Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 5, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Derek (cottage grove, mn)

Why is Atlanta being labeled as the cream of the NFC, when they have only beaten one team above 500? The Bucs have only beaten one team 500 or above as well, but have been dismissed as a pretender. Right now both teams have a solid qb, have a legitimate threat at wr, and now that the Bucs are "hopefully" going to feature Blount, both teams have a good rb carrying the ball. If the Bucs pull this out, will Atlanta then be labeled as the pretender?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

Think Sunday's game will tell us a lot about the Falcons and Bucs. Can't wait to get up to Atlanta to watch it. All right, this chat is up and running. Fire away.

jason (charlotte,nc)

Whats the deal with Brees? Is he hurt?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Brees and Payton say the report was not accurate. He's without the brace now. Did he bang his knee up against Atlanta? Yes, but it sounds like it was just a bruise and nothing like what that report said. I'd find it hard to believe that he's playing with a "fractured" knee.

Shawn Merriman (buffalo)

I wanted to come to tampa pat! a chance to focus on just rushing the passer had me licking my chops, now im stuck in freezing buffalo checking the weather in tampa every morning

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Well, it's a nice sunny day here today.

Bucs Fan (Midland Tx)

Hey Pat!!! I really enjoy your work. Quick question for you though. How much better, in your eyes (if any), is Mark Dominique than Bruce Allen? I feel he has done an outstanding job compared to Allen. Allen, I felt was just a GM title holder, and Gruden made most of the calls. I could be wrong on that, but in a couple of years if Mark can keep up his good work, and have a couple more solid drafts I think Tampa could be great!! Your thoughts please because I just feel that Mark is always looking to improve his roster

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

I think Mark Dominik is a rising star and he truly has general manager powers. Bruce Allen was more of an administrator for Gruden. Dominik has a lot of say in conjunction with Raheem. Dominik made some questionable moves early, but seemed to learn from him. Most of all, he got Freeman and that's why this franchise already is turning the corner.

Greg (CT)

Any new word on Dunta and 'Spoon?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

More later this afternoon. But, right now, my guess is Robinson plays this week and Weatherspoon doesn't.

Boyd (Folsum. LA)

The one area of this Saints team that has disappointed me in the first half of the season is the O-line. Any thoughts on what happened since last season and why?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Baffles me, too. I mean, it's the same guys and none of them are old. In fact, most of them are at a stage in their career where they should be getting better.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

Will you tell these Bucs fans, they are labeled pretenders because they have been blown out twice by good teams, and the Falcons have only been beaten soundly once (Philly). Regardless, this weekends game will be a good one, that's the way it goes in the NFC South and pretty much always has!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Falcons got thumped by Pittsburgh, too. Either way talk about "respect" and "pretenders" is just talk. The proof will come on the field Sunday and I'm anxious to see how it plays out.

Bucs Fan (Midland Tx)

I feel that Raheem had more to do with getting Freeman than did Dominique.Going to be a good game in the ATL though..thats for sure. I think ATL comes out on top but it will be a good one

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

No doubt Raheem was involved heavily. But Dominik's the one who went out and traded up to make sure they got Freeman.

Evan (Durham, NC)

Would it be wrong to suggest that Jon Fox has 'out-coached' Sean Payton more times than not in previous meetings?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

No, it would not. But Fox would really have to totally out-coach him this time around because the talent level isn't even close.

Sam (Raleigh)

Is Jeff Otah ever going to see the field this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Not looking very promising.

Carlos (Panama)

THANK GOD FOR SCHEFTY! Finally giving some love for Freeman on his 10-spot. Would you still want Brees down by 7 in the 4th quarter or would you take the cardiac-kid, Josh Freeman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Listen, Freeman's great and only going to continue getting better. But, come on, Brees still is the easy choice there.

Nate M. (Palmer, AK)

Good Morning from the Great Land Yas! In your mind what's it going to take to get a sell out crowd at Ray Jay, more jobs or demolishing Atlanta this weekend? Also, I predict Gerald McCoy gets his first and second sacks this Sunday.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

More jobs. I really think it's the economy more than anything else. We'll see on McCoy. You might be right.

jerry smith (Charlotte NC)

Pat i have notices that when ever you can on your blog as well as during Chat.You keep bashing the panthers.I know that they are 1-6 and playing overall very bad especially on offenses.but don't forget that the panthers are Missing Jeff Otah and Thomas Davis and also that this is the youngest team in the NFL .We are 1-6 but don't don't hate the panthers

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Listen, I'd love to be writing flattering things about the Panthers. But, seriously, what positives have there been this year. If they were playing like the Bucs, Falcons or Saints, I'd be praising them. I can only work with what's there.

Francis T. (Brooklyn NY)

Does William Moore move up your rankings of best safeties in the NFC South & what happened to your midseason report you stated you would do earlier this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Mid-season stuff is scheduled to run Nov. 10. Yep, I think Moore probably moves up.

kevin (atlanta)

What is your stance on what the falcons should do with jerious norwood....he has big play potential but he gets hurt EVERY season....To me that is what the falcons lack at time a change of pace back should have went after L.T.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Let him walk. Go out and get a speed back to go with Turner and Snelling.

Luke (Tampa)

Is LaGarrette Blount for reals? That hurdle play he made really showed great athletic ability for such a big guy.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Sure looks like it so far.

Tony (( Millersville PA))

With the offense thriving in KC, do you think the Panthers take a serious look at Charlie Weis as either a HC or OC. I think that if Jimmy Clausen is the future, Weis might be one of the few people that can tap his full potential.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

I think Weis at least would be a guy they'd look at.

Colin (Miami)

Just read your piece on the new faces of the NFC South. Great stuff. Its really exciting to see the potential for a new rivalry budding in front of us. Hopefully we can see the intensity that was a staple of the old Bucs-Panthers games.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Yep, I think Atlanta/Tampa Bay could become a very good rivalry.

Jeremy (GA)

Thumped by Pit?? We lost in OT to prolly best D we will see all yr. We played one of the worst games we've played and still had a chance to win. Im sorry but that wasnt a thumping!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Steelers controlled the game almost the whole way. Two other words on that one: Dennis Dixon.

Roy (Greenville, SC)

Any special coverage planned while you are in ATL between the Bucs and Ravens games? Would love an in depth interview with Dimitroff or Smith (or both).

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I will be staying in Atlanta through next Friday and will be spending early part of next week out at Flowery Branch. Anything in particular you'd like to hear about from Smith or Dimitroff?

John Mellencamp (Small Town)

I made a bet with my uncle that Mike Alstott will be a hall of famer, would you agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

No. Very good player and a nice guy, but not a Hall of Famer.

Awayne (INDY)

Tampa great story just not enough talent in the tank to make it to the finish line.One good draft away from being a contender,your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Probably pretty much agree.

Jeff (Chattanooga, TN)

Mike Alstott HOF? The correct question is do you see Warrick Dunn as a HOF?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

I'd vote for Dunn before Alstott.

joe green (Texas)

Pat are you going to be in Tampa to covere the Panthers agianst the Bucs game? thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

That's the plan right now.

William (California! )

If the buc's can keep it close to the 4th quarter can freeman get another win??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Freeman has shown anything's possible if it's close in the fourth quarter.

Gray Hairs (Atlanta)

Love your chat.....Big Falcon Fan but my question is about the Saints. Any truth to rumors of P. Thomas trade attempt.... And can they compete for the NFC South with that array of backs...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Sounds like Thomas definitely has fallen out of favor in New Orleans. They should have Reggie back soon and that will help.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Pat, I think you have more Bucs fans to show up for chat than they do for their home games!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

No local blackouts here!

krista (atl)

make sure you eat at the varsity on your visit, it's to die for :)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Did that many times in my younger years, but trying to stay at my playing weight this season, so I think I'll pass.

john (ms)

What are the chances the falcons get home field advantage for the playoffs

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Definitely have a shot if they keep winning.

Tym (Denver)

Hey PY, been a while. Watching Freeman and Williams raises my hopes, dreams, and aspirations that they could be together for the next decade or more and possibly rival Peyton and Marvin's TD record. Am I getting ahead of myself?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

No, you're not getting ahead of yourself. I kind of touched on that in column that just went up on blog. Hope you're enjoying law school, my friend.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

Pat, when you talk to Smith and Dimitroff, ask them how they plan on solving the falcons road issues. We are great at home but below average on the road. That has got to be a concern.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Will do.

Justin (Raleigh)

Pat, as a panthers fan i'm hoping the worst to first in the NFC south stays alive and well for next year

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Cool, there's something positive to say about the Panthers.

John (California)

Hey pat, tell the bucs fans not to relax a little, I think they're getting wayyy ahead of themselves.. They're decent, not even good yet.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

I'll let you tell them.

Nick (NC)

the media is very strange.....you all of a sudden are in love with the Bucs who were winless to this point up to last year, and now that the Panthers are having a down year with a young team you act like they have been a bottom feeder of the NFL forever.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

True, but that's pretty much the way it works in this business.

Ricky (L.A.)

Hey Pat, who is your mid season NFC South MVP?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Without a doubt, Roddy White.

Matt Riddle (Statesboro, Ga)

Great article on Ryan and Freeman. You said they are both very similar but Freeman has a noticeable advantage in mobility. What do you think is an advantage Ryan has on Freeman? Obviously experience for one but I was looking for something besides that.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

They're really similar in a lot of ways, except for mobility. I'd give Ryan edge in accuracy and fundamentals, but Freeman's not far off.

Tym (Denver)

Cody Grimm's been playing fairly well these last few games. When TJax comes back next year, what's your honest gut feeling that Grimm remains a starter, maybe switching to the other safety spot? I know it's a bit premature.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Well, it's a big "if" on T-Jack coming back. He's got a lot of things to take care of in the meantime.

john (ms)

who wins this weekend bucs or falcons?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Appreciate your efforts in posting this question so much, but I don't do predictions.

Eric O (las vegas)

i love how at the beginning of the season even the bucs fans were bashing the bucs, now that they see the plan comming to view they are all pumped up on their team lol

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

True, but that's kind of the way the world works.

George (Tampa)

This is NFC-South-ish. Jon Gruden headed to LSU? Hear anything about that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Not at all. If he goes back to coaching, I'd be shocked if it was for a college job.

james (los angeles)

Good morning Pat. I know the bucs lack a pass rush but who cares? the defense is still making plays. The bucs secondary is playing lights out without t-jack and a pass rush. if tampa has another great offseason in 2011 and we fix the run defense, tampa may have have the best defense in the league despite not having a pass rush. what are your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Well, I'm sure they'll address the pass rush in the offseason.

David (Atlanta)

Obviously Roddy is Atlanta's offensive MVP so far, but what about the defense? Who's the MVP? Nobody specific seems to stand out above everyone else.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

I don't think Curtis Lofton gets nearly the attention he deserves.

Eric (Chicago)

Dallas is in the NFC East and Tampa/ATL/CAR are in the NFC South...why true they are in the south, ATL/Tampa/CAR could all theoretically be in the NFC East...Dallas would make much more sense in the South.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

True, but Dallas had the old or traditional rivalries in the NFC East. The league wasn't going to mess with that.

Steve (Pittsburgh)

So with the Panther's season in the dumps, what is the logic behind playing Matt Moore? Doesn't it make more sense to start Clausen to give him play time and get practice for next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Might make more sense to let him sit for a bit and not get his confidence or his health ruined.

baye (Pyongyang North Korea)

Pat i want to let you know that you have Fans here in Pyongyang North Korea.i try to read your blog and chat when ever we have power .Thanks for keeping nfc south fan who live outside of the us informed about what going on in the nfc south.Go Saints

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Cool. Thanks for stopping by.

Haile (Durham)

Whe Lafell and Gettis getting better, do you think the Panthers can find themeselves set a WR?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Yeah, I think those two are coming along pretty well. They might be all right there.

atlfanintampa (tampa)

Good afternoon, Do you think because of the off week the Falcons will get more production out of M. Jenkins and H. Douglas? thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I think so. I think Jenkins is just getting back to being himself and that will allow Douglas to truly focus on the slot receiver job.

Eric (ATL)

Pat, who is the most cerebral and who is the most fun to interview or talk to in the NFC SOUTH?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Roddy White is probably the most fun. DeAngelo Williams can be good too. Cerebral -- Jon Beason, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman, Brees.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

Michael Jenkins return, a coincidence or the reason the Falcons offense seems to be hitting it's stride? I think it's closer to reason than coincidence!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

I'd tend to agree with you on that.

Sean (ATL)

Hey Pat, is there any way Corey Peters makes it on your depth list of best NFC south d-lineman? He's been pretty solid this season for a rook.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Yep, I've been real impressed with him.

Brandy (Charleston SC)

If there is NFL football next year, do you see the Panthers making a big splash in Free Agency this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

We'll see. But the good news is they'll have about $100 million in cap room to work with.

David (Atlanta)

Pat, my girlfriend is Lithuanian and she says that your name is popular over there. Are you Lithuanian??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Yes, my ancestors came from there. Although I've been told over there the last name is spelled with a J because that's the equivalent of Y in their alphabet.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Who loves the media the most in the NFC South? I'm sure there is someone that loves to see their name in the media

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

WRs and CBs as a general rule. The tight end in New Orleans also falls into that category.

Bill (Laplace, LA)

Pat, I think Atl., N.O., and Tampa make the playoffs this year. Am I insane?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

No, but that would make for an insane January for me. But, hey, it would be fun.

mike jones (Charlotte NC)

pat with you staying in Atlanta for the next 2 weeks.Is the NFC south headquarter moving to Atlanta for the next 2 weeks ???

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Yes, sir. Headquarters will be established in Georgia tomorrow afternoon. I'll be there through next Friday. We might have to do some shuffling on next week's chat because I'll be traveling back to Florida, but I'll let you know on the blog once we figure that out.

Brandy (Charleston SC)

Whats the biggest need for the Panthers in this years draft?... Assuming we have one.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

There will definitely be a draft, even if there's a lockout. A lot will depend on who is coaching Panthers and his philosophies. Could be QB, could be defensive line.

Patrick (Panthertown)

Why won't you ever answer my questions?? I sit here for the entire hour trying to get answers...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

This is the first question from you that I've seen.

David C (Augusta, GA)

Pat, Do you agree with Polamalu's comments on the hitting penalties? I completely disagreed with Robinson's fine. The hit was initially to the chest and then rose to the helmet. Any NFC player or personnel voicing their opinions on the issue?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

I think there are other people who think the league is going a little too far on this.

Brandy (Charleston SC)

I would love to see one of our NFC teams on Hard Knocks...Which team would be the best fit for that show out of the 4?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Hmmm, well I think we can rule out the Falcons. Smith wouldn't go for something like that. Fox wouldn't either, but that's a moot point going forward. Payton might allow it, but I'm not sure. I'd have to say Tampa Bay. I think Raheem would enjoy something like that and it would be entertaining.

Patrick ((Panthertown))

Pat time is up.have a good safe flight .Thinks positive and you might have something good to say about the panthers starting Sunday afternone

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Thank you. If the Panthers win, I'll sing their praises. Thanks to all for stopping by and have a great weekend.