think Raheem wants to make a statement. They just gotta wait and make sure they don't interfere with legal process.
Thanks for responding Pat. Again my point is not the content of the article but the tone. I give you props for at least addressing my statement. Thanks
We're all entitled to our opinions. But I'm not going to come out and say the Bucs are great when they've got all this weird stuff going on. I wouldn't be doing my job if I did.
By the way, raised in Falls, father was the Police Chief in Exeter Twp, Wyoming County, now live on the Lower Road... Hope I know you from somewhere other than my father...
Nah, never spent much time in Exeter. But played Little League and teener league baseball at Falls and Lake Winola. Beautiful area -- in the summer.
Does Kareem Huggins make the roster tomorrow?
Think they may find a way to keep him. At worst, they want him on practice squad.
It's official Buc fans are more sensitive than Carolina/Delhomme fans....GO FALCONS!!!!!!
Ha. We all have our moments.
Yo, Pat, are you going to have to slug it out with the AFC East guy to get to the Monday-nighter against the Pats?
I'm hoping like heck I get that one. We'll see. All I know right now is I've got Tampa/Dallas in Week One and Carolina/Atlanta in Week Two. We'll take it from there.
Pat, Does it look like we will have Ruuds this year.
Nah, probably just Barrett.
Out of Courtney Roby, Rod Harper, Adrian Arrington, and Skyler Green, who makes the Saints final 53 man roster?
Think Roby and Harper will be there. Just my guess.
Are we going to find out next week if Talib is suspended?
That's just my guess. But the legal aspects could delay it.
Chevis Jackosn looked like the best corner to me last night. You don't see him at least still in the nickel spot?
Could happen. I didn't get to see the game. Thought Chevis showed talent last year.
Hey Pat,What's your take on the Panthers defense? They basically have the same players as last year...lost Lucas
Still lots of talent. But injuries are a concern and we'll see if the new coordinator is an improvement or not.
Am I the missing peice to the Saints Super Bowl puzzle?
Saints are sure betting you are. I think you'll have a positive impact.
Start Josh Freeman I believe he gives the Bucs the best chance to win. Can't wait till tonight for him to prove it to everyone even tho it's backups vs backups. Just more playin time. Your thoughts?
I've said all along they should just throw Freeman out there. But Raheem's not going to do that. They want to sit him for at least half the season. But I am curious to see what he does tonight.
Dante Rosario has showed flashes of brilliance in the pre-season, can he have a breakout season?
Think any or all of Carolina's TEs could be pretty good. But this is a John Fox offense, so any TE is going to be a role player.
Pat, do you see Mike Bell taking the 2nd running back spot in the saints depth chart? he has been impressive. Also The Saints defense looks like a totally different team where do you see them among all nfl defences?
Think Bell could eventually move up to No. 2 or even No. 1. He's looked very good. Let's the defense in the regular season, but I like what I've seen so far.
Where do I go from here?? Are any college teams going to want my services after the Boston College fiasco? Will NFL teams be calling next season even though the Bucs essentially fired me for being a laid back college coach?
Collect your check this year and polish up your resume. You might have to take a couple of steps down.
Shoot, if Bucs fans will just recall the questions about the Falcons' organization and decision-making in the past two years, they'd see it's perfectly objective to call into question front office decisions that turn foul, the way the Jags situation has.
Falcons went through more than their share of it. Guess this shows it truly goes in cycles.
Sidbury, Bierman, and Jerry have looked like pretty good pass rushers. Can they pull some pressure off of Abraham and cover for a weak secondary?
I think so. At least, that seems to be the plan.
Yo Pat!, do you guys at ESPN do a fantasy football league with each other? If so, will you keep us posted on how you do?
Pat, what are the new NFL rules that we need to know about as fans?
Take a look at my blog. There's a very good video on there with all the rules changes and points of emphasis.
What's the latest on the injuries to Godfrey, Beason, and Thomas Davis?
Think they'll be ready for regular season. Stewart's the one I'm not so sure about.
Pat, post my questions man!!!Over/under on Week 6 the Bucs throw in the towel and develop some of their younger talent? (Freeman, Miller, D. Moore, K. Moore etc)
Can't post them all. My prediction: You'll see Freeman in November. Green Bay game. Right after they come back from London and have their bye week. Just my guess.
Speaking of fantasy football...who do you think is the best bet for kicker in the NFC South?
Elam or Carney.
tell the IT guys they still have some work to do fixing the chats
Will do. We've had some technical problems recently and they're working on all of them. Thanks for being patient.
Pat,Do you think Stewart is damaged goods for the year and at some point he goes on IR? This injury seems to be bothering him more than he or the Panthers are willing to let on.
Can't say that because there's nothing definite to base it on. But it's definitely a legitimate concern.
Hey, you didn't answer my question. It was about your fantasy football league at ESPN, not rule changes ;)
No, I'm not in any fantasy league at ESPN.
Hey Pat, i read your blog on meachem but, do you see lance moore as the saints no. 2 reciever? the guy just catches everything.
Think you'll see lots of both of them. There are enough passes to go around in that offense.
Does Everette Brown get 10 sacks this year? He has 3 already in preseason and should be 4 but a holding stopped it.Also, do Beason and Davis make the Probowl as a Tandem and does Connor replace Diggs after about 8 games this year?Lastly, does Jake funnel his inner Cajun and take all the criticism and turn it into a 20td/10int campaign like the 2004-2005 years?
Double-digits might be a little lofty to expect. But it's possible. I'll say Beason makes the Pro Bowl. They're not in a hurry to move Connor. They might need him in the middle. As for Jake, who knows?
Pat, agree with Sam about the crappy nature of these chats from a technicaly standpoint. This is getting RIDICULOUS. Falcons question: you keep mentioning them picking up experience in the O-line...does this mean that besides Reynolds, Svitek, Ojinaaka, Romberg, and Wilkerson you think they don't like the group?
Just saying, if I were them, I'd want one more solid backup.
Would an uncapped year make it easier for teams to cut overpaid underachieving players? And would there be an implicit cap in place, because teams that would sign all the expensive free agents would, in a year or two, be way over whatever the cap is under the new CBA?
Don't want you to think I'm ignoring this question. Just don't know all the specifics of what it would entail yet and don't want to mislead you.
Do I have any hope in playing in the NFL again?
Don't you think somebody would have shown interest in you by now?
Can you see anyone from the Bucs making the Pro Bowl?
Sure, I'd say Ruud and Antonio Bryant are at least possibilities. Samme for Faine and the guard -- whose name I'm drawing a blank on right now. Maybe even Winslow, if he stays healthy.
Pat these answers and questions arent matching each other
I apologize if we're having technical problems again. I will alert tech folks again as soon as we get done. Again, sorry.
If the Panthers were to place Stewart on the PUP list, when would he be able to play?
Think it's any time after their sixth game, but I'll have to double check.
Davin Joseph is the name that escapes you
Right. Thank you.
What do you think about a potential trade with J. Stewart or M. Goodson for someone's #1 next year plus a decent DT?
You seriously think an injured RB or a guy who was a fourth-round pick this year could bring anything close to that? I don't.
Pat, you have a firm date yet on those NFC South season predictions? Want to mark the ol' calendar!
Beleive they're scheduled to go up Sept. 8. All the ESPN writers are ranking all the teams.
Please tell me the Panthers are not thinking of trading a RB. With injuries, they may need them all - or more...
Seriously, I don't see it. Like I said, what would they get for any of those RBs?
Now that the Saints will need another TE, does that kill any chance of signing derrick brooks?
Not sure there was much chance of signing Brooks anyway.
Word is JStew will be ready by week 1 and this is all precautionary? Do you know anything different, or are you just left guessing like the rest of us?
Could be true. But I don't think anybody outside of Fox really knows. He's a master at keeping injuries close to the vest.
Did you see Paul Kuharsky's blog today about how he would fare in a race against the 4 fastest players in the AFC South? Good stuff. If all of the ESPN NFL bloggers raced, who would win?
Saw it and enjoyed it. Wouldn't be me, but I wouldn't come in last either. I'd probably be somewhere in the middle of the pack. Now, if it were racquetball, softball or basketball, I think I'd do all right with this group of colleagues.
Who out of the Saints do you think could make the pro bowl?
Start with Brees. Pretty much automatic. After that, Colston, Jammal Brown, Vilma. Maybe even Sedrick Ellis this year.
Going to my first regular season Panthers game, what can I expect? Preseason is always kinda bland after the starter are out, regular season completely different?
Two-minute warning on the chat. Go early. Downtown (or "Uptown") Charlotte is great on game days. You'll enjoy it. Regular season is about 10,000 times better than preseason.
Pat, what do you think of RT Xavier Fulton? Do you see him having a nice career or was he quiet during preseason and practice?
Tell you the truth, Carlos, I haven't seen enough of Fulton to really have any sort of opinion.
No love for Jahri Evans?
Ah, good point. Put him on the list, too. I actually think he's better at what he does than Brown and I'm not meaning that to slight Brown.
Who do you think is the MVP of the nfc south?
Either Brees or Steve Smith.
Pat, do the Saints need to shop for a better backup QB after the roster cuts?
Think Brunell's fine as No. 2. They might want to look to upgrade on Harrington for No. 3.
Have you seen enough improvement in Gaines Adams this offseason to think he'll be noticeably better or will he just be average again?
Won't guarantee anything, but I can honestly say I've seen some promising signs. All right. Time to run. Thanks to all for stopping by. See you next week.