Hi Pat, I know you'll be in New Orleans again this weekend. You should just move here for the rest of the season. Anyway, do you think the Falcons can still end up with a winning season?
Yep, flying to New Orleans later this afternoon. Have thought about getting an apartment there!!! On the Falcons, kind of depends on if they have some of the injured guys back or not. Would be nice to finish up with some positive momentum. Welcome everyone.
Pat, if Jake Delhomme starts the game against New Orleans, which is at home and the last game of the season, my concern is that the fans will boo him. Regardless of the year he's had, I think that if the fans do boo him, it will not prove they are knowledgeable about football, nor will it prove that they are "right." It will simply prove to those watching that they have no class and not a shred of common decency. That's not the image I want portrayed of the fans of my hometown. Do you agree?
I'd agree with you on that. No matter what's happened this year, Jake is a class act and has done a lot for that franchise and that community. Send him off nicely. He's earned at least that much.
How much truth is there to the notion that Raheem did not pick Jagz and Bates but had them pushed on him from the front office? If it is true, and if the players know it to be true, does that explain some of the strong support he is getting from the players? And does that perhaps allow the possibility of Raheem keeping his job next season? Raheem has goofed in games for sure, but I'm beginning to think that the reason this season has been a waste is less on Raheem, more on the Glazers. Or, is this just a bad case of gas I'm having?
Not certain, but I think those decisions were really up to Raheem. Bates definitely was his guy. Raheem and Bates' son are best friends.
I asked this question last week but it didnt go through! When we win the Super Bowl will you come down to the N.O. for a real Super Bowl Parade!?
I'd imagine there's a pretty good chance I'd be assigned to that.
Since they are former Bucs and Buddies, will Bruce Allen call upGruden and ask him if he is interested in getting the two mousekateers together again? And will Mr. Personality say yes?
Shouldn't you two guys be working or something??? Note to everyone else, I know these guys.
what players are out for the saints game? i heard that lance moore might play this week. i think we need a little help on our pass defense. do you know if sedrick ellis is playing i also heard that he had little practice time this week?
Doesn't sound great on Ellis. I think you'll probably see Moore. We'll know more later this afternoon when Saints give out injury report.
Pat, Will Doug Williams ever get a chance at being a GM? Or do you think he might go back to coaching? What exactly does he do for the Buccaneers?
He's personnel director, which means he's in charge of scouting departments for college players and pro players.
Pat are you going to move to New Orleans to cut down travel time?
Have thought about it. But Tampa is home.
Pat, I have enjoyed your coverage this year. Where do you think the Panthers get their QB for next year? This team is built to win now and is probably only a #2 WR and QB away from being a SB contender. Drafting a QB won't help for next year so where does he come from?
Probably a free agent. Know the list isn't promising right now. But there always are surprise cuts or guys available for trade. Lot depends on who's running the show in Carolina.
If you were Thomas Dimitroff, what CB(s) would you target in FA? I suggest Dunta Robinson...
Think you'll see Falcons address CBs in draft. They've stuck mostly with their plan of building through the draft.
Everyone seems down on Freeman after his past two games. Against Carolina, the interceptions seemed like rookie mistakes, and he otherwise had a field day against their defense. Then he struggled against a very good NYJ defense that took away his top weapon. Do you really think we should be worried about the kid at this point?
No, the kid is one of the few things Bucs have going for them. Needs more talent around him. He'll go through some struggles like any young QB, but I think he can develop into a good one.
If TB doesn't get Suh in the draft, who do you see them taking?
They had better get Suh. He's what they need.
I saw on SC that they have the Bucs selecting E. Berry for our 1st pick in the upcoming draft. We have to go DT first pick right??
In my eyes, absolutely.
Pat, love the latest articles, great work!! What's the word on the street about how the Saints are going to be going into the Dallas game with their secondary? Will we see Tracy Porter start or will we be rolling again with the rookie and mcKenzie?
Sounds like there's a chance we might see Porter. Stay tuned later this afternoon when Saints release injury report.
Pat you know I respect u, i have to pick on u today, where was Chris Gamble's love in the stock riser column? 3 picks in last 3 games man!
Hey, I took his side of the argument on the Moss thing. Gamble just gave an honest answer.
Do the Saints hold onto Thomas, Bell and Bush next year? if not who's out and where do you seem them going?
I'd stick with them. It's worked out nicely this year.
... and who DO you think may be running the show in Carolina next year Pat????
Don't know yet. We've got to see if they pull the plug on Fox. Don't want to get too much into speculation, but I'll throw out a couple of names to keep an eye on if Fox goes. Not saying either of these will definitely be the guy. But keep an eye on Mike McCoy and Russ Grimm.
do you think deangelo will get snubbed from the pro bowl again? he couldn't get in last year and was on a winning team then.
He's got a shot. Get over there and vote for him -- again.
and on that Pat, it was so blown out of proportion. had it been anyone but the Patriots, no one woulda cared
Panthers fan here. Pat can you let the N.O fans know that I am pulling for them to win the SB. As much as I dislike the other teams in South, I would rather the trophy be in the South rather have it than anywhere else. Also tell them to enjoy this season because it can change so quickly, which I have experience all to well this year.
That's a very nice gesture on your part. Very classy.
Also, I noticed that Auto-Update is off on this again. Might need to tell your Techy. We have to keep refreshing.
I'll tell them.
There were pictures of Matt Ryan running around in practice yesterday....is this mostly a smoke screen for Rex Ryan & the Jets or is there really a chance that he will be back?
There's a real chance. Not saying definitely, but there's a chance. Should know more after 4 p.m. today.
The Meach is a beast... we all said it here, first. Secondly, do you think Vilma will make the pro bowl? He seems to be overshadowed by Brees and more especially Darren Sharper... but he's having not only a good statistical year but a phenomenal year as a playmaker and leader. I wish he'd get more credit.
Vilma's having a heck of a year. I think the credit will start coming as the postseason approaches. Aside from his play, he's also the leader of that defense.
Wow. Didn't know the connection Raheem has w/Bates son. That could be awkward now. So, if Raheem does somehow stay, what does he do about DC and OC next season? It can't be Olson can it?
My guess is ownership would make him go out and get new coordinators -- if he stays. Yes, he also tried to hire Bates' son.
I'm living in Atlanta but I'm all about my Saints. I know I asked a few weeks ago but I'm sure you get swamped with letters so I'll forgive you this time. :) Can I get a shout out to Vilma for all his efforts on this Saints team? I know he's only got his name on so many picks and tackles but he sets up so many other great plays for NO defense. Thanks!
There, we'll shout out Vilma again.
Hey Pat. Who do you think from the 2002 Bucs team will make the Hall of Fame. I figured definatly Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott and Derrick Brooks and probaly Ronde Barber. But what about John Lynch and Simeon Rice. And any other names from that you think might make the HOF
Slow down there. Brooks is a first-ballot guy and Sapp will get into the Hall of Fame. But after that, I think you've got to be realistic. Lynch has a chance, a legitimate chance. But Alstott? Very good player, but not a Hall of Famer. I'd say the same on Ronde and Simeon.
I will prove myself this week.
Good luck, my man.
Hey pat what are the chances John Fox is gone after this season and why do you think Cowher isn't a choice for head coach?
Pretty good that Fox is gone. Just my theory on Cowher -- if he really wants to coach, I think it will be in a bigger market. Plus, I'm not sure Richardson would even go that direction. I think he'd go with a rising coordinator. Probably an offensive one.
Pat its pouring snow here. Have you ever heard a coach talk the way Belicek talked about Richardson's Panthers. He sounded like he owns a team.
It's about 73, but raining here in Tampa. Belichick is just being Belichick. Bottom line -- Harris and Gamble just gave their honest opinions. Sometimes, the truth hurts.
Ok - Heres the obligatory Peppers question. Will we let him walk or work out some sign and trade? He has to go.
I'd say sign and trade -- at least get something for him.
Pat, love the blog and read it religiously, but do u really think ronde barber doesnt make the HOF?? not many guys w/ 25+ sacks/int w/ that many pro bowl/all pro selections and a ring (that he played a big role in)
Very good player, but I also think he was something of a system player with lots of help around him. Plus, only one SB ring.
Pat, Adam Schefter pointed out in his column the tendency in the wacky NFC South for the last place team one year to win it all the next...No way the bucs win it next year, right?!
Never say never ...but I'd have a tough time seeing that right now.
Pat, John Abraham has been an absolute ghost this year...is it time for the Falcons to look for some new blood or wait it out another year?
Look for new blood in the draft or free agency.
Could Cowher be considered for head coach for the Bucs next year or is that too much of a small market team for him?
That one, I wouldn't totally rule out. But it's a long shot. I'm thinking real big market -- if he coaches.
Gotta agree with you on Alstott and the HOF. He was great for Tampa, but not a hall of famer. But doesn't Barber merit serious consideration? I think he is the only CB to post 20 career sacks and interceptions. He had double digit interceptions in 7 out of 8 season and was an outright game changer (especially against McNabb). I'll admit I'm biased, but it seems to me that Ronde would be on the list right behind Brooks and Sapp.
I'd vote for Lynch before Barber. Just my opinion.
Pat you know about Bobby Hebert and his Radio career in New Orleans do you think Drew Brees will follow suit because the city will not let him just leave.
Entirely possible. Brees is so polished he could do national tv. Heck, he could be mayor of NOLA or governor of LA. But let's just enjoy him as a QB for right now.
Pat, in other words, Cowher's pulling for the Saints to pummel the cowboys, huh? ;)
Like the way you think.
Heard you on the zone earlier, nice job!
Steve, give me a shout or e-mail sometime. If you've lost those, hit me on Facebook or the mailbag. Happy holidays and tell your brother the same!!!
If Fox is gone - shouldn't Hurney go too? - While he's had a couple decent drafts, I blame him for this whole Jake and Peppers contract fiascos
Possible and Hurney certainly deserves some blame. But this is just my theory: I think there's a good chance Hurney stays and gets to hire the new coach because Richardson really likes and respects him.
Pat tell the Ronde lovers it took him 12 years to tie Donnie Abrahams int record he made in 6 years Ronde never had double digit int numbers in a seaon either.
Is there any trade value for D. Ward? I thought he would provide a spark to the Bucs.. But he has been a bust.
Not like he's done much to enhance his value.
Pat, everyone seems to point to the Falcons lack of talent on defense as it's main weakness...but shouldn't some of the blame be on Brian VanGorder as well?
Think it's easy to point at BVG, but not entirely correct. They thought they'd have more of a pass rush to take the heat off the CBs. I think the Peria Jerry injury hurt more than a lot of people realize and so did Abraham suddenly getting old.
Pat, there has been a lot of reports and talk around Charlotte that Fox might indeed stay. Just saying don't be so surprised if he stays, although I might not agree with it.
I know, but I don't buy that talk. I could be wrong. But I think he's gone.
Who is more responsible for the personel a team has on their roster the GM or Coach? PS Ive been reading your columns since 5th grade I'm 27 now. Always been a cut above.
Thanks for making me feel old!!! Good question and it kind of varies in different situations. In Carolina, it's almost an even split between Fox and Hurney. Fox might have a slight edge on personnel in that he tells Hurney what he wants and Hurney goes and gets it. But Hurney's heavily involved in all that.
When I ask myself whether I prefer covering a magical year for one team, or a tight division race (especially at this time of year), how do I respond?
Excellent question, seriously. Really, I'll just do the job no matter how it shakes out. As John Fox says, it is what it is. Fun to see New Orleans so excited. But last year was nice when we had a real close race. It's all good.
Pat, Will you have your ear plugs for the game on Saturday at the Dome?
Anybody know where to buy ear plugs? I've never done it before, but it might be time.
There was also quite a few people having a tough time seeing Atlanta get a wild card last year as well...you basically have to throw the previous year out the window in the NFC South.
History has shown that to be true.
All you have to do is look how the Saints D plays with Ellis and then without Ellis--a good NT is a blessing.
Yes sir, but a lot of people tend to overlook the importance of DTs.
Any chance tha CAR would ever trade Smith?
Doubt it. But who knows if there's a new regime.
u better stop hating on me Yasinskas, the pAin-TRAIN is coming! WOOO WOOOOOOO
Mikey, I've known you for a long time and you've know me for a long time. You're a great guy and you were a very good player. But not an HOFer.
Hey Pat, what's the over/under that both Penn and Rudd are back in Tampa next year?
I think they'll both be back. If I had to prioritize, I'd say Ruud first, then Penn. Say hi to Scranton for me -- that's home, well 12 miles away in beautiful Dalton, PA.
Pat, you get tight Divisional races most years in the South. Enjoy this magical year because it ain't about to happeen again any time soon.
Enjoying it all.
Most shooting ranges, sporting goods stores.. and maybe some music stores (instruments (not CDs) will probably have them.
Cool. Thanks. There's a music store near where I'll be staying. I'll check there tomorrow.
Pat I dont agree with most people looking at that Carolina game for New Orleans as a cake walk. First, the Panthers gave them all they could handle in the Superdome, second this game is at home for Carolina. Third this will be the Panthers Superbowl if the Saints are still unbeaten, not to mention many players might have a sense that Fox could be gone so they might play even harder for Fox knowing this could be his last game.
All valid points and Fox has a pretty good history against the Saints.
Pat, do you get to work from home. If so, you have the greatest job ever.
Some. Kind of complicated to give you full answer. Home right now, but flying to NOLA later. On the road almost every weekend this year. On a selfish level, wish the Bucs had been better so I could have had a few weekends at home. So, generally, I'm on the road during the weekend and working out of home during the week. Go out to Bucs practice sometimes, but, again, their season has kind of cut down on my time with them.
Pat, Drew Brees made it public last year that he was lobbying to bring LT to the Saints when his future with the Chargers came into question. With LTs time in San Diego all but expired at this point, do you see Drew & the Saints trying to swoop in a second time around?
No, no, no. They don't need an old RB. They talked about it with Edge this year and good thing they didn't do it. What they've got is working out nice. Stick with it.
Pat: Think Antonio Bryant will be in a Bucs uniform next season?
Not a chance.
Any chance the Panthers would look to bring in Vick? He's looked good in Philly recently, and it seems his past troubles are behind him and hes focused on football.
You really think Jerry Richardson would do that? I'd be totally shocked.
pat, do you think a new CBA will be in place before next season. I was reading about what would happen if there is nothing done. Essentially it restricts the final 8 teams from signing any free agents in the offseason along with many other stipulations...do you think you could write up an article about this?
I'm sure we'll be doing tons on this as free agency gets close.
Who do you think will be in the Saint's secondary for the first game of the play-offs?
I think Porter and Greer will be back for that. Probably Gay as the nickel.
Does ESPN spring for "First Class" on your business flights?
Nope. I'm facing the cattle call on Southwest this evening, just like everyone else.
Antonio Bryant - rumor\reports are that he will not be franchised or re-signed. Tell me, who out there is better, FA or otherwise? They need him, Freeman needs him, the Bucs have nobody else. Your thoughts?
Bryant sealed his fate when he ripped the coaches and Freeman. He's gone.
Bandwaggon fans are irritating me. I put a whole in my wall everytime Aaron Brooks threw a ball backwards on 3rd and goal. Now we are 13NO and though the positivity is good for the city, it still feels like the guys who just watched you single-handedly build a house while they drank beer. . . .expect to pay the same ammount of rent. How do I cope with that?
Just keep doing what you've always done and enjoy it. It's a special time in NOLA.
pat, did you know that Drew Brees and Sean Payton were both members of the same fraternity at different chapters? think that's had anything to do with their uncanny chemistry on the field?
That's one I didn't know.
I guarantee we will beat the Saints in our last game.
The real John Fox would never guarantee anything!!! At least not publicly.
o you think Greg Williams will stay with the Saints after this year, even if offered a head coaching job?
Might depend on the job. If it's not a place with a lot of promise, he might stick around another year. Sure Saints would love to keep him.
Antonio Bryant - Part II - many WR's say they want the ball and his comments weren't TOTALLY out of line AND he backed it up. I just don't understand Dominick's thinking - are you sure he's out the door?
I said it, so I have reason to believe that's true. It's not like he's produced on the field this year and there also are questions about his health. Why give him big money? You can go out and get someone else. Let's face it, Bucs probably will bring in two or three WRs next year. They don't have much at all right now. This franchise is supposed to be built around Freeman, so I'd expect them to go out and get him some talented WRs.
What is it about NFC South players that ESPN likes so much. So far Ryan, Smitty, and Brees have all have been in great commercials recently, which are all hilarious by the way.
Not sure, but I'm appreciative for anything that brings attention to the NFC South.
Pat rumor has it Raheem Morris will be working for Dunder-Mifflin next year...
Might be available, if they're hiring!!
Overall the Falcons defense has been a real disappointment this season, but how do you rate the job being done by first-year defensive starters Thomas DeCoud and Stephen Nicholas?
Solid on both.
Pat, I completly disagree on not booing a poor performance. It doesn't matter what the team thinks they have a right to. The fan has a right to expect success, since they pay the same amount of money either way. If they partially reimbursed tickets after a loss, then you could argue you got what you paid for. But since that is about as likely as George Siefert coach in Carolina again, fans can boo or cheer whoever and whenever they want. If players don't like it they can use their physical gifts (and millions of dollars) in another trade.
Agree with you under usual circumstances. But I think the Delhomme scenario I was asked about is a little different. If he starts and plays that game, it clearly will be his last game. Yes, he's been horrible this year. But I think he's done a lot for that franchise and community and I think he deserves better than to get kicked on his way out.
That's just my point, there IS nobody out there! I appreciate you answer the questions, love your chats.
You can look at a potential free agent list now and there's nobody out there. But that always changes before we get to free agency. Hang loose a bit.
Pat, am I a one year wonder? I look in the mirror and all I see is Jim Mora Jr.
No, you'll be fine. Just had a tough year with injuries and stuff. You've got a good core in place. Get that back healthy and spruce up the pass rush and secondary and you'll be fine.
Hey Pat, before I forget...Good luck (just not much of it) to you and your Penn State Putty-tats VS Mike da Tiger in the Cap-1 Bowl New Years.GEAUX TIGERS!!! ;)
Thanks and good luck to you, too. Couple more minutes, folks, and I'm going to have to pack my bags and start making my way to NOLA. I'll be wearing my PSU hat!!
Do you miss Daniel from last week? LOL!!
HaHa!!! I think we can safely say that Daniel will not be joining us again.
lol Pat, way to win friends and influence WHODATS!!! ;)
On second thought, I might switch and leave the PSU hat home this time.
Bying a big center screen for the super bowl to watch the undefeted Colts vs the Saints.... Do you think that will happen?
I think the only thing that would draw a better crowd at the Proud Lion Pub would be if you had the Johnny G. Lyon Band playing in the other room, but charged people say $10 to stay in the other room and watch it on that middle television. Perhaps the most brilliant business idea ever.Apologies to the rest of you. This one was an inside joke. Thanks to Big Dan and Handsome Barry.
Po-boy, roast beef or fried oyster?
Pat, I am a NOLA native here in enemy territory. Will I be able to talk trash at work on Monday?
Think you've got a pretty good shot at that.
Do yourself a favor and go get lunch at Mother's on Poydras tomorrow. If you can wait in line that long that is!
I just might do that. All right, folks, I've got to leave and get ready for New Orleans. Enjoyed the chat and have enjoyed them all year. You've been great. We won't be chatting the next two weeks because of Christmas and New Years. But we'll resume it the week after that with playoff chat and talk about offseasons for others not in playoffs. Thanks again and happy holidays to all.