We haven't gotten this thing started yet? What are we waiting for?
Cliffton Smith was the only Buc to make the NFC South Team? I though Barret Rudd at MLb would get the nod as well.
We're starting now -- 6 minutes early. Let's go.
For David in Orlando's question: I gave Ruud heavy consideration, but couldn't do it. Can you honestly say he's had a better half season than Davis, Lofton and Peterson? Not to mention Vilma and Beason, who didn't make the team.
Pat do you think Freeman can play well again this week like he did against the Packers?
It's entirely possible. But don't expect him to be perfect. There will still be rookie mistakes.
Hey Pat, why isn't Hartley kicking for the Saints. I don't have much confidence in Carney right now.
Wish I knew. I'm with you on Carney.
Pat, if the Bucs season ended today, what is their top priority for next season -- defense or offense?
I'd say defense -- probably a DT.
What are the panther's playoff chances?
Iffy right now, but could improve if they can win Sunday.
PAT, chances SP sits Greer for a bit? With a groin injury and 2 weak opponents on the way it would be great timing for Jenkins to get come experience at CB.
I think that's a real possibility. I'd rather have Greer fully healthy for New England than having him limp out there and risk further injury against Rams and Bucs.
MVP: Bress, Manning, Favre?
Brees has my vote.
Not to overhype the 1 win by the bucs, but do you think they have a more intense attitude now going into the 2nd half of the season?
Not sure it's more "intense", but it's got to be more positive. They now at least believe they've got a chance to win.
Hey Pat, with al the Reggie's a bust crap--do you know that he has more TDs than Deuce did at the same points in their careers? Just less totals yds. gained and a handful more fumbles.
Good point. Thanks for sharing.
Hey Pat, Have you seen a breakdown of Freeman's QB stats by each quarter or each half? I'm curious to see, in stats, what appeared to be improvement in his production throughout the game.
Don't have it handy right now, but I know he got better as game went on. I remember his stats early on being something like 3 for 9 and, then, suddenly getting very respectable.
Does DeAngelo Williams go this week, or does John Fox not want to risk hurting him? If he goes down for the year Fox will certainly be fired.
I think he's playing. Haven't seen practice report yet today, but he went on a limited basis yesterday.
how bout talib at corner? 5 picks in 5 games. pretty nice if you ask me. now if he could grow pup
The latter part is the challenge on that one.
Pat, who are you talking for this Sunday's game between ATL and CAR?
I don't do predictions. Leave that up to our TV guys.
D. Williams didn't practice today.
Thanks for the update. Well, as a general rule with Fox, if you're not practicing Friday, you don't play Sunday. We'll see if this one might be the exception.
Who do I start, Turner or Williams?
Given the latest injury update, go with Turner to be safe.
I'm surprised that you said there might be two TE's in the NFC South better than Winslow. That's not what the tape and numbers show, and he plays on a bad team. Please qualify.
Like Winslow's made a big difference to that team?
Which player from the NFC South do you predict will have the biggest impact on their team the 2nd half of the season?
Easy -- Brees.
From watching tape I think Davin Joseph and Jeff Faine are both pro bowl players. You really wouldn't put either of them on your all-pro NFC South team?
Faine missed several games. He's good. I'll give you that. Joseph's pretty good, too. But look at the Saints sacked allowed and rushing numbers and tell me Evans and Nicks shouldn't be the guards???
Pat, I haven't heard anything lately about Jerry Richardson's progress. Any updates on the Big Cat?
Asked someone with Panthers that question this week. Answer was he's still progressing gradually. Not as active as he once was, but slowly getting more active.
Mike Smith's been mute on the fine issue. Any inside info on his reaction to the stiff fine?
He can afford the fine. Actually think it was a positive overall. He already was well thought of by his players, but getting into it with DHall probably scored him even more points.
If Ruud can lead this soft bucs run d to a good game at Miami do you think we could see him get inked long term pretty soon??
Yes, think that's possible.
You don't seem to like Aqib Taleb at all. I think he is a star on the field. Do you disagree?
Very talented player, no doubt about that.
The Saints took Malcolm Jenkins in the first round last year, but he has not seen much playing time. Is that simply due to the talent of Greer Porter and Sharper? Or is Jenkins not what they were expecting? Could he start elsewhere?
Jenkins could start for a lot of other teams. Saints have the luxury of bringing him along slowly because the secondary has been so good.
Bucs have Miami, NO, ATL, Carolina, Jets, Seattle, NO and ATL left on the schedule. Who do you think they have a chance of Bucs have Miami, NO, ATL, Carolina, Jets, Seattle, NO and ATL left on the schedule. Who do you think they have a chance of beating?beating?
Don't know. You'd have to ask them.
Do you think Mike Smith could take Deangelo Hall?
Smitty's got a better resume to back him up.
Sedrick Ellis. ESPN is reporting one thing, Payton is reporting another. Any idea who's being the most realistic? Any chance he'll be back for the NE game? Thanks.
Think NE game is the logical target.
Any more news on D. Brooks getting anymore looks from other teams? Has he really lost that much of a step? or are there somethings fans dont know about?
If he had anything left, don't you think someone would have signed him long ago? Derrick's a great guy and was a great player, but I think this one is over.
Pat with Hovan not playing well why doesnt Miller Start at DT for the bucs?? And also why dont they just have Stroughter start since both Bryant and Clayton have done nothing this year..
I would have been starting Miller several weeks ago.
A girl scout could take d. hall. ;)
Just sharing Rum's opinion.
Will the Panthers draft a QB in the first round next year? Delhomme may not be done yet, but he is obviously close
They've got to do something dramatic at QB. Think a lot of it will depend on who's running the show.
What's up with Derrick Ward? Any chance he will rebound this year? And would he be the biggest free agent bust in the NFC South?
Been a bust so far and I don't see that changing unless Caddy gets hurt. Yep, he'd get my nod on that one.
What are us Saints Fans supposed to worry about the next two weeks?
Why do you think Dunn never found a team this year? He didn't play all that bad last year.
Yes, I was more surprised he's not playing than I was by Brooks not getting signed.
Is it logical to think that Fox might be willing to risk it with DeAngelo Williams this weekend because without him their chances of winning drop drastically, and with it his chances of staying head coach.
Don't think it will be any different than usual. If he can run, he'll play. If not, he'll sit.
Pat, how much have the Falcons missed Harry Douglas this season?
Fair amount. They were counting on big things from him as No. 3 WR and return man. Might have even had chance to beat out Jenkins for starting job.
Pat it seems to me the way the Panthers are handling Steve Smith is terrible, the guy is a top 5 Wr and I know Jake is not very good anymore, but I have watched every Panthers game this year and the Panthers rarely move him around to get him in better spots.
True. One other thing is that they've got no other WRs for defenses to worry about.
Thanks for answering my questions Pat. I follow you and respect your opinions and analysis, daily. Is Jim Bates a one year guy? Should he be?
No, Bates is probably best coach on that staff. Give him some better personnel next year and I think you'll see what he can do.
DO U THINK THE GAME BETWEEN FALCONS AND THE PANTHERS WILL DETERMINE WHO GETS THE WILD CARD SPORT
No, too many other factors (like NFC East teams) involved to say this will decide it. But it's going to be a big help to whoever wins it.
Dwayne Jarett at least caught some balls.. Kerry Colbert who you compare him to is dropping everything thrown to him in the UFL...
I would expect nothing less from Colbert.
How does Tye Hill look (besides the INT)?
Saw him get beat for TD the week before in New Orleans. That and the INT are the two plays I've seen that have stood out.
Pat, if Jake Delhomme has a decent second half of the season, do you see him remaining, or do you think he will retire. I personally hope for a dramatic comeback--he is genuinely a nice guy who has done so much for Charlotte and the Panthers. I hope if he does retire after this year, he is able to do so without having a bad taste in his mouth for the so-called fans in Charlotte who are downright abusive.
Tough situation with Jake. I agree -- absolutely great guy. But I do think the Panthers at least have to look at other alternatives next year.
Do you think saints will extend sharpers contract??
Yes, I think they almost HAVE to extend him with the way he's played.
Do you think Matt Ryan is getting too focused on Tony G. and the middle of the field this year? Thus throwing more INTs due to more traffic. Unlike last year where he threw more to the outside?
Have to agree with you on that. I think there is some of that going on.
how much more gas does Steve Smith have in his tank?
Oh, I think there's plenty left. I don't think that's the issue. I just don't think coaching staff has done a good job of helping create things for him and obviously the QB struggles.
Steve Smith is the Gasoline Truck... ad him to Colston and Brees and they would break every darn offensive record in the books...
What are the prospects of Lance Moore being in the lineup this weekend?
Haven't heard injury update yet today. Will update that on the blog later this afternoon.
Pat, I keep on hearing how the Panthers need to blow the team up after this year and very much find that ridiculous. This team has play makers at every level. I think whoever is the coach next year will have some very good players to work with.
Definitely lots of talent on that roster -- Beason, Gross, the RBs, Smith. Even if Fox goes, the new guy wouldn't be starting from scratch. But there are plenty of holes to fill.
Is there a rift btwn. Lance Moore and Sean P. ?
Not that I'm aware of.
Do you think Steve Smith's assessment of the Saints' receivers was fair? Drew Brees is ridiculous but I have seen my fair share of acrobatic catches from that receiving group.
Can't say Smith was totally off. Saints receivers are very good. Colston is great and the rest are pretty darn good. But I think Smith's point basically was that it's every WRs dream to play with a QB like Brees and in an offense like the Saints run.
How long is Fox going to stick with Jake. The coaching staff can't trust him to throw the ball down the field. Basically he is babysitting the offense. Just turn around and hand it off. Matt Moore can do the same thing with the possibility of throwing the ball down the field. When is enough, enough? Sorry to say it....Jakes time should be over
We going to start the Matt Moore thing again? Not saying it's right or wrong, but Fox will live or die by Jake. That's just the way it is.
Pat who is the best player in the Falcons secondary?
Erik Coleman. Then DeCoud.
Then maybe Steve Smith should find a way to become a Saint
Stranger things have happened.
How well do you think Svitek can play if Sam Baker can't make it?
He did all right last week. But I'm sure Panthers would put Peppers on him every play and that would be interesting.
Do you blame Jake Delhomme or the lack of WR talent outside of Steve Smith for the passing attack failure?
No, they basically have struggled to find No. 2 and No. 3 WRs since Moose left the first time. And I think the offensive coordinator does some questionable things.
Pat, do you think the Panthers keep Kasay long enough to retire as a Panther, or cut him loose after this year in favor of Rhys?
I think Jerry Richardson is too close to Kasay to ever let him play anywhere else.
Pat you posted my first ? but didnt' answer it. What's up with that. Also, do you think Meeks would be back next year if fox is gone?
Sorry, sometimes we have technical issues. Send your first question again. As for Meeks, he would go, if Fox goes. They'd clean house and start fresh.
And they say Chicago is where wide receivers go to die...HA!
What are your thoughts on Peppers next year
My guess is he's somewhere else.
Safe to say Fox is coaching for his job Sunday? No win vs. ATL means they lose the tiebreaker, even if they win out--no playoffs.
Yes, that's not a stretch.
Pat, do you think Steve Smith will demand a trade if Carolina doesn't make some moves at the QB position?
I would never even attempt to guess what's in his mind.
Who's better M.Clayton or Sammie Stroughter??
Hey Pat how you doing? Everyone says Drew Brees is so accurate, and I agree. He is a great QB. However, he does throw a lot of interceptions. Everyone says he is so accurate, do they not see his interceptions? Not bashing Brees, I am a huge Saints fan. Just wondering.
Wow, that's the first criticism I've heard of Brees in a couple years. Be happy with what you've got. He's a great one. Plus, he throws some interceptions because he gets to throw more passes than most QBs.
Who would be your pick for the best overall athlete in The Stout?
Peppers, if we're talking exclusively on overall athletic ability.
Two questions that were posted by me never got answered. What's going on. You've answered everyone else's. Not cool.
I'll try it again. Sometimes we have technical issues. Send your questions again please.
Peppers over Bush?
Yep, give them a basketball and throw them out there on the court.
Good God, how many whiners do you have to put up with in this chat?
Welcome to my world. Just kidding. Y'all are great.
At least Bush contributed in the Dome on Sunday. Maybe Peppers was out shooting hoops.
Any word on Derrick Brooks retirement party?
Nothing yet. I'm waiting every day, but been waiting all season.
brees doesnt throw many interceptions he has 7 this year,cutler had 5 in one game be happy with what we got!
If Fox is out of Carolina after this season, do you see him coaching in the NFL in 2010?
If he's out, yes, he'll get another job.
wat do u think about the bucs old school jerseys and where is gruden heading next year?
Thought the jerseys actually looked good this time around. As far as Gruden, he'll have his pick of jobs, if he wants to come back to coaching.
If people are tired of Drews interceptions, I am available and ready to save the Saints season!
Do you see the UFL becoming an eventual contender with the NFL, or just something to passify a bunch of under-talented, past-their-prime players that lasts for a couple seasons, much like the XFL?
Actually think it can be a feeder league for the NFL, if they do it right and don't try to compete.
Why do the Saints not line Reggie Bush up at wide receiver more often? He seems like he has the skills to be an incredible wide-out.
Maybe because they've got some many good WRs.
Pat are most Buc fans too harsh on the new coach/GM. I think they have a plan in place and in year 3 will be in the playoffs. Don't you think the Packers game was a big step and we will see them win a few more games this year and improve. Also I think Freeman is a true Franchise QB he has that look your thoughts?
Yes, I do. If and this is a big if, Freeman can continue to show progress, I think Bucs fans will start to recognize that there's a long-term plan in place.
Sorry Aaron, even I wouldn't sign you this season.
pat can you tell me how long greg williams signed for with the saints
Don't know on that one. I'll have to check around.
Hey Pat, do you ever think about "stealing" some of your fellow bloggers' article ideas? Some of what they do, I would love to see done with the NFC South
We all do some of the same things and some that are different.
Pat I've been a huge Carolina fan since their days in Clemson and when you were writing the daily column in the Observer but for some reason after every game this season I'm feeling more depressed about this season than I think I've ever felt before. Why?
Were you around for Seifert's last season?
Which game do you have this week?
Going to Atlanta at Carolina.
It's such a surreal scenario, to me, that Fox is highly regarded as a very good NFL coach who could get a job immediately, yet many are questioning his performance with the Panthers. What do you think a fresh start would provide for him that isn't currently at his disposal in Carolina?
Sometimes, it's just time for a change. Sometimes, messages get old or coaches and players don't see eye to eye.
DO U THINK THE SAINTS WILL HAVE A MID SEASON SLUMP SINCE TEAMS ARE ALMOST BEATING THEM AND THE GAMES ARE GETTING CLOSER
Um, they've got the Rams this week and the Bucs next week.
Pat how exactly is Hovan considered a leader when he has been out played by a rookie all year?
Great question. I thought Hovan should have been gone after I saw him get blown apart in Carolina game next year.
Could the Saints name Greg Williams coach in waiting to keep him. Kind of like Dallas did with Garrett.
It's not like Payton's going to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Is Jake the nicest football player you ever met?
He'd be in my top 10, at very least. Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Dan Morgan, Michael Husted, Kris Jenkins (in his own weird way), Brentson Buckner, Mike Minter and Mike Rucker also would fall into that category. And I'm just using guys I have covered on a daily basis.
Do you think the NFC south is wrapped up?
Yep, Falcons and Panthers are playing for a wild card. Two more questions.
Gotta throw Brees into that list as well. The photos from his Take a Player to School Day were priceless.
Yes, like I said, I only used guys I covered on a daily basis on my newspaper days. Everything I've seen out of Brees is VERY impressive. Same for Matt Ryan.
Who is the best quote in the NFC Stout?
Hmmm, right now, I'd have to really think to single one out. So I'll throw out several who are good: Mike Peterson, Jon Beason, Chris Harris, Brees, Ryan and Jon Stinchcomb. Hey, one other on my all-time list: Steve Beuerlein was outstanding. He'd be a top five guy.
Last Question, a personal one. How's your day and weekend looking Pat?
Well, time to sign off the NFC South chat. Next I'm going to do my NFC South Final Word for later this afternoon and try to work on a mailbag or two. Tomorrow, I fly to Charlotte. Sunday, I cover the game and Monday I fly back home. Thanks to all for coming and have a great weekend.