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October 1, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

edwin (lincolnton nc)

do you thank dwayne jarrett will start

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

For the Panthers this week? I doubt it. His next start might come in the United Football League. All right, we're up and running.

nisarg (tarboro, nc)

Ive heard that the panthers are trying to trade Steve Smith for some draft picks. Why I the world would the panthers do that he is the only player we have at WR making plays. Please tell me that this wont happen.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

I think fans are getting a little too worked up about this. It's been thrown out there as speculation by a couple writers. Could it happen? I wouldn't rule it out. But, to the best of my knowledge, the Panthers aren't actively shopping Smith and he has NOT asked to be traded.

Joe (NY)

I have nothing to ask about the Buccaneers. They don't interest me at all.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Then ask something else about the NFC South.

Rick (Charlotte,NC)

Carolina has talent...when do they start to gel...this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Well, not sure going into the Superdome to play an angry New Orleans team is exactly good timing.

Charlie (Dallas)

Pat, this whole Atlanta has shifted the power in the NFC South makes me smile. The Saints were without Reggie Bush for the entire game, and Tracey Porter and Roman Harper for most of the game. Even with three turnovers they were a missed 29 yd field goal away from winning. I think Falcon fans need to put the kool aid down before they hurt themselves.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

I'll let Atlanta and New Orleans fans argue this one out. But I'm happy because it looks like we've got a competitive NFC South race this year.

Richard (tampa)

Hi Pat do think 8-8 is out of reach for the Bucs also I know it was limited but what are your thoughts on blount?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Not out of the question, but that's probably a best-case scenario. I think about six wins would be more realistic. I like Blount's potential. I know Morris is talking about using him more and I think he will, but I think Caddy still will get bulk of carries for now.

Mike (Virginia Beach)

Pat, why don't the Falcons wear the captains "C" on their chest like other teams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Don't know. But I just put a call into someone with the Falcons. If he calls me back before chat ends, I'll give you an answer.

Bill (Bellingham)

What kind of year do you see Mike Williams (TB) having? He's a big-play waiting to happen, but is he a WR the Bucs can and will lean on this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Think he's pretty much already their No. 1 and he should only keep getting better.

CC (Atlanta)

Just me or is the Saints OL not protecting very well? Brees was constantly under heat the last two weeks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

It's not just you.

Paulitik (Alexandria, VA)

Hey Pat, any word on Sean Weatherspoon's ankle? The Falcons are so hush about injuries, we don't know what to think. As much as I'd like to see him Sunday, we might need to rest him to chase down Vick in 2 weeks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Nothing new today yet. Will get report later this afternoon. But he hasn't practiced last two days, so I'm not optimistic. Tend to agree with you about resting him for Philly. Going back to Stephan Nicholas for this game is not a big drop off.

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, the Saints lb's get a lot of criricism. I'm not saying its a great unit, but I think the real problem with the run D is the DT's. They get manhandled to easy by one man, which prevents the lb's from getting to the ball carrier. Agree, or am I crazy?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Bill, I don't think you're crazy at all. I tend to agree with you.

DJ (Atlanta)

Pat I enjoyed you insight last week concerning Matt Ryan's numbers with and without the lead. Any chance the Falcons coaches will cut him loose this week at home?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I'd cut him loose a little bit more all the time. By the way, if you haven't seen it yet, I just posted a rather lengthy column on Roddy White on the blog.

Divyesh (Provo, UT)

Pat! How's your day going?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Great. How is your day?

CC (Atlanta)

Wow, Saints fans are already making excuses. Falcons were without a starting WR and Sean Weatherspoon part of the game. If not for two big returns Falcons blow the Saints out.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

I'll just let you guys fire back and forth on this one!

Nathan (Cary, NC)

I keep hearing that the Saints are angry because they lost a game. It only stands to reason that the Panthers would be 3 times as angry...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Yeah, but not sure the Panthers really have the means to capitalize on their anger.

Ryan (Columbia)

Didn't realize a Steve Smith trade was being speculated, sounds bad to me, but.... if it did happen, what kind of picks would we have to receive to part ways?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Again, it's just pure speculation. I hate to speculate on picks, but I'd say, if there was a deal, Carolina would have to come away with a first-rounder and something more.

Buckley (Wichita)

Oy vey, oy vey, oy vey!!! Jimmy Clausen??!! Seriously, this guy plays like he has the field vision of a person with a lazy or glass eye and he has the mobility of a dead corpse. How can the Panthers seriously think they can play winning football with Clausen under center?? Can someone please give me an Oy vey??!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

What other options to they have? Can't turn it back to Matt Moore. Give Clausen a little time and we'll see.

Phillip Gramling (Charleston)

When is Armanti Edwards going to see the field for Carolina? He is a playmaker and thats what they need right now! He can play WR and run the Wildcat offense. And how do you think Clausen is guna do this week? A lot of people used the weather as an excuse for his so-so performance last week. But he'll have no excuses this week because he'll be playing indoors. lol

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Panthers made it clear from the begining that Armanti wasn't going to play right away because he would need time to learn a new position. Despite all their other troubles at WR, they still haven't put him out there. So that tells me he still has a lot to learn.

Greg (Tampa)

I wish they bye weeks came later in the season. But hey the bucs will not lose this week.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

So they've got that going for them, which is nice.

Justin (Raleigh, NC)

Has John Fox become a lame duck coach or is there something else to the problems for the offense of the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Fox is a lame duck coach. But there also are a lot of other reasons for their offensive struggles.

Jay (Dallas)

Is Grimm really gonna be Tampa's answer for Tenard? If so that's a huge drop off. Enlighten me Pat

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Don't think there are a lot of other options right now.

Daniel (Charlotte, NC)

Pat, turn on the auto update.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

I don't have the capability to do that. Anybody have a suggestion for how Daniel can make this work?

Daniel (Charlotte, NC)

Pat, if Carolina falters all season, and they get a high first round pick what position do they go after? A DT like Marvin Austin from UNC? Or another linebacker like Bruce Carter to help out Jon Beason?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Way too early to say. A lot depends on who's coaching the Panthers.

Charlie (Dallas)

Let's see how the falcons do against a team that can take away the run like the 49ers before we anoint Matt Ryan king of the world. I personally think Patrick Willis is going to hand him his head on a pike this Sunday.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

We'll see. Patrick Willis is great, but I think the rest of the matchups favor the Falcons.

Joel (Endicott, NY)

How did John Fox ever find Jeff Davidson, I had never heard of him before he became the OC in Carolina, If I believe he was with the Browns before Carolina.............WHY DID FOX GET THIS GUY,

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Davidson was viewed as a Charlie Weis clone. I'm not sure that Fox gave into fan pressure. But there was a lot of fan pressure to get rid of Dan Henning. Just curious what Carolina fans think about Dan Henning these days?

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

I am fascinated about whats going on in NC. I think Fox is a great coach, so what do you think is going on, he usually have his team ready to play? Do you think players have tuned him out because of his contract situation or just a lack of talent, injuries, or FOX made a HUGE mistake with his QB situation going back to when Delhomme killed his team during the playoffs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

To be brutally honest, I think it's a lost season for Carolina. I think everyone's just going through the motions and waiting for the change that's coming next year. Sad to say it, but that's what I think is true.

Divyesh (Provo, UT)

Daniel: Just hit your refresh button. Not too difficult.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Try that.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Tell him to hit Alt + F4

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Or that.

Greg (Tampa)

What game are you covering this week pat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I've been assigned to Carolina at New Orleans because it's two NFC South teams. Next week, I've got the Julius Peppers return to Carolina. The week after that I've got the Falcons against Michael Vick. That's as far as I know my sked right now.

Matt (Wichita)

What are your thoughts on Jon Gruden possibly coaching the Panthers next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Don't know if Gruden wants to coach. If he does and I'm Jerry Richardson, Gruden certainly would be one of the first guys I look at it.

Joel (Endicott NY)

I was one of the people who wanted Henning out a couple years ago, I thought his play call was very very bad, and what did we do, we went and got another bad play caller. There is no imagination in the offense and we are making no attempt to get the ball to our best reciever, if hes doubled, move him around, at least Henning was able to get smith the ball

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Think a lot of people share your thoughts on that one. But I think what it tells you is the OC isn't really the problem. Fox gives the orders about what he wants the offense to be in general and that really limits the OC.

Darrell (lexington)

can josh freeman be a great young qb like joe flacco

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

He certainly has a world of potential.

Daniel (Charlotte, NC)

It started working for me after Pat posted my comment.............go figure :)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Cool.

Ryan (Columbia)

I know you like the idea of McCoy possibly coming back to coach the panthers next season but any chance we go for a coach with a higher caliber like Gruden or Cowher?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Gruden, maybe. Cowher, I still say no way. I'd also throw Russ Grimm in there too.

Mike (Chesapeake VA)

Any reason Roddy has his hair tied up this year? Has he had problems with people trying to tackle him by his hair? Great article you posted on him btw

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

I didn't ask him about his hair when we talked on phone yesterday. But, hey, I'll ask him next time I talk to him, which will probably be at the game in Philly in a couple weeks.

Brian (Lake Charles, LA)

I hear a lot of people sayn the tide has changed in the NFC SOUTH because the Falcons beat us. I admit they won and played better than us that sunday but its only week 3. We both still got tough schedules head of us. And nobody metions that Drew Bress and the Saints have been played really well in the ATL of the years and its on Monday Night Football. So wats your opinion on whos the power and who u think will take the south crown

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

It's Week 3. I don't think you can annoint the Falcons or the Saints yet. I think this could be a real interesting division race that goes down to the wire. Personally, I'd much rather cover that than simply have one team run away with it like the Saints did last year.

Stud (Wilmington, NC)

With all of the negativity floating around for the Panthers, there has to come some optimism. I have watched all of their games very closely. Pass rush is not quite there, but it has flashes. Secondary has made some great plays and have great potential. O-line is average right now, but still is a dominant line. Run game is still better than average. Clausen honestly looked pretty good to me despite the numbers. I would not totally rule them out just yet. I think we should wait and see what happens this week. Maybe the team can rally up and knock down the previous champs. Chemistry is key for this team.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

A Carolina fan that can still see some good things!

Tom (Vancouver)

Which rookie in the NFC South has performed the best in the first three weeks?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

I'd have to say Mike Williams.

Paulitik (Alexandria)

Ask Charlie how Patrick Willis fared against Matty Ice and Michael Turner last season. 45-10, and as of now that was a better Defense than this years.How do you think the Falcons game plane changes with the new OC in SF?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

There is that.

Nathan (Cary, NC)

If Richardson is going to pay Gruden or Cowher money, why not just pay Fox? I think it will be someone more along the lines McCoy, or perhaps Brian Baker, who I think might be a good one. He certainly has the attitude I would want for a coach - it should be contagious to the whole team.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Well, he's not going to pay Fox now. That one's over and done. I really don't know who it will be, but I think it'll be more the rising coordinator type than a big name. Richardson got burned once by hiring a big name coach who had been out of game for a bit when he hired Seifert. Richardson usually doesn't make same mistake twice.

JC (MS)

What record keeps Raheem Morris' job? 8-8? Go Penn State!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Don't think it has to even be that good. I think six wins and some positive signs mean he stays.

Kyle (Tampa)

Pat, how would you like to cover a tight division race that ends in Tampa overtaking both the Falcons and Saints in the final few weeks of the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

On a selfish note, I wouldn't mind a bit if I were home for the holidays.

Mike (Maine)

Which NFC South quarterback would you want for a game winning (or tying) drive?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Brees and it's not even close. But Ryan would be my second choice.

Darrell (lexington)

IS TIM TEbow, the next great

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

The next great WHAT???

Lucy (NE)

Pat...Do you and the other ESPN football bloggers get together and hang out at all? Who would win an ESPN football bloggers hot dog scarfing contest between you, Kuharsky, Sando, or Williamson?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

We all see each other once a year in Bristol. We usually have four or five of us at the Super Bowl and we hang out. Same with the combine and we sometimes cross paths at games. We all talk pretty regularly throughout the year. I'll stay away from the hot dog thing. But one thing I will say is, at least on paper, we could make up a pretty good roster for a Division II or III basketball team. We've got some height, aside from Kuharsky and Seifert, who would make excellent point guards.

Erin (Miami)

Pat, is there any truth to trade rumors going around about D. Williams and S. Smith?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I really have heard nothing concrete. Just rumors and most of them seem to be fan generated.

Adam (Raleigh NC)

any chance Fox is fired before the end of the season? Wouldn't be shocked if Richardson wanted to sting Fox for the garbage he has shown us the last three weeks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

If it stays this ugly for a few more weeks, yeah, I could see Fox going and them finishing up with an interim coach.

Darrell (lexington)

Is Tim TEBOW the next Great Broncos Quarteback or is Kyle Orton

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

If I had to put money on it, I'd say Orton. I still don't think Tebow's an NFL QB. Just my opinion.

Harold (NYC)

Hey Pat, isn't Raheem still doing the DC as well along w/ Head Coach duty? Why doesn't he hire Herm Edwards? That would be a great tandem

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Think Raheem's doing all right with the DC part of it.

Robbie (Houma, LA)

Pat... when you cover a game, such as the Saints, do you work it from the feild or do you work from the press box upstairs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Press box, which is now basically in the roof of the Superdome. After the game, we go down to locker room and do interviews.

Mike (NOLA)

Pat, I just wanted to mention the Dallas Cowboys since it seems like every football conversation has to have some reference about thye Cowboys. Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Great. I'll forward this to Mosley.

Mike (NOLA)

I want to congratulate the Falcons fans for a big win and agood game. I'd be excited too if I were them. Just remember that we'll see each other at least one more time....

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Good rivalry on the way to becoming a great rivalry.

Daniel V. (Waycross GA)

Pat, I appreciate all the work you do for the South. I know alot of people are saying that we overpayed for Dunta Robinson, but every game I see the wideous he's covering aren't having a bunch of success. Wheh we get beat deep it is usually a zone coverage that they exploit or we et caught looking in the backfield like W-Moore did against Lance Moore last week...I think his very presence is helping our young secondary out. I know its just been 3 games but do you see him as being the bust that others say?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

I'm with you. Falcons knew they had to overpay to get him and they gladly did. It's all relative and, so far, it's helping their entire defense, which is exactly what they thought it would do.

Panthers fan (N.C.)

I'm calling it now the Panther will pull the upset in Nola. The Panthers have always played the Saints tough much like the Falcons..

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

All right, stop back next week and let us know if you were right.

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, what are the chances of a Saints-Falcons NFC championship game? And would your collegue that covers "the least" survive it?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

That would be awesome and my colleague who covers "the least" could watch it from home because he'd have the day off!

John (Anchorage)

Pat do you think Kareem Huggins will see more playing time after the bye week? and if so where do you think Caddys career is headed if Huggins and Blount show promise?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Think you'll see more of both of them going forward, but I don't think Caddy's done by any means.

Eddie (Charlotte, NC )

Pat, I heard Tony Pike chants have begun already at the home game against the Bengals. Please tell everyone he is not the answer to the Panther's problems. The OL did Clausen no favors in that game.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

You don't want to see Pike on the field yet. Give Clausen a chance -- and give him some blocking, receivers and a running game.

Michael (Charlotte)

why bother keeping Jarrett if you are not going to play him? Why don't they release him and get someone else on the roster that might be active on game day

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

I wish I could give you an answer. I see it the same way you do.

Mike (BOSTON)

Tampa wearing the old school uni's this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Yep, for the home game with Atlanta when they put John McKay into the Ring of Honor.

Mads (Denmark)

How much are you looking forward to the next game between Falcons & Saints? Monday Night, it is going to be crazy...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Very much so.

Mike (Ohio)

Your pal Tom Sorensen (forgive me if I misspelled it) called the Saints his lock of the week this morning. The spread is like 14 and he still took them. Any comments?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I would never disagree with Tom and, yes, you spelled his name right.

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, impressive game plan by coach Smith. Can Turner run that much all year, and hold up. I'm hoping for a Saints-Falcons NFC championship.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

I think you'll see a steady dose of Snelling to go with Turner the rest of the way.

Atljbo (Atlanta)

Pat... Remind that Charlie dude that Matt Ryan had 329 passing yards and 2 TD's vs Mr Patrick Willis's 49ers team last year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

There, you reminded him.

Tim (Athens)

Do you think Benn is ready to start?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Sounds like that may be coming after the bye.

Mike (BOSTON)

Love the old school uni's. too bad it's probably gonna be blacked out

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

But at least it won't be blacked out in Boston.

Paul Kuharsky (AFC South)

While I may not be very tall, I do have the most aerodynamic head. That has to count for something.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Yep, buddy, you do have that going for you, which is nice.

Adam (Raleigh)

I'd take every team the Panthers paly until they show any sign of life on the offensive side of the ball.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I would not disagree with that.

Adam (Raleigh)

Any chance Panther fans are calling for Edwards to start at QB by the end of the year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Wouldn't surprise me.

Neil (Los Angeles)

if Pierre Thomas is out on Sunday, who gets more touches, Betts or Ivory?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

My guess would be Ivory.

Matt Ryan (Atlanta)

Pat will I make the Pro Bowl this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Keep doing what you've done last two weeks and you should be there.

Mike (Maine)

What are the Bucs focusing on during their bye week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Working in some of the young guys, like Benn and Blount.

Mike (Durham)

Panthers, called me today and wanted to know if I was available to play WR. Said the only requrement was that I run down the field. No mention of any need to catch a ball.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Take the contract and sign it as quick as you can!!!

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, as always, you were phenemonal. Have a great weekend everyone!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

You guys were great too, as always. Everybody have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.