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October 22, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who is the Best Quarterback in the NFC South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

Hmmm, I'll go way out on a limb here and say Drew Brees. All right, we're up and running early. Fire away.

Greg V (Oceanside, CA)

Do you think its a possibilty that Ernest Graham will get some looks at tailback this week with Pressley or Lorig as the fullback? I think the Buccaneers need to get back to the smash mouth running game and having a true fullback in the game might give us the lanes we need to get this running game going?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

Not sure Graham will even play Sunday. He didn't practice today because of the hamstring injury.

Jamie (New Orleans)

Hi Pat, why did the Saints put CB Randall Gay on IR so soon after his injury? It seems that he may have been able to come back to help us this year. Thanks!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

We don't know exactly what the doctors said. But it obviously must have been pretty strong for Saints to decide to write him off for the season.

Jeff M (Atlanta)

Pat, a little early I know but I wont be able to make it to the 1pm chat. Do you think the addition of Tony G to the offense has actually hindered Matt Ryan's development?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

No, I can't say that. But I will say I think it's given Ryan a little bit too much of a safety net. In his rookie year, it seemed like he was more willing to take some chances down field and they often paid off. Like to see him more.

Pat (Cincy)

"I don't even know their DB's names..." Yeah, Roddy White is a real class act. Different from all the other diva WRs, right??

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

I'll say it again, I'll take Roddy over most of the other diva WRs. He's got a touch of it, but you have to have a touch of it to be good at that position.

Robert (Hamilton)

Now, will you please admit that Cadillac needs to be benched. Isn't is clear that they are mainly using him for blocking anyway? Also, Derrick Wards stats( 17 carries, 141 yds, 3 TD's)

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Yeah, but what's the alternative?

Jimmy (New Orleans, LA)

Who can we expect to play CB this weekend against the Browns? I believe that Sean Payton stated that Jenkins would not be moving from FS.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Sounds like it'll be Robinson and Torrence.

www.jakewantstoplaycollegeball.yola.com (North Pole, AK)

Is it a a safe bet that the bucs will take a rb with their 1st or 2nd round pick?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Yep, somewhere in there. But DE also is an obvious huge need and this sounds like it's going to be a good DE draft.

Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA)

Hey Pat, nice article about the NFC champion coming from the NFC South. Here's my question: Who gets let go when Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas return -- Betts or Jones?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

My guess would be Jones -- last man in, first man out.

Jim (Athens, GA)

I liked the article about Matt Ryan's passing statistics. What do you think will help Matty Ice complete more long passes?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Throw more long passes. Seriously, just let it rip once in a while. Roddy White and Harry Douglas can get open downfield.

Mark ( Ga)

Is Matt Ryan regressing as a QB? It seems he is really reluctant to throw the ball down the field, especially in the red zone.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

I don't think it's reluctance on his part. I think the coaching staff is tying his hands a bit.

Ken (Raleigh)

Pat, With John Fox out the door at seasons end do you think that Ron Meeks is worth an interview for the Head Coaching job? Is it possible for him to hang around as DC when the new coach is hired?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

He might get an interview, but I doubt he'll get the job. As far as staying as DC, that would be totally up to the new head coach.

Marc (Tampa)

The alternative is LaGarrette Blount!!!! Lets see what this kid has got, its not like Caddy is producing anyway.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I'd like to see some more of him and I think we will. But the coaches see every play in practice every day. If they thought Blount was that much better than Caddy, they would have been starting him already. Offensive line issues factor into this thing too.

Brett (Los Angeles)

Why arent the Panthers going after someone like a Hayward-Bey? The Raiders have said he's available, and he would give Steve Smith the opportunity to play the slot where he can rack up his YAC. We could get him for almost nothing...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

You'd have to get him for nothing at this point -- as in off the waiver wire. Trading deadline passed Tuesday.

John (Anchorage)

Pat, You touched on the Bucs running some wildcat with Josh Johnson before the season started, why haven't they used him? I mean the times he has got in the game he has made good decisions and hasn't turned the ball over.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Not sure how much I touched on that since I'm not in favor of it. I'm a believer that you only use the Wildcat if you don't have a real QB. Bucs have a real QB in Freeman. No need to take the ball out of his hands.

Reginald (Cleveland)

Do you think Reggie Bush will throw any halfback passes this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Doubtful because I don't think he's playing this week.

The Buck (NC)

Is Moore starting at QB this weekend vs SF? Claussen needs more time to develop. He looks like he has been stunned with a probe when he drops back and has the field vision of a dead corpse. The game is too fast for him right now. It's like Reggie Bush racing a three toed sloth. Oy vey. Smile.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Yes, Moore is starting. I agree. They need to let Clausen sit a bit.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Why let Ingram go so soon for the Saints? They had 3 weeks to decide. Was he that bad off after the microfracture sugery and if so what does that say about an older Sharper?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Obviously, they saw no chance of Ingram being able to play this year, so they pulled the plug. Every case is different and Sharper's making it sound like he's close to being ready. But I don't think it's realistic to expect him to be the Sharper of last year -- at least not immediately.

Greg (NOLA)

Hey Pat, whats with the friggin auto-refresh?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Here we go again. Suggestions from the audience to help Greg out???

Ray (Orlando)

How does the change from Bernardeau to Schwartz and Schwartz to Williams effect Carolina's Offense as a whole?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Honestly don't think it will matter much. Solution would be to get Otah back, but I have no idea when or if that will happen.

Jeffrey Harharwood (The Institute)

Pat, what game will you be covering this Sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

I'll be in Atlanta for Falcons/Bengals.

Ryan (Tampa)

Love the blog, Pat. With Barrett Ruud still not showing signs of being a game changing MLB, do you see any chance of him being in a Bucs uniform next year,barring a lockout?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

My best guess is he'll be elsewhere. In their defensive scheme, I just don't know that it's worth it to have a high-priced MLB.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Looks like the Saints and Falcons have a similar strenght of schedule remaining. Does the whole division come down to NO at ATL on Monday night later in the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Yep, I think there's a very good chance of that.

Pat (New Orleans)

Why does it seem like Robert Meachem is off the field so much? The guy is a big play waiting to happen.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Saints rotate personnel more than perhaps any other team. It's just the way it works with their offense.

Nate (Orlando)

Pat, any news on Sean Weatherspoon's injury? I know you say they have depth at that position, but the falcons D just looks slower when he's not flying around on the field.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

He's out this week. Not sure how much longer after that.

Marc (Tampa)

You have a point with Blount. But continuing to have Caddy play the primary-role of RB is like continuing to throw a hammer at your already broken foot.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Not arguing that. I'm just saying Blount's an undrafted rookie. Doubt he can solve everything. Needs some help from o-line.

Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA)

I'd like to know your opinion. Legal or not, what good does it do the NFL, the teams, and the players themselves to have hits like Dunta Robinson's be a part of the league? It hurts the NFL and the teams to lose good players on Sunday, and the long-term health problems for the players are increased. Plays like Robinson's are a very small part of the thousands of plays each weekend, so what's so wrong about getting rid of those extreme plays?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

I agree and obviously the league agrees. They're addressing it and you're right -- I think we're only talking about a handful of plays each week.

Ralph (Tampa)

Bucs are winning the Superbowl this year........ You heard it here first

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Save this and you can send us a reminder in February!!

Brett (Los Angeles)

Sorry pat, guess i should have posed the question as why DIDNT they go for Hayward-Bey, or any other receiver for that matter.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Short answer is, the Panthers didn't go for anything (other than the draft) all offseason, so why would they change their approach now? Not saying that's right. Just trying to look at it from their point of view, which I don't totally understand.

Darrel (Gainesville, GA)

Pat, Any stats about Matt Ryan's win-loss in the Northeast part of the U.S?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I'd have to look it up. But, off the top of my head, I can tell you he's lost in Philly and Pittsburgh this season.

Brett (Los Angeles)

So Pat, when is Jeff Davidson gonna get the boot. The guy has weapons for days and clearly cant figure out how to use them. Like the past couple of years, it has been frustrating watching the Panthers offense.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Agree. But I don't think you'll see him go until Fox goes. In other seasons, you could make a move and make Davidson the scapegoat. But this season ...well, Panthers obviously are just riding it out.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

As a falcons fan, it is a dissapointment to see the offense not "rising up", but is it really logical to consider a change from Mularkey at OC? I heard the other day Peyton Manning has played in 3 systems in his life, 1 in HS, 1 in college and 1 in the NFL. You have to believe the consistency of the offense has allowed him to excel as a qb. I'd hate to see Matt Ryan take a step back because he has to learn a new offense.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Agree and I don't think it's come to that yet. I think Smith and Mularkey just have to make some philosophical tweaks and just open things up downfield just a bit more.

Nigel (England)

Nice of you to include the Bucs in your piece about the playoffs. Just thinking about how well Ronde Barber has started the season and how all the talk beforehand was that this was probably his last year. Do you think there's a good chance of seeing him in a Bucs jersey again next season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

I think that one's going to be totally up to Ronde and what he wants to do.

Rick (NC)

Pat, can you perhaps clear this up for us Panther fans - who calls the actual pays on Sundays - Fox or the coordinators? My understanding is that Fox tells them what he wants to see, and Davidson and Meeks call in the actual plays to the LB/QB. Or does Fox call all of the plays?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Coordinators make the actual calls. Fox sets overview for them and can overrule if he doesn't like the call.

james (los angeles)

why didnt the panthers make a trade when they could? they have no hope of turning around this season. they're in the same spot my bucs were in last season so they might as well get some draft picks and start rebuilding. even if they didnt want to trade dwill or j stew, i think mike goodson is a pretty good player. he's managed to catch lots of balls out the backfield from crappy qb play.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

I wish I could give you an answer. But I truly don't know exactly what the Panthers are thinking.

Matt K (Charlotte)

Hey Pat. Miss you at the Charlotte Observer. I keep wondering to myself if John Fox needs to shoulder a lot of the blame for the 0-5 record. Sure, he doesnt have the talented and experienced roster he needs, but the team still has playmakers. With the world's least creative offense and his past track record of rallying players, would you say that Fox hasn't exactly "coached his way into the hall of fame" this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Yeah and the other thing I was thinking about is he can really hurt his resume if he goes 0-16 or 1-15. If he had gone 6-10 or 7-9, he could have walked into just about any other job.

Tim Graham (AFC East)

Pat what are you going as for Halloween? Looks like I'm a Jedi again. Booyah!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Pretty sure I'll be dressed as a sports writer and in the Superdome press box for game between Saints and Steelers.

Steve (SC)

GUESS WHO??? Moore. Can he lead my Panthers past the 49ers? What are his keys to success?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Get the ball into Steve Smith's hands seven times and don't throw any interceptions.

Dan (Merritt Island, FL)

1979 NFC Championship in Tampa this weekend. Who you got, Ferragamo or Williams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Good one. Is Doug still playing with a broken jaw?

Henry (Chapel Hill)

What, in your opinion, is Fox/Hurney's biggest slipup during their tenure together?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Wow, that's one I'd have to think about to give you a real strong answer. Off the top of my head, I'd say signing Ken Lucas and Mike Wahle to big free-agent contracts. That caused a lot of problems with guys already in the locker room and they really didn't get much out of those guys. They've stayed away from big free agents ever since.

Dan (Pine Island FL)

Pat, have you watched the Bucs defense this year and how bad Ruud and Hayes are playing? Ruud is in a contract year and he looks far from good. The Dline is young and the LBs are near to no help whatsoever. Do you think at this point the Bucs let Ruud walk?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Yep, I said earlier, I don't think Bucs will be willing to pay Ruud big money.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Your thoughts on Smitty as a motivator? I know he kows the game of football, he takes a few risk, the players love him, but what about motivating the players to perform on the field. They have been flat all year (w/the exception of the NO game) at the start of the game. During his first year they appeared to be ready to play at start of games.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

I think he can motivate. Players respect him a lot. He had them ready for the Saints.

John Fox (the coach)

Thoughts on Steve Smith the rest of the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Throw him the ball.

John Parker Wilson (Atlanta)

I take exception to your answer to the first question of this chat.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Exception noted!!!

Karmyle (Nawlins)

With Sharper coming back, do you see the Saints using Jenkins to exclusively cover some of the more athletic TE's in the league? The Saints have continuously been beaten on 3rd down by TEs (see Tony Gonzales, Vernon Davis, Shiancoe)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

We have to see what Sharper has in the tank. But, if he's got something left, yes, I could see them putting Jenkins at strong safety to match up with TEs.

Brett (Los Angeles)

DeAngelo? Contract? or are we just gonna let him go...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Have not heard any rumblings about any contracts in Carolina.

Dan (Merritt Island, FL)

Gerald McCoy...... Bust in Canton, or Bust?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Way too early to tell. Look back at Warren Sapp's rookie year.

Raheem (tmpa)

Did you truly believe i know what im doing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Much more so than I did last year.

Matt (statesboro, ga)

hey pat, enjoy the blog. I'm a big falcons fan and one thing I've noticed this season is that matt ryan seems to throw the ball away A LOT more than usual.I know thats good if theres no one open but it seems to me he throws it away even when receivers are open. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks and keep up the good work.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Philly game is fresh in my mind. He was throwing ball away a lot, but that was because he was getting hit a lot. Actually, have to give him some credit for avoiding several sacks in that game.

Adam (Raleigh)

Pat, don't see how they don't trade Williams if they are not planning on signing him. Agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Yeah, but they can't trade him now. Trading deadline passed on Tuesday. If the CBA gets done, I think they'll try very hard to re-sign him.

Darrel (Gainesville, Ga)

The reason I bring it up Pat is Matt Ryan is 1-5 in the northeast. Any factors (i.e. parents, etc..)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Nothing I'm aware of, but an interesting stat. I'll have to look back and see if there might be a common thread.

Kevin (Mississippi)

Answer my previous question pat!!!!!!! you know you want to

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Send it again. I don't get to see every question.

Jamie (New Orleans)

Pat, are you surprised that Charles Grant got cut by the Bears?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Not in the least bit.

Justin (Raleigh)

On the note about trying very hard to resign Williams. Has there been any word he wants to leave?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

No, absolutely not. DeAngelo's a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and everything I know about him says he likes Charlotte.

Jordan (Evansville, IN)

We all know that the Panthers FO sat on their hands this offseason due to the potential of a lockout. Were there any other teams around the league that refused to open their wallets? We hear so much about money being an issue in Carolina, but surely some other teams did the same.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Kansas City pop to mind. They're right there on the list with Panthers in terms of salary this year.

Jeff (Evans, GA)

Now that you've seen the Dunta Robinson hit about 100 times...Do you still think it was helmet to helmet as you wrote atleast 4 times on sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Hit his pads first and went up to helmet. That what you are saying?

reiddoggy105 (Madison,WI)

Indy pass catchers? Whats up? Who steps up? Quit avoiding this question. No room for cowards in chat rooms. Please?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Unfortunately, this is an NFC South chat.

Mark (NC)

Is the contempt that Jerry Richarson is showing towards the fans a sign of things to come? Are we looking at the genisis of a bad owner? Charlotte quickly turned on George Shinn and if this is the attitude Richardson is going to take towards his fans from now on I can see the same happening to him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

I'll say this, I want to see what the flip side of his plan is. This is a very smart man. He's got to have a reason for playing it the way he has.

Gin (New Orleans)

Pat, I'd like to send a message to all Saints fans: Though Fujita is now with the Browns, he has done a lot for the city of New Orleans and the fans. Please remember that when he walks into the stadium on Sunday. Please don't 'boo' him. He did what any other person trying to feed a family would do and took a big pay day. Show him some love when he walks into the stadium. Thanks!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I don't think Saints fans will boo Scott.

Haile (durham)

who starts opposite steve smith this game.. Dev Thomas or Gettis... Is Gettis becoming a legit starter..or just a fill in

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Gettis starts. He's not been bad at all, given the circumstances.

Kevin (Omaha)

You have said that you don't know if it is worth having a high price MLB in Tampa'a defensive scheme but doesn't Chicago run the same scheme (I am not saying Rudd is as good as Urlacher because clearly he is not)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Look back at Bucs glory days. They didn't have a stud in the middle. Brooks was the stud at WLB. That's the big position on this defense.

Brant (Warner Robins, GA)

Pat, what is the best game you have covered since taking over the NFC South blog?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Falcons/Saints this year.

Greg (Charlotte)

Ken Lucas was a stud.....you are a joke

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

For a year maybe. But he also brought a lot of tension to that locker room.

Dan (Merritt Island, FL)

Is Benn starting this week opposite Mike Williams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Not unless Raheem's got a surprise up his sleeve.

Dan (Merritt Island, FL)

Any guess on which year the Bucs will snap their blackout streak?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Next year.

Tom (Charlotte, NC)

What ever happened to Ricky Manning, Jr. from the Panthers? He had a few good seasons, moved on to Chicago (where Panther talent goes to die) and then what?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

No idea. Haven't heard of him since Chicago.

Jordan (Evansville, IN)

Lucas could run, but he tackled like Betty White.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Yep and that was noticed by his teammates.

Jason (Bmore)

Do you expect Pierre Thomas to be valuable later in the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Yes, I think that's still a few weeks away. But he will be an important part of the offense.

Hal (Orlando)

What did you think of the Bucs picking up DE Alex Magee? I don't really think this solves the Bucs pash rush problems.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

No, it doesn't solve anything. Magee is just a guy.

Marc (The OC)

Pat,Aqib's talent or scheme to blame for the large number of big plays given up by the Bucs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Think you can point at lack of a pass rush and the safety situation on most of the big plays he's given up.

Jeff (Huntsville)

Who is going to win the battle of the trash talkers, Roddy White or Chad Ochocino?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Let's not forget T.O.

Greg (Charlotte)

Has everyone lost their mind. While Ken Lucas was on the panthers they were 38-26. I wish that was the biggest mistake they have ever made.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

I'm just saying there were lots of other issues behind the scenes that came with Lucas and Wahle. Two more questions. We're already past deadline.

Matt (Lynchburg, va)

Hey Pat sorry I am late, the panthers oline has taken alot of, deserved, heat who is the big problem corner stone guys like Gross, Wharton and Kalil or the right side fill ins?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

The right side fill-ins.

Rich (Tampa)

Due to the Bucs inability to run, do you think they will become a Peyton Manning-type offense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Check my Final Word post, which will go up on the NFC South blog at 4 p.m. today. I've got an item that sort of addresses that. Thanks to all for stopping by. Have a great weekend.