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October 8, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

bryan (georgia)

hey pat, is it just me or did roddy whites great forced fumble not get the pub it should have? and everyone seems to forget he made the same play on the same team last year. are you with me in thinking he is a top 5 wide out in the nfl?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

I think it got plenty of pub on NFC South blog. It was a GREAT play. Yep, I wrote last week that Roddy's best WR in NFC South. Through this point in season, I'd call him the NFC South's MVP.

Brittin (Omaha, NE)

Pat, With the Bears starting Collins and Cutler being out of the game, a lot of folks state that Carolina has a higher probablity of leaving this week with their first win. What is your take on that? And how much will Julius Peppers' history at Carolina impact this game? It will be interesting to see the Jordan Gross VS. Julius Peppers matchup this week. Who has the edge?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Certainly going against a backup quarterback is usually a good thing, but I'm not sure it means Carolina will win. As far as Peppers, I'm sure he's going to show up for this one and try to make a statement. Gross has plenty of experience against him, but I'd have to give Peppers the edge.

Robert (Hamilton)

Do you think it is time to bench Carnell Williams? Even last year, he only averaged 3.9 yards per carry. Blount came in and did a terrific job. They need to give him all of the carries.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

No, I do not think it's time to bench Cadillac and I think that whole thing has gotten a little distorted. They're not benching Cadillac. Raheem has said he wants to work in Blount and Huggins a little bit and that's a positive. Look around the league, there are a lot of situations where using a 2 or 3-back rotation really helps the No. 1 guy.

Caleb (Iowa)

Hey Pat, great job with the blog and I appreciate the credit you have given to Josh Freeman throughout the year. My question to you is why aren't the Bucs diversifying the offense? I know the offensive line isn't great, but if you watch a Bucs game, its very very obvious when we are running the ball and when we are passing. Is the OC doing this intentionally to make it easier for Freeman or is our offensive line that bad? Thanks again.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

That offense is a work in progress, still very young. They have to make things pretty basic and I'm not really talking for Freeman. Just put up column on rookie wide receivers and how teams have to scale things back for them. It should be up on blog now.

John (St. Louis)

Hey Pat, wasn't there a rumor last season that Bill Cower was putting together a coaching staff, and at the same time that rumor was circulating the Panthers were telling John Fox that he could opt out of his contract this season if he chose too. Then when John Fox decided to say, the rumors about Cower stopped. Am I remembering this correctly and what is your take on the rumor?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't think Cowher has ever been on Carolina's radar. And I also don't think Carolina has ever been on Cowher's radar. If he coaches again, I say it'll be a big market. Don't think he wants to really come in and build a team from scratch.

Ryan (Tampa )

So which place do you like living better tampa or charlotte?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Love both cities and looking forward to visiting Charlotte (and old friends) this weekend. Chose to live in Tampa for family reasons.

Matt (Los Angeles)

As a Panthers fan, please tell me something positive about the team!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

That's a tough one. Will tell you Jon Beason is still one heck of a player. And I don't want to get carried away, but I saw some good things out of Clausen last week. But that's about all I've got for you.

Matt (JMU)

Who's starting opposite williams this week for Tampa. Been, Stovall, or Stroughter

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Sounds like Stroughter this week, but you will see more of Benn. Going forward, I see him starting at some point and Stroughter moving to the slot.

Chris (Durham)

2001: The Panthers cut their veteran starting QB (Steve Buerlein) and start a rookie QB (Chris Weinke) for most of the season. The team plays hard but just doesn't know how to win. They finish 1-15, the coach (George Seifert) is fired.2010: The Panthers cut their veteran starting QB (Jake Delhomme) and start a rookie QB (Jimmy Clausen). So far, 0-4 record. The team has played hard but just doesn't seem to know how to win. The coach (John Fox) could be let go at anytime.Did you get a 2001 vibe before the season started? Because that's what this season is reminding me of.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Not before the start of the season, but I sure have that vibe now.

richard (atlnata,ga)

i have been hearing alot of people saying that the falcons have been getting lucky the last two weeks,isnt it a sign of a good team to win even when you not playing your A game

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Yep and sometimes you create your own luck. Also, say what you want about the New Orleans game and the missed field goal, but the Falcons played a big-time game in a very tough environment. That showed me a lot about them.

Bobby F. (Orlando, Fl.)

Hey Pat, love the blog, love the chat keep up the good work.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Thanks, your check is in the mail.

Brett (Atlanta)

Pat, it appears to me that Malcolm Jenkins has struggled at times this year at Free Safety. From what you know or have been told, how does the Saints' coaching staff feel about his play so far this year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Overall, they're pretty happy with him and feel he's growing quickly. But they never expected him to come in and immediately play with the instincts or experience of Darren Sharper.

Matt Seefong (Panama city florida)

any chance the panthers trade one of the running backs for some draft picks? jerry richardson is cheap so he probably wont pay stewart and deangelo.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Can't say I've heard anything solid on that front. Just speculation at this point.

Ryan (Tampa)

So do you like tampa better or do you miss charlotte?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Definitely things I miss about Charlotte. Definitely things I miss about PA, where I grew up. But I enjoy living in Tampa, even though it seems like I'm not here very much because I'm on the road so much.

Coug (At Sea)

Hi Pat - I'm currently on the SS Universe, enjoying a Semester at Sea! I'm baffled about the approach by the Bucs - I mean Williams, only averaging about 2.5 yards per carry - runs like his feet are stuck in donut dough and he has the field vision of a dead corpse! He seems to have an inordinately wide stance when lining up behind the QB - maybe that is making him slow off the snap?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Don't put all the blame on him. O-line has played a big part, too.

Chad (Bradenton)

Hi, Pat. I know Caddy's only getting like 2.5 yds a carry so far. I haven't heard any one talking about the 2 runs for 19 yds that got called back on penalties early against the Steelers. Do you think he should still be our #1 back or is it time to look elsewhere?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Like I said before, he's still No. 1 back. You're just going to see Huggins and Blount start to rotate in a little and I think that'll be good for everyone.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Hi PY!!!Where r u headed this weekend?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Carolina for the Julius Peppers homecoming. Next week, I'm scheduled to go to Philadelphia for Falcons at Eagles. Beyond that, we haven't set the schedule yet.

Mike (Nawlins)

Any updates on the PT cruiser? If he doesnt go, which back gets more playing time because Ivory has fumblitits and Betts struggled in short yardage at the goalline? Bring back Ironhead Hayward, its only the Cardinals!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

No, we'll get an injury update from the Saints later this afternoon.

Corey B (Brookfield, IL)

Is the Dominick/Lewis flap a big deal?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Not in my opinion.

Michael Turner (Atlanta)

Pat, you can go ahead and post an article about me being the best RB in the NFC South like you did for Roddy at the WR position. Thanks!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Go out and have a few more big weeks and I might do that.

Todd (indy)

Are the Bucs going to ever use one of the fastest guys on the team J.J. in the wildcat him and Huggins on the field at the same time thats alot of speed!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Why take the ball out of Freeman's hands for a gimmick offense? No, I'm not saying Freeman's All-Pro, but he's got a great arm and he's developing fast. I say don't mess around with gimmicks.

Todd (indy)

Do you see the Bucs making any trades before the deadline?(Mankins)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Nope, they're in a youth movement. They aren't going to part with any draft picks.

gary (georgia )

will jenkins start this week for the falcons ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

My hunch is we'll see Jenkins this week. But it's tough to say for sure because Falcons are very guarded with injury info.

Atljbo (Atlanta)

What do you think about the Falcons young safeties Thomas Decoud and William Moore... That could be a scary Safety Combo in a couple of years.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Definitely like the upside of both those guys.

gilbert (new orleans)

Follow up to the previous question. What is Sharper's role when he comes back in a couple of weeks. They aren't going to demote Malcolm Jenkins are they?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

No, I think Jenkins stays as the starter. Sharper is nice insurance in case there are more injuries in the secondary.

Colin (Miami)

Will Tampa wear throw-back jerseys this year? I loved getting our first win last year against GB in our Orange and Cream duds.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Yep, they'll wear them for the home game with Atlanta when they induct John McKay into Ring of Honor.

Ryan (Tampa)

How long will the panthers let Clausen go till they take a step back before he looses his confidence. We dont need another David Carr on the team

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Think they'll stick with Clausen. He's the best they've got.

Ryan (Columbia)

How much longer will Fox be the coach?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Could see Mr. Richardson pulling plug if it gets to late November and they've got two wins or less.

Todd (indy)

Do you think there is any truth to the rumor that ronde didnt move to safety because of the record he will break next week at corner

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Where'd that come from??? No, I don't think he was even asked to move to safety.

Clay (Charlotte)

How many more seasons for Kasey?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

As many as he wants. He's got such a good relationship with Mr. Richardson that Kasay will be able to decide when it's time to stop.

Corey B (Brookfield, IL)

Are the Saints downplaying Brees' knee injury? More serious?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

I don't think so. If Brees had a serious injury, do you really think Saints would put him out on the field and risk valuable property like that?

Nathan (Cary, NC)

Any injury updates on the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Nope, I'll get injury report from the league around 4 p.m.

Tony Pike (Sneaking up on you)

I have the size and arm strength to succeed, if Jimmy doesnt get it going soon, why not give me a shot? Sure there'll be growing pains but I have a lot of upside and we might as well throw me to the wolves this year and see what I can do

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Gotta give Clausen some time.

Sam (Raleigh)

Carolina's LB's are playing great as a unit this year and I love it but Im worried if this trend continues management might come to see Thomas Davis as expendable with 2 ACL injuries in less than a year. Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Yep, Davis could be viewed as expendable and not sure you pay big money to a guy coming off of two ACLs.

Corey B (Brookfield, IL)

Does Seifert wear Vikings gear to the ESPN meetings in Bristol?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

No, he does not. He's a total pro.

Troy (Mackey)

HEY PAT!!!! You wanna answer my question?Is William Moore firmly entrenched as a starter? The defense looks a lot faster with him in the secondary. And he brings a blitzing and ball hawking ability that Coleman just didn't have... Did you see him lay the wood on Derek Anderson against the Cardinals? And that big sack/ intentional grounding play he had on Alex Smith last weekend?Keep up the good work.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Think I've answered it several times in several ways over the last few weeks. Moore is the starter.

Todd (indy)

Do you think the Bucs are hurting Mccoys groth as a DT by moving him all over the Dline

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

No, if he can do different things, let him do them.

Calvin (Newport News, VA)

BIG PAT which NFC South rookie do you think is playing the best so far?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Probably have to say Mike Williams. Fourth-round guy starting from Week One and producing pretty well.

Steve Reed (Charlotte nc)

Pat here is the panthers Injuries report for Sunday http://reederstake.freedomblogging.com/2010/10/08/four-panthers-ruled-out-for-sundays-game-against-chicago/7054/

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

There, we've got a Panthers injury report. Doubt this is the real Mr. Reed, but I look forward to seeing him in Charlotte on Sunday.

Chris (Wilmington)

Not only should Carolina not pay Davis because he's coming off two ACL tears, but they can't give all three LBs big contracts. They're going to have to give Beason and Connor big extensions over the next two years.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

True.

Todd (indy)

Warren Sapp and Steve White both think Morris is stunting Mccoys growth !!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Last I checked, Morris is coaching the team. So it's his call.

Dunta Robinson (Atlanta)

Pat... Do you see how the Falcons D run with me in the lineup.... Would it be crazy if i said we have the best DB group in the NFC South.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

You're becoming a nice group. When healthy New Orleans has a pretty good secondary, too.

mike jones (Charlotte nc)

Pat as far as you know is there anyone on ESPN that is a panthers fan.The reason I'm asking this .It seem like the people up in Bristol don't like the panthers.And it seem like they are happy that they are 0-4

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

I know this is a tough concept for fans to understand. But journalists aren't supposed to be fans and it doesn't matter who wins or loses.

Redzonejones (New York)

Do you think the bucs will take Tanard Jackson back if he returns?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Depends on if he gets things together in the next year. It's going to be up to him.

Todd (indy)

Is freeman better than sanchez and stafford ? I think so!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

I'd take Freeman over both of them.

Cadillac Williams (One Buc Place)

what is your take on the comments made by derrick ward about the bucs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Think I shared my thoughts in a round-up post yesterday. To summarize, I think Ward should keep quiet.

Clay (Charlotte)

Pat, did you see Fowler's article after the Panther's cut Jarrett? I had never heard about that exchange between him and Smitty in the locker room.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Are you talking about the one during Jarrett's rookie year when Smith told him he should be studying film instead of talking to reporters? If so, yeah, I was there. Steve Reed and I were the two reporters Jarrett was talking to when Smith said that.

Sam (Pittsburgh)

There has been a lot of talk about HOF players for different teams. What are your thoughts on John Lynch? Hes a 9x Pro Bowler and a 4x all pro...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Might take him a few ballots, but I think he's got a real shot.

Jamie (Atlanta)

Will Lofton be 100% for sunday? What about Sean Weatherspoon? We can't afford to not have our best LBs for a tough game this weekend!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Sounds like they're coming along. Will know more in a few hours when I get the injury report. Think you're pretty safe on Spoon.

JM (Charlotte)

So we've gotten to see Clausen start a couple of games now. Has he shown you that he's got what it takes to succeed in the NFL? How would you grade him through two games?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Saw a few good things out of him last week. Not gonna grade him this soon and also, it would be unfair to grade him in light of what he's got around him.

james (los angeles)

Good morning Pat (west coast time). there is alot of talk about aqib talib being one of the best corners in the league yet he has given up a touchdown in each game. its great if aqib racks up 8 picks like ronde did a few years ago but is it worth giving up an equal amount of TD's? is he really an elite corner?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

He's not elite. But he does have the potential to get there.

John (Melbourne FL)

Pat,Do you happen to have the stats that show how many starters have come out of Thomas D.'s Drafts comparative to others GMs in the NFC south or to the rest of the NFL? It seems like he is hitting on all of his early and mid-round draft picks. With all of his draft picks healthy I think the only miss has to be Chevis Jackson?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Not off the top of my head. But it sounds like a good blog post for next week. I'll start doing the research. Thanks for the idea.

Bucsfan4lf (Sacramento)

Pat, no love for west coast Bucs fans today? I feel we can win this week and take both games against the panthers, the schedule looks ripe for the pickin. your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I don't do predictions, but I will say things look a lot more positive for the Bucs than they did a year ago.

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, whats up with the Saints O-line? Brees is taking to many shots, and the running game is going nowhere

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Trying to figure that out myself. Same guys as last year and there's enormous talent. But they're not getting the job done.

Jamie (New Orleans)

Hi Pat, the Falcons are two fluky plays from being 1?3 and the Saints are one fluky play from being undefeated, so why should the Falcons be considered better than the Saints at this point (Clayton)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

You'd have to ask Clayton on that one.

Gary (Charlotte )

Pat, you may want to rethink those linebacker rankings you did at the beginning of the season, James Anderson has been the best linebacker in the NFC South, even better than Beason, he leads the NFC in tackles and is second in the NFL.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Yep and Curtis Lofton also might move up on the list.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

If the Panthers score more than 3 offensive TDs this weekend, you think the refs will throw and illegal use of a John Fox offense flag?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Good line.

Todd (indy)

Can you do a mid season pos. re evaulation?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Yep, think we'll do that.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, I would have to say I'm really impressed with the Falcons tthis year. I'd have to say they could challenge for the best win-loss record in the NFC. Agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

They are definitely a contender.

james (los angeles)

one last random comment............today is former buc DB donnie abraham's birthday. HAPPY BDAY AND GO BUCS!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Happy b-day to Donnie. I covered him when he first came into the league.

Todd (indy)

now that the season has started still think J evans is the best guard in the south D joseph looks better

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

I will admit J Evans is not off to a great start.

Gary (Charlotte )

Pat, this trading Steve Smith idea is stupid, why would you trade Smitty for a pick when you can't draft a receiver if your life were on the line.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Don't think anything's going to happen there, so it's a moot point.

Todd (indy)

Ryan or Freeman? 2 yrs from now?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Great question. I'm gonna have to think about that one a little.

Florida QB Debate (FLA)

Freeman or Henne, who you with?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Freeman, without a doubt.

Tom (England)

Which team has the best OLine in the NFC South? New Orleans has the most individual talent, bus as a unit Atlanta's is very good too.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

ATL's line is playing better right now. But New Orleans does have a ton of talent.

Nathan (Cary, NC)

Please put the Smith-trade rumors to rest. He is not getting traded, and the Panthers will never get a 1st rounder for him - Moss was just traded for a 3, Boldin did not garner a 1st either. Smith is over 30, and with the exception of Brady and Manning, there is not a 30+ player in the league that could be traded for a first rounder. (Add Brees if he is over 30, I don't know, let's just say non-elited QB).

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

You just did a nice job of explaining it. Thank you.

Hardest working man (In Showbiz)

Thanks for staying late Pat! Have a great weekend and lets go NFC South!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

All right, thanks for the setup. Thanks to all for stopping by. See you next week.