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

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Guys,Give me 10 minutes tops. Got something else I have to deal with. Will make it up to you on back end. Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

All right, I'm with you now. Sorry about that. Had some furniture being delivered. Even though I specifically told them I had to be free by 1, they didn't show until about 12:50. Anyway, let's roll with the chat and I'll go late to make up for the late start.

Raheem Morris (One Buc Place)

Do I have to worry about coaching against Gruden in the near future?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

I think that may be another year away.

John (Banner Elk, NC)

Pat,Just letting you know that one of your readers is going to be heading out to Raymond James Statdium. My Dad won ten tickets.. Anywhere I should check out in Tampa Bay....

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Yep, hit the Channelside area.

Stevie (TX)

Hey Pat, welcome to the weekend! With Goodson playing well, do you see the Panthers trading WIlliams away?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Can't trade him unless he's got a contract.

JT (VA)

Your chats always start on time, or early; I think you may be having some technical difficulties?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

No, I explained it a couple minutes ago. Had some personal stuff that delayed me. I'll go until 2:15 or so to make up for it.

AC (orlando, fl)

Has Davin Joseph played his last down as a Buc?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Possible and it might be smart for him and his agent to test free agency. But a lot depends on the labor situation. If it gets settled, I think Bucs will try their best to re-sign him.

Josh (Los Angeles)

Pat: Lots of New Orleans fans have been chattering that the only thing that separates the Saints and the Falcons is a field goal. But isn't it also strength of schedule? The Falcons' opponents have a combined win % of 55% (5th hardest in the league), while the Saints' opponents are at 42% (30th hardest in the league).

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

I'll leave it up to Atlanta and New Orleans fans to argue that one out. All I know is they're both good teams and I think it's safe to say I'm going to have a busy January with both of them, and maybe the Bucs, in the playoffs. That would be fun.

JT (VA)

Which Falcon needs to rise up most down the stretch? Harry Douglas, Kroy Biermann, or Weatherspoon? I think they're all on the verge of breakout games in december

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

I'll say Douglas. Biermann and Spoon already have shown some flashes. Douglas has had a quiet season. I think he might surprise some people and get more involved down the stretch.

Evan (Washington, DC)

Matt Ryan is on a tear and I love him. But he seems to float some passes (Polomau int, the two throws to Jenkins on the side-line against the Bears in 08 and the Ravens this year). Is there talk of too much air on some of his passes, or am being too critical. love the blog!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Can't be perfect all the time. He's a darn good QB. Be happy with him.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Hey Pat...should I go ahead ask for a customized #12 Luck jersey for Christmas?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Probably not a bad idea -- unless they trade the pick.

Joshua (Atlanta)

Are you going to be in Tampa Bay this weekend for the game? Will you be wearing your Saints cheerleading outfit there as well?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Yep, I'll be there. Cut that other stuff out, pal. I've probably covered the Falcons more than any team this year. Last year, Saints were starting 13-0 and covering the Super Bowl and we covered the heck out of them. That's my job. I don't care who wins or loses.

Kevin (Omaha)

Bigger injury loss; Joseph or Grimm?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

I'd say Joseph. He's the heart and soul of that line.

dave (atlanta)

Do you know if snelling is going to be able to go on sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Will know more this afternoon. But what I know now is it's not looking too good.

jesse (san antonio tx)

if a lockout happens will it hurt the Bucs growth as a football team?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Not really. There still will be a draft. If there is a lockout, I don't think it will last long. Players only get paid over the 17 weeks of the season. They miss a couple of paychecks and they and their wives will be ending the lockout in a hurry.

Joshua (Atlanta)

When is the last time the Saints had back to back to back winning seasons? Have they even had it yet under their current head coach?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Haven't had it under Payton yet. Think the last time was in the 90s.

John (Banner Elk, NC)

Do you see the Saints cutting Stanley Arnoux with all the success Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis have had with 4th rounders??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Think they just put Arnoux on I.R. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Mike (New Orleans)

I think that Joshua guy may have a bit of an inferiority complex. Your team is playing great football. Enjoy it. Quit worrying so much abou the saints.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Thank you.

Greg (Tampa)

Corey Lynch getting the start or will there be a rotation of safeties this Sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Think you'll see a good amount of Lynch. But I also think you'll see Ronde at safety at least a little.

Chris (Phoenix, AZ)

What do you see Atlanta doing with Norwood at the end of the season considering his contract is up at the end of the year. Snelling stepped up and Weems is doing awesome in returns so it doesn't seem like they are missing him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

They simply let Norwood walk.

Ray (Orlando)

Hey Pat, any chance we can see a package deal of Luck and Harbaugh to Carolina?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

You want a college coach? That hasn't worked too well in recent times.

Raheem Morris (One Buc Place)

who plays in the college championship game this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Penn State.

CC (Atlanta)

Over 10,000 empty seats expected at RJS. What's up with that? Embarassing.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Gonna be more than that. I've got a column that should be up on the blog right now. Bucs are thinking they'll be lucky to have 50,000 there. It's kind of amazing to me.

Brian (Cambridge, MD)

How will Freeman bounce back after that horrible performance in Baltimore? Should say alot about the intangibles of the young guy.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Freeman will be fine. He's still young and will have a bad game here and there. But he's composed and confident and he'll deal with it well.

ronde barber (tampa)

Joe Montana played in a system too

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Joe Montana won Super Bowl(s).

Joshua (Atlanta)

I've heard alot of whining from rival fans that the Falcons are getting lucky breaks this year. But last year when the same thing happened with the Saints team it was "all good" according to the fans. What gives?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Nature of the beast, I guess. I'll let you guys argue "respect" and "luck" with each other.

Matt (Asheville)

Hey Pat, when was the last time that three teams in the same division all made the playoffs? Thanks!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

I'll have to look it up and will post something on the blog in the coming days.

Joshua (Atlanta)

Sorry about the Saints cheerleading comment Pat but you made your position clear before the season started you thought the Saints were A. on the verge of a dynasty and B. Gonna win the S.B. Not really wise to do that when covering the NFC south and not think some of us would not give you heck about it!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Fine, but just understand I write things the way I see them, not because I care about any of the teams on a personal level. If I'm wrong, let me hear it. I'm a big boy and can take it, but keep it above board.

JC (MS)

Give empty seats to troops from McDill! Do something positive!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Not a bad idea. Rewarding the troops would be a positive. I'll throw this out there. Maybe Bucs will see it and run with it.

Rock Knuteney (Slidell, LA)

For Joshua - Consecutive seasons 1987=12-3, 1988=10-6, 1989=9-7, 1990=8-8, 1991=11-5, 1992=12-4, 1993=8-8

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

There you go on the Saints and consecutive winning (or non-losing) seasons.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

Pat, why doesn't Tyson Clabo get any props for shutting down Clay Matthews last week? He owned him. Clabo's the best RT in the NFC south, you agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Yep, with Otah out, I'd go with Clabo as best RT in the division.

Matt (Asheville)

Pat, you have told us what people in Carolina's front office think about Jimmy Clausen but we as fans want to know what you think. Is Jimmy Clausen the future of panther football?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

I've seen a few nice throws out of him in games. I liked what I saw of him in minicamp and training camp. I think there's potential there. But I can't really judge him off what we've seen so far this season. He's played in a horribly dysfunctional offense and I can't tell if he's good or not.

Clay (Charlotte)

Pat, how was your Turkey Day? Gamble playing Sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Had a great Turkey Day in Dallas. Hope you had a good holiday. Yep, far as I know, Gamble will play.

CC (Atlanta)

Is the lack of fan support aimed at the owners? Tampa always drew great in Dungy/Gruden years. There's gotta be an underlying reason. They have an exciting young QB and team overall.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Same owners as in the Dungy/Gruden years. But, yeah, there are people in Tampa that really don't like the Glazers. If those people had been around when Hugh Culverhouse owned the team, they'd think the Glazers are the greatest thing ever.

John (Banner Elk, NC)

Okay Pat you always say your not a fan. And if i remember correct your a Penn State Fan but who would you pick/pull for outside of the NFC South (Don't want to put you in a worse spot)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Only football team I root for his Penn State. I can't be a fan of any NFL team since I cover the league.

George (Ireland)

How do you feel Lofton is living up to your 'breakout player' prediction?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Yeah, I do. Look back at that fumble in the end zone against Green Bay. Lofton was in the middle of it. He's having a very nice season.

John (Banner Elk, NC)

Didnt Jonathan Stinchcomb make the Pro-Bowl last year for RT? Is iti that Stinchcomb has dropped off or is Oath and Clabo are just one fire.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

I'll be brutally honest and Saints fans won't want to hear this. Stinchcomb made the Pro Bowl last year because of the momentum of the Saints and their winning streak. He's a decent player, but far from dominant. Plus, he was better last year than he's been this year.

JP (Inverness, FL)

Pat, I am also an ACC guy (Go FSU!!) and there is a lot of debate about the Champ gamve moving to Charlotte. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Charlotte, do you thin NC is the best place?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

For the ACC game, I'd put it in Charlotte. Heart of ACC country. Great stadium and great infrastructure in nearby Uptown for fans to have fun around the game.

Rum (N'awlins)

Not a prob with that Pat--I've always thought that Stinch is average to good.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Thanks for not wearing blinders!!!

Raheem Morris (One Buc Place)

Will Penn State ever get a different coach...who is older Al Davis or Joe Paterno?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I think Joe's got Al. Joe can coach as long as he wants.

Joseph (Columbus, GA)

As a Falcon's fan I love the offensive line. But, I also think that Matt Ryan has just as much to do with the pass protection as they do. He never really seems to hold the ball that long. May not have the best deep ball, but put his quick release right up there with anybody.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Good point. O-line does a nice job, but Ryan is part of reason for that and don't overlook pass blocking by Mughelli, either.

Matt (Asheville)

Do you ever get people you know asking questions on this chat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Once in a while. But, honestly, I rarely look at the names. I try to answer questions quickly as possible and just grab what's on the screen. Right now, there are 471 questions on here. Serious.

NOLAmite (NOLA)

Pat, Jerry Jones was spotted in New Orleans the day after he fired Wade Phillips. How concerned should the Whodat nation be that we will lose Peyton or Williams to the Evil Empire? It's a much larger market and they've got that crazy circus of a stadium now.I think we could live with losing Williams, but losing Peyton would cause the largest pitchfork and torch weilding mob since the French Revolution...talk me down off the ledge Pat...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

You're not going to lose Sean Payton. Williams? Maybe. But I think Jerry will go with a bigger name. One of the big-name guys sitting out there in tv land right now. Just my guess.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Plus, JP....the folks here in NC would love to see some good football being played at Bank of America stadium!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Good point! People in the Carolinas deserve that.

Kevin (Omaha)

Last time 3 teams made the playoffs from one division was in 2007 when it happened twice: NFC East and AFC South.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

There, Kevin has been hired as the official NFC South researcher. Thanks Kevin.

Josh (Idaho)

Is E-mack going to be active Sunday. I know Lewis and Biggers have better size for corners and are better suited to battle big receivers, but Mack is so tenacious and energetic I love to see him on the field!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I think they might have to make all those CBs active this week.

Scott Fowler (Charlotte NC)

Pat are you plan to come to Charlotte next week when the Panthers host the falcons.Or you plan to skip Charlotte until before the Draft

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

I'll be going to New Orleans next week for Saints and Rams. You probably won't see me until there's a press conference to introduce the new coach. But you know how to reach me -- if this really was you!!!

brandy (Charleston SC)

Besides LA...what city do you see getting the next NFL franchise

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

London. I'm very serious about that because Goodell is very serious about that. Heck, you might see team in London before LA.

George (Ireland)

Is Erik Coleman in the ATL next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Probably not.

JP (Inverness, FL)

Pat I loved your article on the Bucs ticket situation but you forgot one key statistic that was just covered by one of the local papers did in regards to the Rays, population density. I could probably pony up the 40 bucs for a ticket, but I live in Citrus, by the time I pay for gas, parking and the fact that it is nearly a day trip for me, I just do not have the time or money for it. Look at the percentages of population close to the stadium in Florida v any other state and you will see a big discrepancy.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Valid point. Heck, it's even worse for the Rays. They cut themselves off from Citrus, Hernando, Pasco and northern Hillsborough. I live in extreme northern Hillsborough and I drove across the bridge for exactly one Rays game this year. If stadium was in Tampa, I'd consider buying season tickets or at least going to a bunch of games.

Chris (Phoenix, AZ)

Do you see Atlanta getting a new stadium? Authur Blank is trying to get another Super Bowl there and recently I read hes pushing for a World Cup there which would cause them to get a new stadium.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Eventually, yes, I think it will happen. Although I think starting to make noise about it in the middle of the recession wasn't exactly great timing.

mike (environmental class)

we have our next sapp in mcCoy. is there a simeon rice we could draft or thats already on the team?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Nope, nothing close on the roster. You're going to have to draft a DE, maybe two.

Andy (Douglasville, GA )

Why have we not seen much of Sidbury? Not shown enough or just because of our depth?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Not shown enough. They gave him a shot and started him for the game Abe was hurt. He obviously didn't show much because they put him back on inactive list for Green Bay game.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

PY are you sure Peyton would not want the big lights of coaching the Dallas Cowboys? You defintely know him better than I do, but he does have an arrogance about him and his team. It's not a bad thing but I think it fits in Dallas.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

First off, he's under contract. Second, I think he's pretty ingrained in New Orleans. Benson totally lets him and Loomis run the team. In Dallas, it wouldn't be the same situation.

Greg (Tampa)

Do you really see a team in London being sucessful? Are the Brits that big on american football?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

They show up for games in huge numbers. Do they really know the game? Not all that well from what I saw when I was over there in '08. But it's a huge untapped market and Goodell really seems intent on putting a team there.

Matt (Asheville)

Is David Gettis a good reciever? When I see him I just see an average speed guy with ok hands. I know hes had a few good games but they had to throw it to somebody with Smith off the field.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

From what I've seen Gettis is decent. But there are reasons why he was a sixth-round pick. LaFell is the guy they really need to step up because he has the potential to be much more than Gettis.

Matt (IN)

Do you think the NFLPA would agree with London though?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

If it comes as an expansion team, absolutely. You'd be talking about creating 53 new jobs, plus a practice squad. And there probably would have to be another expansion team to balance things out, so that would create well over 100 jobs.

Raheem Morris (One Buc Place)

Cowboys will never get a great coach as Jones does not let the coach make any decisions therefore they will always have weak to mediocore coaches

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

How you coming on your contract extension???

John (St. Pete)

You staying in town for the game this weekend?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

Yes, delighted that I get to spend a rare weekend at home.

Kevin (Omaha)

How would travel work for the team in London? Right now there is a bye week after a London game.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Obviously, there would be many logistical challenges. But NFL has been quietly looking at those challenges and talking about solutions for several years now.

Clay (Charlotte)

Purely your opinion: If you were Mr. Richardson would you draft Luck or trade down to get more picks and more help somewhere else, sticking with Clausen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:05 PM)

Again, it's really tough to judge Clausen. But I'd probably stick with him, trade down and add some more picks. Panthers have problems way beyond QB.

Zack (NO)

No way Peyton leaves NO until Brees retires

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:05 PM)

I have to agree on that one.

PIO (Atlanta, GA)

Love your talks! Please answer my question!! The Falcons control their destiny. As much as I want to be a homer, its going to be hard to win out. Can you give me assurance as to why we should beat the Bucs come sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:07 PM)

No guarantees on that one. But, if Falcons go out and play like they've been playing and run the no-turnover streak to five games, they should be in good shape.

Steve ((GAPanthersFan))

Pat it 2:06 time to go.And Yes we want Mr. Richardson to draft Luck because he is going to be the best player in the Draft.Not getting Luc will make Panthers fan Mad

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:08 PM)

I'm going to 2:15 because I was forced to start a bit late. On Luck, wouldn't be the first time recently that Mr. Richardson has made fans mad.

Matt (IN)

18 game schedule = extra bye week = perfect case for team in London?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:09 PM)

That's all part of it.

brandy (Charleston SC)

So I take it Cam Newton is out of the question for the Panthers right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:09 PM)

They'd have to pay more than $200,000 to get him.

Daniel V (Waycross GA)

if snelling can't go would it be antone orjohnson as the primary backup?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:10 PM)

I think it would be Gartrell Johnson. They like that kid and he's done a couple good things in limited opportunities.

Joel (NC)

After covering Fox for so many years, don't you (like me) just want to see him go "Jim Mora sound byte- ish" just 1 time during a post-game interview after the 9 years of "it is what it is"

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:13 PM)

Yep, it would be cool to see, but it won't happen. I've said this before, but the most frustrating thing about covering John is that he's a really gregarious and engaging guy once the tape recorders and cameras turn off. He's just paranoid about saying the wrong thing. When you're just chatting with him off the record, it's like talking with a friend. I've talked to him several times about that through the years and encouraged him to just be a little more open with the media. He listens, but his point is he doesn't want to give bulletin-board material to other teams or criticize his own players.

Rum (N'awlins)

Hey Pat, think htey need at least 2 teams in Europe PLUS the 18 game season with 2 byes for London to work.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:14 PM)

Could happen. Maybe I'll have to apply for the NFC Europe Blogger job. Nah, I like the NFC South too much.

Stevie (TX)

Pat, in your opinion... will Carolina win another game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:14 PM)

Gonna be real tough and probably not in their best interest.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Mike Smith = Coach of the Year. Contract extension coming soon or after season?

Chris (Durham, NC)

What do you think the Panthers need most in this upcoming draft?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:15 PM)

I'd say yes on both counts.

Joseph (Columbus, GA)

Luck? Have Panthers fans forgot Akilli Smith and Ryan Leaf...

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:15 PM)

Or Kerry Collins. In a different sort of way, he really destroyed that franchise for a long period.

Joel (NC)

Pat, gotta get back to work. Always enjoy the chats. Have a great weekend!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:17 PM)

I gotta get back to work, too and bang out my Final Word for the blog before 4 p.m. Great chat today. Thanks for your patience early on. Have a great weekend everybody.

Joel (NC)

Pat, are you trying to go all Marty Hurey and become GM of this London team with all these questions?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:17 PM)

Haha, not a chance. I'd never want to be a GM. See y'all next week -- see I'm staying in the South!