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September 3, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

How do you think that the New Orleans Saints will do this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

I picked them to win the Super Bowl -- again. Take a look back at our predictions from yesterday. All right, let's get this chat rolling.

robert (dallas/tx)

Hey Pat-didnt see him play last night against Houston-so do you see Micheal Clayton getting cut tomorrow?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

That would be my best guess, unless Bucs are somehow able to trade him.

matt (pittsburgh pa)

what do you think about mike williams do you think he is going to become the number one wideout for freeman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:50 PM)

Yep, it sure seems like he's the best they've got. That's not a knock on their other guys. I'm always cautious with rookie receivers, but I think Williams is going to be the real deal.

Steve P. (Greensboro, NC)

Do you know of any DT's Carolina might look at picking up off waivers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

I'd consider Thomas Johnson, who was already cut by Falcons. Should be some more guys out there tomorrow.

Shawn (KS)

When a player gets put on IR, do they still get a regular pay check as if they were still playing? While on IR can they still rehab in the facilities or do they have special policies they must follow?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

Yep, still get paid. Generally, yes, they rehab at the facility, unless it's a unique injury and there's a situation where it's better for them to do rehab in a special setting.

Tim S (paulding)

all experts say bucs wont go .500 but with our scedule do you think there is a chance we go over?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Always a chance. NFC South history says anything can happen. Bucs are definitely better than a year ago. That said, I'm not promising they'll go .500.

Bill Garrett (Washington, dc)

Hey Pat I love your blog you do a great job with your work I check for new post about five or more times a day! Yet I feel like you don't respect this young Tampa team. You seem to give the Panthers and Saints the spot light! I'm just asking to start to show the bucs more love! Better now than when they start winning games and turning heads!!! Ttyl

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

There are fans out there for other teams that tell you I do TOO MUCH on the Bucs. It's all relative. I think I've been a lot kinder to them than a lot of national media, who have picked them to win only two or three games. I live in Tampa. From a selfish perspective, I'd like to see them one some games. That way, I'd actually get some weekends at home during the season. Last year, I didn't get very many.

Sam (Raleigh)

What's your traveling schedule like the first few weeks of the season? I think its safe to assume you will be at the Saints-vikings game next week.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Good question. All I know right now is the plan for the first two weeks. I'm fired up about seeing some good football in Week One. I'm doing a double dip. I'm starting in New Orleans for Saints/Vikings. Then, I'm heading to Pittsburgh for Steelers/Falcons. In Week Two, I'm scheduled to do Tampa Bay at Carolina.

Evan (Durham, NC)

Funny how fans try to characterize their team based on the performances of 3rd stringers and guys that are getting cut tomorrow. Why is it so hard to take the preseason for what it is?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Probably because we're all so anxious for regular season. Glad it is finally upon us.

Bill Garrett (Washington, dc)

Caddilac Willams will rush for over 1,000 yards and Mike Williams will have over 1,000 Rec. Yards! Do you see this as well???

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

I'd say yes on Caddy. Pretty decent chance on Williams.

Sam (Raleigh)

Please dont start this "respect" thing about any teams this week Pat covers the teams that are the most successful last year that was the Saints the year before it was the Panthers win games and people will write about you that's how journalism works

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Thank you, Sam, for understanding the nature of the business.

Matt (Liberty U)

Hey Pat, which QB gets the boot in Carolina this weekend?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Very close call. I'm going to say Cantwell.

Jeff (McLean VA)

It looks like the Carolina Panthers have NFL analyst confused (6-10 wins). Does the lack of a big play #2 receiver swing the team that much?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Nah, I think it's more the questions about and the youth on defense and QB.

Ray (Orlando,FL.)

Pat, any chance Carolina keeps Trent Guy?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

At very least, I'd try to get him on practice squad. The guy can fly.

shaked bar-tal (Charlotte nc)

Hi pat I'm starting tomorrow to be a Logger at ESPNU is there anyone that you want me to say hello to from you?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Shawn Burns, if he's still there. Don't know if he is. Been a few years since I talked to him.

Bill Garrett (Washington, dc)

With A. Benn breakout game last night with his two highlight catches will that give him the starting nod? Or will Moris play it safe with R. Brown!? I would love to see Benn start but I think it's about a 40% chance

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I think they'll open with Brown as starter and let Benn ease his way in. But he's come on strong toward the end of camp and the latter stages of preseason. That's encouraging.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

So the Panthers are first team in 14 years not to score offensive TD in preseason. What are the chances they go 3 and out on the first drive against the Giants?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Pretty decent chance, I'd say. But, hey, we don't know what Fox and Davidson have up their sleeves. They're never going to show much in preseason.

Chris (Sacramento)

Hey Pat, do you think this will be the season that the Buc's O-line finally starts wrecking shop in the trenches and live up to the hype??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Hmm, think the hype has kind of faded a bit on that o-line. But I think it can get back to being pretty good. The interior's solid and Penn's adequate at LT. Trueblood needs to have a good season.

Jarrett (Jacksonville, FL)

Hey Pat, any word on Chris Ivory's injury and is it a serious injury?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Not yet. Saints wouldn't say much about it last night. Don't think Payton will be addressing media until tomorrow, so we may have to wait a bit to find out.

Matt (Asheville)

Does Greg Hardy really have a chance to make it into the starting lineup? The guy looks amazing but what are his chances?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

I think he'll open as the third guy in the rotation, as a pass rusher. But this guy also has the skills to play run. Could be starting before long.

Sam` (Raleigh)

With Beason, Vilma, Lofton and Rudd do you think the NFC South has the best MLB's in the league top to bottom?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Remember, we can't really count Beason there now because he's moved to WLB. But still that's a pretty impressive group you listed.

Eric (Atlanta)

I read earlier in the week where the Falcons will make their roster cuts sometime today. Any word on when?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

No official word on any team and cuts yet. Deadline isn't until 4 p.m. tomorrow. I've heard rumblings Saints will go ahead and do their cuts (or at least most of them) today because they're on the short schedule. Wouldn't be surprised if Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Carolina at least announce some of their moves today. Carolina often waits until the very last minute to do them, though. Stay tuned to the blog. We'll post any cuts as soon as we get them.

Clay (Charlotte)

More impressive so far, Brown or Hardy?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Hardy.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

What are the chances the Panthers can trade Jarrett? I'm thinking Pete Carrol may want another USC guy over there for the reunion.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

If they can get a draft pick for him, I say go for it.

John (Talkeetna, Alaska)

Of these WR w/ little, or no, impact last year; who do you see having the greatest impact for their team: Harry Douglas, Lance Moore, Arrellious Benn or Brandon Lafell?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Douglas, think he's gonna be big factor in that offense.

Yanni (rippin off a sweet panflute solo)

Do you see there being any "surprise" cuts from NFCS teams in the next day or so? if so, who? Thanx

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Depends how you define surprise. I'd say most interesting things are what the Saints do with Sharper and what happens in Tampa Bay with Michael Clayton and Ryan Sims. Don't expect anything out of the ordinary or particularly newsy out of Carolina or Atlanta.

Evan (Durham, NC)

If you had to win one game against the 2007 Patriots, who are you picking for a HC (out of the NFCS)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

With apologies to Sean Payton, who is a tremendous coach, I'd take John Fox in a one-game scenario if he's got a good team around him.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

so, lets switch gears, whats on tap for the weekend? What are ya grillin? I was thinking steaks, perterhouse

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

I'll be working all weekend.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Still think Jamaal Anderson is safe? Do you think FALCONS will go after anyone like they did the last 2 season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

I think he's safe because of his ability to play DT. He's actually not bad inside. I could see them picking up someone off waivers, but don't see any needd to go out and make trades.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

I still think Brayton is a surprise cut for Carolina.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Yep, wouldn't totally rule that out.

Simon (Norway)

Do you think Reggie Brown has done enough to make the 53 man roster?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Yep, pretty sure he makes it. He might even be starter on opening day.

William B. (Nassau, The Bahamas)

Who dat Pat. Been reading about the new pregame area outside the dome. Any chance you can check it out on Thursday, and tell us your thoughts and how it compares to other cities. And perhaps your thoughts on the renovations to the dome. Hard to believe it's now 35 years old. Can't wait till Thursday, cooking gumbo and jambalaya for my converted Saints friends. Just wish someone could send me a case of Abita beer.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

I'm definitely planning on checking out the upgrades and will be happy to share my observations with you.

Yanni (rippin off a sweet panflute solo)

Heya, Pat. What are the odds former Buccaneer Derrick Ward ends up a Brown, now that we know Hardesty tore his ACL?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Possibility. I also know Houston's showing interest in Ward.

Gary (Charlotte)

Pat, what was your basis on ranking Freeman over Moore? Based on what we have seen on both, Moore has been the better QB without a doubt, did you factor in potential in the ranking?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Yes, absolutely. I think Freeman's got way more potential than Moore.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

wow, but by work you mean watch football, so dont feel TOO sorry.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Right, I'm not complaining. It's a wonderful life. And I'll keep my nose out to see if I can catch one of the neighbors grilling and maybe stop over and say hi and catch a bite!!!

Max (Lake Charles, LA)

If Ivory is out at all, whom do you see as a possible replacement?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

If that's the case, I'm not sure if they're sold on Betts being healthy. They might have to try to grab a guy that gets cut somewhere else.

Yanni (luring the ladies with the sweet sounds of my panflute)

Any teams with facilities located close enough to the East Coast to be affected by Earl? Do teams have disaster plans in place for such eventualities?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

None in the NFC South. Haven't followed how the storm is progressing north, so I don't know if Jets, Giants, Eagles and Patriots are having any impact. But all teams have plans in place for such things. Saints have had to evacuate several times and practice in places like Indy.

Gary (Charlotte)

Pat, I know you have kept on saying you don't believe in the Panthers defense and you are not buying the hype and their play in the preseason, but how can you not take away something like the defensive ends beating first team tackles on a regular basis one on one this preseason, that is something you can take away.... its man on man.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

It's been encouraging, I'll definitely give you that. But let's see it in the regular season.

Clay (Charlotte)

In your Panthers preview you stated that Hurney has more power than ever and probably could stay longer than Fox. But doesn't Hurney have to take some of the fall for keeping Jake after his postseason melt down, never finding a number 2 WR, and not getting anything for Pep?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Yep, but I think Hurney might be in better graces with the owner.

Kumar (Gainesville, FL )

Who will be starting Z for the Bucs, assuming Stroughter starts off in the slot?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Reggie Brown.

John (Talkeetna, Alaska)

Which NFCS fanbase seems to give you the most grief?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

All NFC South fans are WONDERFUL.

Steve (Southern California)

Best RB in the NFC South this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Wait until Tuesday. I'll have my RB rankings then.

Steve (Southern California)

Do you think we will see a career year from Matt Ryan? Also do you think we will see him throw deep this year? They never did that last year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Yep, on both. I think having a healthy Michael Turner and Harry Douglas is going to make a big difference for him.

Paul (Augusta)

Has the Falcons O-line become an asset instead of a liability in the last three year? Are they top 10?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Not sure they're top 10. But they get the most out of what they have. They run the ball well and protect Matt Ryan well.

William B. (Nassau, The Bahamas)

Pat, if you had a vote regarding the NFL going to 18 game season. What would it be? And during your training camp tours, did you get a feel from the players/coaches/execs on their thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

I'd vote for 18 games and cut the preseason to 2. Mixed feelings from coaches, players and execs. None of them would mind cutting preseason games, but they've got concerns about tacking two games on and aren't sure how rules will change to expand rosters, practice squads, etc.

Chuck (Tampa)

Pat, judging on how you ranked the the NFC South offensive lineman, it looks like you think the Panthers have the best line overall?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Close, Carolina's got a very good line. But I'd have to give the nod to the Saints.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

How are you going to pick the Saints to win the division? I mean there are two WELL known facts that will keep them from winning the NFCS. 1) No NFCS team repeats 2) Brees graces the cover of a certain video game that tends to put a curse on that player

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

True, but give me a valid reason why I should have picked somebody else.

Kyle (Knoxville, TN)

Jon Gruden called Carolina a 'sleeper' team this year. Do you agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Yep, go back and look at my blog where I wrote about that. I said I agree. I think a lot of people are selling Panthers short.

Eric (IA)

I really enjoyed your positional rankings the last couple weeks and would like to applaud you for not just going chalk. Nice eye on Dan Connor and Charles Johnson.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Thank you. I've put a lot of effort into that and don't rely just on my own eyes. Talk to a lot of people around the league about these and even some scouts and personnel guys who recently got out of league and still keep close eye on rosters.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Hmmm....let's see....I got nothing. I pick the Saints too lol

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Haha. That's pretty much what I said.

Jamie (New Orleans)

HI Pat, Sean Payton very rarely makes the same mistake twice which you really can't say about Fox or just about any other coach in the NFL, so why would you rather Fox than Payton as a HC?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I'm just saying, in a one-game setting, I'd take Fox, assuming he's got a good team around him. I've seen Fox come up with some masterful game plans through the years -- highlighted by a couple against the Giants and a playoff win in Chicago in '05 that Panthers probably shouldn't have won. I'd take Payton over the course of a season.

Steve (Southern California)

To go off what Mark H from Greensboro was saying, I can give you a valid reason why you should've picked the Falcons. It's not the fact that the NFCS never repeats and it's not the Madden Curse. The Falcons are vastly improved, healthy, and Ryan now has all his weapons together in his third year. None of that was true last year and they played NO tight twice last year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

I'm not disagreeing and I think Falcons could overtake Saints. I'm just saying, right now, on paper, I didn't feel like I could go with anyone but Saints. But these are just predictions.

Joel (Endicott, NY)

The saint will NOT win the Superbowl and ill be surprised if they win the NFC South. All Teams have had all offseason to watch tape on New Orleans Defense, and with ageing guys, and unproven second year player(same reason your not high on carolina) I don't think they will produce the turnovers they had last year and therefore will not put their offense in position to score so easily as last year... keep this message so you can say im right in 4 months

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

You might be right in four months. We'll see.

Kumar (Gainesville, FL )

Aqib Talib officially arrives as an elite corner this year: True or false?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

From what people with Bucs have told me about his maturity growth, yes, I do.

Kevin (Warrenton, VA)

When you say Matt Ryan should have a good year that means BIG year for Roddy White, right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Yep, I think that's part of the equation.

William B. (Nassau, The Bahamas)

Any chance of a NFL season kickoff chat before Thursdays game? And good luck to everyones respected team. If your team doesn't make it this year, lets all root for Pat being in Dallas covering a NFC South team come February, and also his beloved Nittany Lions this season.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Let me check on that with Bristol. Might be a good idea because I won't be able to chat Friday because I'll be traveling to Pittsburgh. If I get clearance, I'll post an alert on the blog.

Caddy (tb)

can I get 1200 tot yds and 10 tds this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Yep, why not? You're coming into a season where you didn't have to spend the entire offseason rehabbing. Plus, you've got a decent offensive line.

Matt (Asheville NC)

Does Jon Beason have the potential to be better than Derrick Brooks when its all said and done? Was Brooks this good at Beason's age?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Tough call. It's gonna be tough to top Brooks.

Steve (Southern California)

Is it safe to say you will be in attendance at the dome (Georgia Dome) for the December 27th, Monday Night Football NFCS deciding game of the year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Certainly would expect that right now. But we've got to wait until we see how things play out before making any plans. We usually plan coverage two weeks out and try to go to the best game.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

I mentioned this back in spring. What are the chances we can add a chat on Monday or Tuesday to talk about the game the day before? Then have one on Friday to talk smack about the up coming game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Like the idea, but logistics and other duties make that difficult. I'm usually traveling on Mondays. From what I've been told, we'll be in our Friday time slot most of the season. But, like I said, I'm going to try to switch to Thursday next week.

Mike (Charlotte)

Will you be attending more Panthers games this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

That will be up to the Panthers and how they play. Right now, I know I will be at BOA for the Week Two game with Tampa Bay.

Kevin (Warrenton, VA)

Steve Smith, over/under 1100 yards and 9 TDs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Over on both.

sal (dallas)

do you think this is the year that we see reggie bush used fully in the passing game and as the spot rusher that he is? id like to see him with the receptions he had his first two seasons

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

I expect a big year from Reggie. When I saw him in training camp and minicamp, I thought he looked healthier and faster than I had seen him since he's been in the league.

Kevin (Warrenton, VA)

Over on Steve Smith even with double coverage?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Yep, he's had all summer to sit and simmer. When he's super motivated, he plays well no matter what. I expect him to have big year.

Ray (Orlando,FL.)

Mike Goodson the front runner for Kick Return duties in Carolina?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Yep, I think so.

Darren (Charlotte)

Pat, do you think the Panthers are in the best position of any NFC South team for after the lockout if it happens? They would be the youngest team in the NFL minus Kasay, and they will have a lot of money to spend.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Yeah, I wrote a post about that about a week ago. Look back, but I think they've only got like $60 million against 2011 cap right now. So, assuming there is a 2011 season and it is capped, Panthers would have lots of money to play with.

Michael (Washington, DC)

Who will be the defensive rookie of the year in the NFCS?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Gerald McCoy.

Evan (Durham, NC)

dirtiest player in the NFCS?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Atlanta's Harvey Dahl. That's not a shot at him. Harvey takes pride in being a fiery guy.

Clay (Charlotte)

But Smitty punched TWO teammates?!?!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Actually, there were three documented incidents, that we know of.

Joel (NC)

With the success of the NFC South since 2002, shouldn't we have the right to be the most arrogant about our teams/ and division. It gets so tiresome hearing about how great the "NFC Beast" when the best teams since 2002 have resided here...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

When you're good, you don't have to go around shouting that you're a "Beast". Right?

Clay (Charlotte)

Funny thing is, if you meet Steve Smith, he's one of the classiest, nicest guys I've ever met.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

On his good days, yes.

Joel (NC)

Do the Panthers necessarilt need an upgrade at DT. Surprisingly, the ones they on the roster have been very good.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

They haven't been bad at all. You might see them look for just a little more depth.

Redzonejones (New York )

Why do you think Josh Freeman keeps getting looked over even though he performed better than Sanchez and was overall more accurate passer than Sanchez and stafford ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Who's overlooking Freeman? I think the kid has potential to be an excellent QB. Sanchez is good, but also benefits from being in big market.

Gabrielle (New Orleans)

Is it Thursday yet???

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Counting down the hours. Two more questions before it's time for me to run.

Joel (NC)

Seriously Pat, why no rebuttal for Matt Moore at #32? Not the flashiest guy, but he has gotten it done when he's played during the regular season. Certainly not #1, but not #32 either

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

How much higher could you realistically put him? A few spots maybe, but can't see him going above late 20s, at least right now.

tony (new orleans)

dwayne J. will play all year as 2nd. receiver,true or false

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

False.

Matt (Tampa)

Come on Pat give me your take on Keeping Clayton over Stovall because of Stovall's injury concerns?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

Flip a coin on that one. Clayton does have $3 million guaranteed, so they might want to try to get something from him. Then again, they could just decide it's time to pull the plug.

Jacob (Michigan)

Freeman is often not mentioned in the media when they talk of QBs drafted last year. Sounds like overlooking to me.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Well, he's not overlooked here.

Joel (NC)

Have a great weekend- I think we all can agree the best part of the year is getting ready to start

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:05 PM)

Joel, thanks for throwing a nice alley-oop pass. Good way to wrap it up. Thanks to all for stopping by. Great chat as always. Have a great weekend and let's all look forward to Thursday.