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January 18, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Is Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Sidney Rice Related to Former 49ers Wide Receiver Jerry Rice?

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:51 AM)

Not that I'm aware of. But he's been playing a little like Jerry Rice. All right, we're starting the chat early. Let's have some fun.

James (New Orleans)

Pat, thanks for a terrific blog all season. Obviously one huge key to this whole game is going to be Bushrod's matchup with Allen. We knew that Bushrod was going to have his hands full with DeMarcus Ware when we played Dallas, and arguably the failure to address that matchup successfully cost New Orleans the game. So. You're Sean Payton: Whatdyado? Put Deuce in for pass-blocking?

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:53 AM)

One thing that helps here, Shockey was hurt for Dallas game and they weren't able to use David Thomas as a second TE or FB because he was playing Shockey role. I think you'll see Thomas helping out Bushrod a lot this week.

Eric S (Saint Petersburg)

Do you see the Bucs going after a big time receiver like A. Boldin or someone else in the trade/free agent market? If as you say they get rid of Bryant, they need someone to take his place.

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:54 AM)

Not sure it will be Boldin. But they will probably get at least two WRs through free agency and the draft. They need two new starters. Bryant is gone.

Scott (Norfolk, VA)

What kind of role, if any, does Deuce McAllister play this weekend, with the rib injury to Pierre Thomas and him possibly being limited?

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:54 AM)

Not sure if Deuce is in shape to contribute much if anything. Think that was just a ceremonial gesture -- and a very nice one.

Kyle Deville (Bossier City, LA)

I noticed several players get dinged up Saturday, who are the injury concerns for the Saints following the game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:55 AM)

We won't really know until Wednesday's practice. Payton, like all coaches, is very guarded about injury information and won't say anything until he has to.

Scott (Pensacola)

I know you don't like doing predictions, so your prediction is?

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:56 AM)

Tell you what, I will do another prediction for NFC Championship Game. But give me a few days to ponder it. I'll make a prediction on the blog Friday.

mike (NOLA)

Pat, howd you like the dome experience on Saturday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:57 AM)

Awesome. Place was incredibly loud. Great for the city of NOLA.

Joe (Southlake, TX)

Pat, I've been scouring media reports on Jeremy Shockey's injury and have found nothing. Any update as to how he's doing? He takes the Saints offense to another dimension.

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:58 AM)

No, like I said, Payton's very guarded about injuries. We'll have to wait until Wednesday.

brad (new ulm,mn transplant from n.o.)

Pat, love the columns. There is another BIG advantage in this vikes saints game besides the obvious dome field. Payton is in a whole different league than Chilli. The reason they are were they are is because of there players, not there coach. With our D back healthy finally, we will beat them by at least 14 pts.

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:58 AM)

I just put a column up on blog about how Payton has grown as a coach. Think you've got to give him edge over Childress just as a coach in that matchup.

Scott (Pensacola)

Pat, what do you see the saints doing to slow down Allen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (11:59 AM)

Lots of help from David Thomas and the RBs. But, also, don't sell o-line short. They're a good group.

Steve (Kannapolis)

Any word on marty schottenhiemer possibly coaching the panthers? he came in to a local restaurant here and seemed to be very excited and talking to everyone about the panthers

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:00 PM)

No, nothing. Marty lives in Charlotte area. I don't think Fox is going anywhere.

Deuce (New Orleans)

What were the chances that the Saints were going to try to play McAlister vs. the Cardinals? Was it even a consideration?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:00 PM)

No, think it was just a motivational thing for the team and a tribute to Deuce.

B (LA)

So i think the key match-up will be the best guard tandem in the league in Nicks and Evans vs the Williams Wall. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:02 PM)

That is a good one. Evans is just starting to get credit he deserves and not of people realize Nicks is almost as good.

Scott (Pensacola)

please turn auto update on

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:03 PM)

Sorry, but I don't have any control over that. Any readers have advice for Scott on this?

Mike (Louisiana)

Why aren't the Bucs doing anything to their staff? Surely some changes should be made after a 3-13 season, especially after two coordinators were fired. It seems like they need some new position coaches. Surely Jim Bates and Jagodzinski brought in their own guys a year ago.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:04 PM)

Hang loose a bit. A lot of things like that happen when everybody gets together at the Senior Bowl.

sean (nola)

Pat your funny. Everyone knows you're gonna pick the Saints. Who dat. Give me time to ponder hahaha

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:04 PM)

Hey, might as well drag it out as long as possible!!!

grant (NC)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT KEITH BROOKINGS QUAREL ON MINESOTTAS SIDELINES YES THE VIKINGS DID BLOW THEM OUT BUT ITS NO DIFFERENT THAN WHAT DALLAS DID TO THE EAGLES IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:05 PM)

Hey, life isn't always fair and the NFL is a very competitive business.

Scott (Pensacola)

You think Sharper is telling Brees all about the Vikes D?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:06 PM)

I think that's a pretty safe bet.

Benjamin (Albany)

does Michael Jenkins play this season make him the heir apparent to Darren Sharper instead of a CB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:06 PM)

Malcolm -- Jenkins. He was up and down as a CB, but lots of ability. With Porter and Greer playing so well at CB, his future could be at safety.

Vance (Greensboro,NC)

anything on Peppers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:07 PM)

Nothing yet. All quiet. Think the franchise tag time is the first couple weeks of February.

Levi (Iowa)

do you think the raiders can be a playoff team without jamarcus russel

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:07 PM)

Much better chance without him than with him.

Ivar (Farmington Hills, MI)

As far as Payton outcoaching Childress, isn't BrittFar the coach of Minnesota?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:08 PM)

Good line.

Scott (Pensacola)

its on now, thanks Pat

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:08 PM)

Cool, but I can't take credit for that.

RAY GORRDON REID ( FORT WORTH TEXAS 76129)

QUESTION To PAT YASSINSKAS AT 12. 25 PM IF SAINTS WIN SUNDAY WILL IT BE EARLY MARDI GRAS

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:09 PM)

Think that's safe to say.

Clay (Charlotte)

Big deal Panthers fire ST coach?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:09 PM)

Actually, thought he should have been gone a couple years ago. Thought their special teams were nothing special since Scott O'Brien left.

Clay (Charlotte)

Where did Bush come from? Ever seen him run with that tough before?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:10 PM)

No, never saw him run like that before. It was impressive. Think it's mainly because he's fully healthy now and has been banged up much of his career.

Charlie (Dallas)

I've read metrics that say Jabari Greer is behind only Revis in opponent success passing in his direction. Does he stick to Rice all day and nuetralize him the way he nuetralized Fitzgerald?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:11 PM)

Tell you what, Greer is way better than I ever imagined him being. Sharper's been great, but you could argue signing Greer was their best move in free agency.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

What did the team have to say about Reggie Bush's explosiveness from the Arizona game? It seemingly came out of nowhere.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:13 PM)

Reggie said it's because his knee is fully better from the micro-fracture surgery. He said it really takes a full year to get fully back from that.

Mike (Louisiana)

While it's a very, very sad and tragic thing that Gaines passed away, I'm going to ask a football question. Do the Bears get their 2nd round pick back?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:13 PM)

No, that doesn't change.

Ryan (Columbia, SC)

Pat, do you think with Fox coming back that there is a chance he sticks with that relentless loyalty to Jake the Snake?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:14 PM)

No, he simply can't stick with Jake -- at least not as the starter.

Benjamin (Albany)

and Bush still isn't worth the 8million he is due next year.... so odds are hell refuse a pay cut and get sent packing because the Saints don't need him, never have on the field only from a marketing standpoint

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:15 PM)

I wouldn't be so sure about that one.

Seanto (St Paul, MN)

Pat, you rock! What are the chances Suh falls to the Bucs at 3? Any possibility of them trading up to get the guy that will help them the most?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:16 PM)

Hang loose a bit on that. Sometimes, combine and pro days can change what we think right now is going to be the draft order.

Dean (Philly)

How do you think the Saints O-line, especially Bushrod will hold up against one of the best pass rushing teams in the league?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:16 PM)

Obviously a big challenge. But they've protected Brees well much of the year. Sure you'll see Bushrod getting a lot of help.

Thea (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Do you see Hargrove as a future starter with the Saints ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:17 PM)

I'd put him next to Ellis and think they can be a nice combo.

Paul (Denver)

What? No posting for Gaines Adams? RIP. Who do the Bears target at DE now? Maybe Peppers, Vandenbosh, or Kampman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:18 PM)

Had two posts on Gaines yesterday. Sad story. Didn't know him well, but he seemed like a good kid the couple times I did talk to him.

Benjamin (Albany)

Suh doesn't fit Bucs concept of a DT.... that would be Gerald McCoy. Bucs would have McCoy ranked higher than Suh, one of the few teams that would

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:19 PM)

You might be very right on that one!

Thea (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Is there any truth in the rumour that Bucs could be for sale ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:20 PM)

That rumor's been floating for several years and we've never seen anything come of it.

PantherFan (Charlotte)

Why did a previous writer refer to Delhomme as "Jake the Snake?" Whatever Jake's problems are (and I believe they are more mental than physical because of the undue pressure he was under all season), he is a great guy who is totally committed to the Panthers and to regaining his form. Why do people continue to attack his character?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:21 PM)

I'll back you up on that one. Say whatever you want about Jake's playing ability. But he's as good a person as there is in the NFL.

Benjamin (Albany)

I love that soccer fans come to US football chats to try to figure out the financial situation of the Glazers by asking about the Bucs so they can infer how it relates to manchester U..... hilarious

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:22 PM)

Yep.

Doug (NOLA)

Do you think the Vikes will punt to reggie, or just give the saints good field position? Seems like they could be scared after their previous experiences.I feel like this could give the saints a huge field position advantage.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:22 PM)

I think they'll be trying to keep it away from Reggie.

Sam (Pittsburgh)

What are the odds of the Bucs trading for Brandon Marshall? We can give him the big contract he wants with all that cap room and he's a 25 year old elite nfl wide out!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:23 PM)

True, but you want the headaches that come with him???

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

better qb right now, brees, or favre? i got favre

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:23 PM)

I'll take Brees.

Dan (Lafayette, LA)

I always thought the nick "Jake the Snake" was because of his elusiveness in the pocket. We called him that when he was with N.O.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:24 PM)

Um, Jake never has been what I'd call elusive.

Chad (N.O. via Vegas)

Are you just staying in NOLA for the week or back home in Tampa? Just got here last night and even though I was born and raised here this city is ELECTRIC right now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:25 PM)

In Tampa right now. Going back to NOLA on Wednesday in time for afternoon press conference.

Mike (Louisiana)

I know this is the NFC South blog, but how has Brett Favre been able to start all 16 games while putting up the best numbers of his career at age 40!?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:26 PM)

Tribute to him and the team around him. Favre always has been durable. Not sure he's ever been a conditioning freak, but he's doing something right.

Chad (N.O. via Vegas)

Best N.O. QB ever not named Brees? Manning or Hebert.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:26 PM)

Tough to really answer. I was too young to really see Manning play.

Charlie (Dallas)

Jeff Duncan tweeted that McCray's hit on Warner was borderline cheapshot. How do you feel about that hit?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:28 PM)

I'd never argue with my buddy Dunk. But I think that play was just one of those things that happens in the heat of a game.

William B. (Nassau, Bahamas)

How about the Saints signing Rickey Jackson this week, to lead the defense on the field?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:28 PM)

Hey, not a bad idea!!!

Mike (Louisiana)

I know you said the Bucs need two new starting WR's, but does that mean you think Clayton gets released? They invested a lot of money in him last year(one of the dumber moves the FO made).

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:29 PM)

They might be stuck with Clayton as a backup for another year.

Jeff (Tampa Bay)

As big of a Deuce fan as I am - do you see him being on the roster again next week? I guess if everyone's healthy it's fine, but you might need that roster spot right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:31 PM)

That's a great question and I'm anxious to see what Saints do. My guess is they need the roster spot. I don't think Deuce is really in playoff shape and I don't think they really need him. But, again, it was a great gesture.

Vinnie (Frederick, MD)

Just trying to get my voice out there. Many people counted the saints out in their game against the cards due to their 25th ranked defense. And sure enough we held the cards to 14 points. But yet everyone is throwing this game away as a poor cards D contributing to our win. How about some credit to a HEALTHY Defense stopping the high powered offense of the cards. Also was the decrease in touches for pierre due to his ribs or just reggie's good play?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:32 PM)

Let's give lots of credit to a healthy New Orleans defense. I think having Greer and Porter back at full speed made a huge difference.

Bob (canon city co)

Pat, do you think sammy stroughter will be one of the bucs starting wrs next year? That would solve one starter.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:33 PM)

Could be, but I'd almost rather see him as the slot guy.

Levi (Iowa)

pat whos your favorite nfl player all time

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:34 PM)

Before I got into this business and wasn't allowed to have favorites, Dan Marino was my favorite.

Josh (NOLA)

Do you think Reggie stays or goes with the Saints next season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:34 PM)

Stays.

Karl (MN)

Last week Kevin Seifert and Mosley form the North and East blogs respectively went head to head and Mosley killed Seifert. Will you both do that also this week for the Championship game? Worked well for us Viking fans

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:35 PM)

Kevin and I will be doing a Double Coverage debate. Looks like it will come either Wednesday or Thursday.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

is it true that saints fans whine more about 'no respect' than any other fans in the history of sports?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:35 PM)

No, I think every fan base has been guilty of that at one point or another.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

the idea that sportscasters have no favorites is rediculous

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:37 PM)

Maybe sportscasters, but sportswriters don't have favorites. As I've told you all many times here, I don't have a favorite in the NFL because that's my job. I do my rooting for Penn State on Saturdays and the Red Sox in baseball season.

Bob (canon city co)

Pat, Im a tampa native and use to read your column when you were with the trib. Do you think Freeman has the potential to be as good as Brees and Farve in a couple of years? He looked pretty good at times this year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:39 PM)

Well, I'm not going to put him in Brees are Favre category yet. But I liked what I saw of him. Enormous potential. Made some plays on his own with nothing around him. Think he can be something very good.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

how does a semi-decent team like the jags gt into financial difficulty? Arent they moving to LA?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:41 PM)

Basically, I think it's fair to say Jacksonville is a tough market.

Chad (N.O. via Vegas)

Pat-C'mon man. You are a professional sportswriter and you columns don't reflect any bias. But, you have to have some sort of rooting interest in some NFL team that you keep seperate from your job.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:42 PM)

I know it's tough for fans to understand, but that's truly the way it is.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

WIll Jim Mora coach again?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:42 PM)

Not as a head coach.

shaq (hartford ct)

How do you feel about brees getting robbed of the mvp not only statistically but schedule wise i belive we had the 8th hardest schedule and the colts had one of the easiest

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:43 PM)

As I've said before, it's hard to beat Manning (and his name) in a vote.

Chad (N.O. via Vegas)

Sean Payton has this level of playoff coaching experience. Brad Childress does not. Will this have any effect on the game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:44 PM)

Like I said earlier, I'll take Payton over Childress in that matchup.

Levi (Iowa )

do you think jhon gruden will coach again

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:45 PM)

At some point, yes. It's up to him, though. Right now, he seems happy and very good in broadcasting.

carey (slc airport but nola at heart)

devery henderson's pass catching technique seems to have made a giant leap - just look at his 360 catch on Saturday -do you know what he changed in the offseason?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:47 PM)

Think it's developed over last several years. Early in his career, Devery was notorious for drops. Now, he's got reliable hands. There's only one way to develop that and that's hard work. Although there might be some difference between catching balls from Brees as opposed to Aaron Brooks.

Josh (NOLA)

Do you think SP should have taken the starters out a little bit earlier against the Cards?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:48 PM)

Yes, I do. But it's tough to argue with anything Payton does these days.

Matt (Jackson, MS)

Do you think Brett Favre will stay another year if he loses Sunday? I mean, if he wins the super bowl he HAS to retire riiggghhhtttt!?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

Matt, I'm not even going to attempt to make a guess on that one!!!

Thea (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Do you think Gregg Williams will be looking for another HC position ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

Yes, but I don't think he'll be getting one.

Mike (Cincinnati)

Barring major injury, do you see Drew Brees playing until he's 39 or 40 years old?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

Yep, why not? He hasn't taken a lot of hits since he's been with Saints. As long as he wants to play, I'm sure they'll be happy to have him in NOLA.

Josh (NOLA)

The last couple of years in the NFC South the last place team has won the following year. Do you think that is the case next year or will New Orleans repeat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

Wow, too early to say before we see what offseason brings. But Falcons and Panthers sure have potential to be good.

Benjamin (Albany)

williams developed a nasty rep for showing up joe gibbs and acting like the HC.... no one will hire him after the skins

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

You're on the right track.

Ian (MPLS)

Why doesn't Williams get a HC position? He's a great coodinator.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Maybe he's meant to be a great coordinator.

Gary (Charlotte)

Pat, people keep saying the Panthers will not keep Peppers because he will restrict what they can do in free agency and signing players, but this is not true at all. The CBA will not be extended so this year will be uncapped. As a result the Panthers could tage Peppers and keep him, but still be able to sign other players. If the Panthers are willing to keep him for 17 million and be hampered in what they can do in free agency, well than they certainly are willing to keep him for 3 million more and sign whoever they want.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

I see your point. But I think they'll try to trade him for draft picks. You can get a lot of other players for $20 million. Even with the uncapped year, you can't just spend freely. There's the economy to worry about.

Josh (NOLA)

Do you think a lot of analyst are going to keep the Saints as the underdog (like they did against the Cards) or will they finally get some respect against the Vikes?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Hey, maybe you shouldn't complain. I think the "respect" thing has worked for you.

Mike (Louisiana)

Has Monte Kiffin hurt his legacy by what he's done over the past couple of years?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Good question. I'd need to think a little more about that to give a full answer and I've got to sign off in two minutes. But let's say what's happened with the Kiffins probably hasn't helped Monte's legacy any.

Mike (Cincinnati)

Thanks for all of your thoughts and posts throughout the season, Pat. I will be interested in your thoughts following sunday, as the Saints make preps for Miami!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Thank you Mike and thanks to all of you. Enjoyed the chat. I think we'll have another one Friday if it doesn't interfere with Saints' practice schedule. I announce it on blog as soon as I know for sure. Thanks to all for stopping by.