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September 25, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Brian (Salisbury, MD)

Hey Pat, thanks for putting the bloggers blitz online, but I'm on lunch now...any chance we can start early???

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

We're starting early. Let's get it rolling.

Blake (Tampa)

I read in one of your articles the other day that Bucs fans should not yet call Morris a failure. How can you say this when that is basically what you have been doing since the day he was hired?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

I believe that I, like a lot of people, have questioned some of his moves. But I've never said he's a failure. It's way too early to say that.

Darlene (Charlotte)

Since we've been hit so hard by injuries and have gotten off to such a horrific start, I think the Panthers will do well if we can finish the season at 8-8. We also have not been able to catch any breaks at all-notwithstanding our less than stellar performance on the field. Will it be at least respectable for us to finish 8-8 given all the circumstances?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Respectable, maybe. But I think there will be a coaching change if there's anything less than a playoff berth.

douglas wyatt (richmond va)

what can we trade gaines adams for?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Nothing. Nobody would give up anything for a guy who hasn't produced.

Abdo (Charleston, WV)

Do you think the stats on New Orleans' defense is going to be a bit deceiving this year? With New Orleans building a lead and teams having to claw back, this will inflate the opponents numbers and make the Saints defensive stats worse than what they actually are. People are constantly questioning whether the D will hold up, what are your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Defense is better than it was last year. Numbers haven't been great in first two games, but they're getting takeaways. Also, you can see this defense moving in a positive direction. They're gonna get better as season goes on.

Matt (Palm Beach)

Any good news on Antonio Bryant status for sunday's game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Think there's a decent chance you'll see him this Sunday.

Alan (New Orleans)

Pat, you ranked the Saints Offense as #1, the Saints Defense as 1, and picked the Saints to finish 3 because you were concerned about their past performance.Still concerned?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Like everything I've seen so far and I think defense will continue to get better. But let it go, man. Predictions mean nothing. We do them because we have to. It's not like there was some big conspiracy to rank the Saints low.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

There was talk after the draft and during the preseason about Mike Goodson playing the slot some in the offense. Still haven't seen it. Haven't seen him much during the games. Why do you think that is so? His fumble problems maybe?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Fumbles are part of it. Also, Fox isn't going to throw a rookie out there a lot. He always favors the vets. Plus, it's hard to get time for Goodson when you've got Stewart and DeAngelo.

Scott (LA)

They're predicting rain in Buffalo on Sunday. How will that affect Drew Bree's passing ability?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

It would have to be a monsoon with 80 mph winds for the Saints to abandon the passing game.

Chad (Mississippi)

Pat would you agree that The Saints are probably the best team in NFL right now?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

They're definitely in the mix. Play like they have been for 14 more games and they'll be in excellent shape.

Bill Cowher (Waiting to Crank the Horn at Hurricances Game)

Speaking of a coaching change, when should I expect a call from Jerry (I know he has me on speed dial)? After the season or Tuesday if the Cowboys embarass them on Monday like the Eagles did? That would give me the bye to at least implement something to turn things around.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Even if things get out of control in Carolina and Fox gets fired, I don't think Cowher ends up there. Yeah, he's got a house in Raleigh, but that's more than two hours away. I also think Cowher has his eyes on a bigger market. Besides, you think Jerry Richardson's going to go out and hire a Super Bowl coach who's been out for a couple years? He did that once with Seifert and it was a disaster.

george (england)

How well do you think that Lofton and Nicholas have performed so far?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

So far, very well. I know Falcons are thrilled with their LB corps. They feel like Peterson is really helping these guys learn the game and pushing them to get better.

Josh (New Orleans)

Is Bree's going to break the 50 TD in a season record? What about Marino's 5084 yds?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

I say Brees hits both those numbers.

Scott (New orleans)

Pat, I know Sean P hasn't said anything definite about Bell's status, but are we looking at a 2-4 week absence?Thanks!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Probably about right. Pierre and Hamilton will have to carry the load the next couple weeks and that's not a bad thing.

Cody (NC)

Hey Pat, Do you think my panthers have a shot to spoil the Cowboys second game in Jerry Jones's Shrine?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Sure, they've got a shot. Their season is on the line. They lose this one and go to 0-3 and it's basically over. They know all that.

Dwight Alexander (Kansas)

Im a huge panthers fan but I am tired of the inconsistency year after year if fox is gone who would richardson likely choose as a replacement?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

If and I do mean -- IF -- Fox is fired, I think Richardson hires a rising young coordinator, probably one that's never been a head coach before. He had success doing that when he hired Fox and some success in that formula when he hired Capers. Don't go looking for Cowher, Shanahan or Gruden to end up here.

mista lee (mandeville, LA)

Pat, love your stuff. Would the saints try to trade Pierre Thomas or Reggie Bush with the emergence of Mike Bell? What do you think they could get. Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

No, don't trade any of those guys. It's a long season and people are going to get banged up. You'll need all those RBs before all is said and done.

Vance (Greensboro, NC)

i understand the Panthers play has been lacking, but where is the props for Thomas Davis playing his butt off and leading the league in tackles the first two weeks? Pro Bowl bound this year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

All right, let's give Thomas Davis his props. He is playing well. But it's going to be tough to make Pro Bowl unless his team starts winning some games.

Bill Cowher (Waiting on Jerry R)

Come on Pat, I'm no Seifert. Seifert won his on someone else's talent. I coached for many many years and built my own staff and jump started numerous coaching careers. I'm licking my chops with that talented LB core in Carolina. I could run a mean 3-4.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

No you're not. You've got your eye on somewhere else.

george (england)

Could Matt Ryan make the pro bowl? I say he gets about 3.5K yards and about 28 TDs.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Sure, he could. The guy's for real. There's been no sign of the sophomore slump. He just keeps getting better.

CC (Atlanta)

Are you fielding Falcons' questions? Everyone talks about Brady getting on track against ATL this weekend. But how is the Pats D going to stop Ryan, Turner, Gonzo, White, etc. If Brady isn't sharp again I can't see the Pats winning even w/ Welker.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

I'm sure Belichick has some things he'll be trying.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

If Fox goes (I'm not a Fox basher), I would love to see Leslie Frazier or Ron Rivera.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I think that's more the route you would see Richardson go IF something happens with Fox.

kane (mobile)

Whats our insight on DelTOhomme? Fall off a cliff or just a rough start?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Thought he bounced back nicely last game and gave them more than enough to win with. Problem was their defense was horrible. They've got to fix that to have a chance to rebound.

Nathanael (New Orleans)

I know Sean Payton wants a promising young QB that he and Brees can develop for a few years while Brees is at the helm. Tyler Palko didn't work out, and the rehab on Harrington apparantly didn't fit the bill, either. Do you think Chase Daniels has a chance to be that guy?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Yes, I think he's got a chance. Payton must have seen something in him to bring him in. That's a good situation for Daniels to develop. No pressure, just learn the offense well and see what happens over time.

Bob (NOLA)

what do you think about moving Jammal Brown to RT and keeping Bushrod at LT?

Mike (Raleigh, NC)

Hey Pat, what's your take on the Falcons losing Jerry for the season? I think they'll be ok with Johnson and Trey Lewis, but it's a big disappointment when you lose a young guy still developing.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Losing Jerry hurts because they had big hopes for him. Although it was early in the process and he was doing all right, I think there's not much drop off to Johnson and Lewis in the short term. They can survive this year without Jerry, but it would've been nice to see him out there getting better each week.

Brian (Salisbury, MD)

What happened with Jagodzinski...can you give us some insider info?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

The Bucs have been pretty open about that one. There was no big secret incident. The guy just wasn't cutting it as a coordinator. The offense was disorganized and he wasn't even calling the plays. His play book was ridiculously simple. They wanted to simplify things after Gruden, but he scaled it back to a high school play book.

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, great work, thanks for the hard work. The HOF is taking votes from fans on players they think should be enshrined. For all of the Rickey Jackson supporters, or anyone else you would like to vote for, the address is: www.fanschoice.com

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Sharing this with all of you. I made my case for Rickey a couple months ago and think this guy belongs in the HOF.

Sporkdevil (B-Town, Indiana)

Hey Pat, love the blog. When do you see Tye Hill finally getting into rotation for Atlanta? I know he is still getting adjusted to the defense, but our secondary needs a number 1 corner. Also, do you feel if Hill stays healthy he can become that number 1 corner?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Probably a few weeks away. He's still getting used to that defense. Not sure if he'll turn into a No. 1, but a 2 or 3 would be nice.

Nick Goings (IDK)

Where am i playing right now?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Believe you're out of the league. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

Tony (Tampa, Fl)

If the Bucs future doesn't start to brighten soon, do you see the Glazers panicking and hiring an older and more experienced h.c. next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Not so fast. Yes, it hasn't been a pretty start, but give it some time to see if Raheem has a plan and if it's working. The Glazers fired Gruden because he had no long-term plan and was just patching it together each year. They realized when they hired Raheem that they would have to take a step back to be better in the long run.

Ken (Long Island)

Pat i have been reading all of your articles that you put on espn.com, and it seems to me that you are counting Carolina out of the playoffs after week 2. How can they be the biggest disappointment when they lost to Philly with mcnabb and lost to Atlanta in Atlanta. Last year Carolina lost to Atlanta in Atlanta 45-28. So why are you counting Carolina out after week 2?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Umm, have you really seen anything in the first two weeks that would lead you to believe Carolina's a playoff team?

John (Anchorage)

Pat, which one do you think is a weaker point for the bucs this year the defensive line or the secondary?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Flip a coin on that one. I'll go with the secondary, but you can make a case either way.

Sam (Apex)

How did John Fox who is supposed to a defensive guy with a focus on D-line play let us get so thin at DT that we find ourselves scrambling for anyone who weighs over 300 lbs week after week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Excellent question. Panthers went through offseason not addressing DT, even though all they really had there was Kemo and Damione Lewis. They had all sorts of chances to bring in guys and they didn't. Heck, the guy who begged out of there a couple years, Kris Jenkins, is playing tremendously for the Jets. Early in the Fox years, he used to talk about how entire team was built around d-line. That's clearly not the case now. They've got no one to blame but themselves for the DT problems.

john fox (charlotte nc)

so when im fired how long before i find a new head coaching job and come back to haunt the panthers

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

You wouldn't have much problem getting a job somewhere else.

John (NOLA)

what do you think about moving Jammal Brown to RT and keeping Bushrod at LT? Also, would anyone have any interest in stinchcomb?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Hmm, hadn't thought of that one. Off top of my head, that may not be a bad idea. Bushrod's done all right at LT. Not sure Stinchcomb would bring you much more than a fifth or sixth round pick, thought.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Why is it a big surprise to Tampa fans that the Bucs aren't playing well? Didn't everyone say before the season started, they would finish last in the division? I thought everybody knew it was a rebuild year for them?!?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Good point Mark. I live in Tampa and it's kind of amazing to see how people are reacting with the Bucs losing. It's like the sky is falling. But it shouldn't be this way. Everyone, including the people in a panic now, knew this was a rebuilding year for the Bucs. You've got to be patient and go through the process.

Wally (Los Angeles)

Hey Pat, sorry I am late for the Chat :). Question about Greg Williams defense in New Orleans. The Saints are leading the NFL in interceptions, how much of this is because the QBs we played, and how much is this Greg Williams influence?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Don't sell Williams short. He's come in there stressing the importance of turnovers and he's making it happen. Yeah, they've played two inexperienced QBs and that helps, but this D will produce turnovers by good QBs too.

Eddie (Biloxi, ms)

Pat do you seel Mike bell having a 1500 yd season this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Well, his knee is banged up now and I think he might miss some time, so that could hurt. But he was off to a very nice start.

Henry (UNC)

Carolina's defense doesn't generate enough pressure. Fox and Meeks don't believe in blitzing, from what I can tell. That will be the downfall of the defense, unless the secondary can step up BIG TIME. Am I right? And will the defense ultimately be the downfall of Fox?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Yes, if a John Fox football team can't play defense, then it can't do anything.

Steven (Wilmington,NC)

Do you think Morris will make through whole year ???

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Yes, I do -- and I think he'll be back next year.

kelly (tampa)

Do you think firing Gruden was a bad decision?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

No, I think the collapse at the end of last year justified the firing. Think Gruden is tremendous with Xs and Os. But there was never a long-term plan in place. They could have stayed with him and kept going 9-7, 8-8 or 7-9 every year. But they wanted to put something in place for the long term and not rely on patchwork every year.

JayR (Tampa)

Pat wasnt last year a rebuilding year for the Falcons?I think people in Tampa thoughtn that the new coaching staff would do a better job of drafting and shoring up the defensive line in the draft and thru free agents.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

True, Falcons were rebuilding last year and they put the blue print out there for a quick turn around. Just don't think it's that easy to turn around that quickly. Atlanta, in some ways, got lucky simply because Matt Ryan was so much better than anyone, Falcons included, thought he would be from the very start.

Tom (Ontario Canada)

Bucs fans are reacting to losing like this because last year they missed the playoffs by a game. There was no need to blow up the team , and they still didn't address their biggest need a QB. Now Leftwhich is not an up grade over Garcia. Sure they drafted the QB and if he pans out it will be over years. So why we are upset is a team who missed playoffs last year could end up with 1 win this year. This new regieme was more interested in putting their mark on the team well they did.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

You really think that if they kept intact a team that absolutely fell apart at the end of last year that they'd be better off now. I don't. I think they'd still be 0-2 and very, very old.

Drew (Clearwater, FL)

Why didnt the Bucs invest more money in free agency? I know they said that they want to build thru the draft, however if your picks end up being busts, then you are out of a job. If you invest in more proven players, the team at least has insurance at that position

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Think you're going to see them start using some of that money to re-sign some of their own players to extensions very soon.

Wally (Los Angeles)

What does the NFC South have to do to get some credit. Last year we were clearly the best division, with the bottom team 8-8 and the best offense in the NFL. This year all the talk is yet again about the NFC East and the AFC South and East also getting more respect. It isn't a petty thing, its the difference between news items getting less air time, and games getting worse crews and games getting national TV air time.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

You're preaching to the choir here. In my world, it's all NFC South.

Tony (Tampa, Fl)

Where do you see the Bucs picking up their first win?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

I think they'll suprise a lot of people and win one before they go to London. Not sure which game it will be, but I think they will pull one out before midseason.

Beeker (C-Bus)

What happened to everyone who said Jeremy Shockey was done and overrated? Anyone left out there? Bueller?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

NFC South is division with best tight ends.

Drew (Clearwater, FL)

Mark my words. The Bucs will defeat Washington next week. Or we will let Washington beat themselves.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I can see that as a possibility.

Sam (Apex)

What games are you slated to cover in the upcoming weeks?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I've got Giants at Tampa Bay this weekend and Jets at New Orleans next week. That's as far as we plan ahead. We wait to see what makes the most sense.

Richard (Atlanta, GA)

Do you see the Falcons making any other moves on the defensive line? Trades? Free agents? Or are the comfortable with what they have?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

They pretty much have to stick with what they have because there's not much out there at this time of year. Jerry loss hurts, but doesn't kill them. Thomas Johnson can be a decent starter. If Trey Lewis can be the No. 3 guy, then they're all right.

Mike (NY, NY)

Pat, I have alot of respect for you...BUT, quit with the patient speech on the BUCS. The folks in New York who cover the teams here don't preach patience. You either win or you are out. No fan has to tolerate losing- EVER. Patience is not what professional sports is about. Good one, though, pal.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Just saying, it's only two games. When Dungy came here, he lost eight of his first nine and everyone thought he was clueless. Raheem made it pretty clear they were rebuilding. I just think he deserves a little patience before people start calling for him to be fired.

James (Memphis)

What do you think about Jim Bates?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Excellent coach. Doesn't have a lot of talent to work with.

Joel (Pennsylvania)

Hi Pat, in your opinion why will the Panthers lose Monday night against the Cowboys? All your colleagues are picking Dallas but I am a Panthers fan and think they will upset a lot of peaople Monday night in Texas!Also, I love the blog, keep it up!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

You know what? I generally don't do predictions, but I'll make an exception here. I'll say Carolina wins Monday night. My logic: Team has clearly been backed into a corner by the bad start and Fox is on the hot seat. But this still is a talented roster and Fox still can coach. Won't make a habit of this, but I say Panthers 21, Cowboys 17.

Don (Atlanta )

Pat you don't seem that concerned with the loss of Jerry for the Falcons, but you were very concerned with the Panthers loss of Kemo? To me they are just as bad. You can't tell me a 7th round pick who was out of football for two years is going to replace their first pick. They are gonna be bad on D all year long.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Panthers had absolutely nothing behind Kemo. Falcons liked what Johnson did in camp and he rotated in and played well first two games. Coaches believe he can be solid. Also, Trey Lewis really is just getting to the point where he's recovered from his two ACLs and they're expecting him to help. Johnson and a healthy Lewis are a lot better than what Carolina had on the roster at the time Kemo went down.

CC (Atlanta)

So you're saying the Bucs will use all that cap space to bring back the likes of Piss(poor)catelli, Barber and re-up Gaines Adams? That's kinda like saying Vandy has 18 returning starters. Is that really a good thing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

No, not those guys. More like Barrett Ruud, Davin Joseph, Donald Penn, Tanard Jackson and Cadillac.

matt (jax)

Will the Flacons finally get rid of the bust named Jamaal Anderson? Can he back fill at DT and does he have any trade value?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

No trade value there. He'll slide over to DT in some packages. Right now, they're still starting him at end and bringing in Biermann on passing downs. Biermann's not big enough to play the run, so it will probably continue like this for most of the season.

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, does it boggle your mind that people get so upset about preseason predictions?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Yes, it does. They're simply preseason predictions. Lots of folks seem to get personally offended if their team isn't picked to win the Super Bowl. It doesn't mean a writer has a personal agenda against a team when picking it to finish low. It's nothing more than a simple preseason prediction.

Joel (NC)

Pat, if John Fox is such a defensive mastermind (and he is the best coach the Panthers have had), why did he hire a Cover 2 guy like Ron Meeks when it is obvious they don't have the personnel (i.e. Good Defensive Line) necessary to make it work?Also, with the lack of pressure, why aren't we blitzing more? Gamble and Marshall are good corners and it they get beat some, so be it. Better than dying a slow death getting picked apart for 7 yard completions every play.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Excellent question and I think you did an excellent job of answering it yourself. One more question before I run.

Drew (Clearwater, FL)

Pat, enjoy your weekend. Good luck vs Iowa.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Thanks. Yep, that's a big one. The Hawkeyes have not been kind to Penn State in recent years. Hoping that changes this weekend. Thanks to all for stopping by and I'll see you next week.