How close to the chest are they keeping news about the new coach search? Have you heard any rumors? Do you expect that come news will come Monday?
No, they won't have a new coach in place Monday. They might make the official announcement that Fox is out then and officially start the coaching search then. Do they already have their eyes on some candidates? Sure. But they'll go through a rather extensive process and interview several candidates. Not saying it will take as long this time, but I think it took just about three weeks when Fox was hired.
Have you ever heard of a double pass interference? I thought that once a defender holds the receiver that the receiver can do anything to get away and it should be played until the wistle blows!
That was my take, too. I was kind of amazed by that one.
Hey Pat, what game will you be at this weekend, NO/TB or CAR/ATL?
Tampa Bay/New Orleans.
Pat, wouldn't you have to say that Tampa has perhaps one of the brightest futures of any team? If they stayed healthy this year, we're talking about being possibly 11-4 right now. If they draft well & make solid moves in the offseason, Tampa only improves more. With Freeman, Benn, Williams, Blount, Stroughter, Winslow, McCoy, Talib, Price, Grimm, Hayes, Black and Miller, what other team has a similar combo of talent PLUS youth?
Future looks very bright for Bucs. Another offseason of good moves and beefing up the obvious weak spots and they could be very good for a long time to come.
Pat is it safe to assume that On Tuesday the panthers will call Jim Harbaugh to set up an Interview ?
I'm sure he's somebody they'll at least check into. But I think they're going to have some competition on Harbaugh.
I know teams win games, and all that matters is the W. But wouldn't you say the Falcons have had a somewhat LUCKY season? Hartley's chip-shot miss in OT in game 1...Clements being a moron & not taking a knee...Roddy's self-admitted offensive PI late against the Ravens...Grimes' "interception" of Freeman late in the 2nd game, which should've been ruled incomplete....and they've only lost ONE player to injury for the season, a rookie 6th round special teamer. ATL is good, but also freakishly lucky.
There's always some luck involved. But good teams create their own luck.
Any truth to the panthers really wanting to "win one for the gipper" on this last game for Fox? Fox and Payton are old friends from Giants days as well...
I'm sure the effort will be there. Fox never has lost the locker room. But Falcons have a lot at stake in this one.
Hi Pat i i think andrew luck will be declaring to the draft if Jim Harbaugh does not come back next year.Do you agree with me
I don't know the kid or his situation. But, sure, if his coach leaves, you would think he might follow because it would be a good time to make a clean break and not have to go through a year with a new coach.
Falcons fans continue to say Mike Smith didn't play this game to win it and used a conservative play call so that he wouldn't give anything away in case they meet again. Have you heard any truth to that?
I seriously doubt that. You play to win the game, right?
hey pat i said some mean things to saints fans about the ayodelle "scandal" when i though he did what was reported that he said. i just want to say sorry to their fans that i may have offended. my bad.
There, you can share it with them.
I don't think the Falcons were 'exposed' against the Saints Monday. They played a very tough game which was won only by a FG, and the D really looks to be stepping up. As a matter of face, in most power polls including ESPN's, they didn't drop a spot but maintained their position. What do you think?
Definitely not "exposed". It was a great game between two very good teams.
Did I fumble on my own or did the Saints take the ball away?
Jeff Charleston made a nice play. He was almost on the ground, reached up and pushed ball out of Turner's hands.
Pat you saying that the panthers will have competition on Harbaugh.But none of these teams have the first overall pick in the draft
Yes, and some of those teams won't be coming of 2-14 or 3-13 seasons. Plus, he could get some very tempting offers elsewhere in the college ranks.
Any opinion/latest updates on the lockout talks? And thanks for your hard work this season, and for giving as much fair coverage to all 4 teams in the division. And pray there's not a lockout next season!
Still a huge question and may drag on for some time. But my sense is there has been a little more optimism over the last 5 or 6 weeks or so.
What is going on with Jermon Bushrod, too many false starts and blown assignments? Can you see Charles Brown replacing him in the future?
Wouldn't be surprised if that happens next year. Loomis is pretty good at drafting a year or two down the road -- like last year with Malcolm Jenkins, who I think had a breakout year this season.
What is your take on zero Bucs being named to the Pro Bowl? I know Penn, Freeman and Winlsow are alternates. But Penn was more than deserving, Freeman has a better QB rating than Brees, and Winslow has better numbers than Tony G. What will it take for Tampa to get their due respect? I know ESPN has always had trouble, especially on tv, giving Tampa their due recognition.
Got to keep winning. I think Penn was a definite snub. Also, if Talib and Joseph didn't get hurt, I think they both would have had a real chance.
With Rumors of Mike Mularkey getting a Head Coaching gig flying, do you think the Falcons go outside and get the next Offensive Coordinator, or promote Musgrave, whose West Coast Offensive Background that is the perfect match for Matt Ryan's abilities., The WCO might not only open up the passing game for Matty Ice, but help our Receivers get more YAC, and open up more opportunities in the run game. Thoughts?
If Mularkey leaves, I think they'd bump Musgrave up very quickly.
Do you think the saints will be healthy for the playoffs? anything that is note worthy?
Well, the Marques Colston situation is certainly one to watch. It apparently was a very minor scope. But, still, there's got to be a little recovery time.
Can you see this young Bucs offense turning into a saints type offense where they open it up and let freeman wing it?
Not to that extent. They've found a running back in Blount, so they're going to keep running the ball.
How can you not even include Charles Johnson on your snub list, he had more sacks than any DE in the NFC other than Abraham. So how can you sit here and tell me you were right to not include him on your list, and don't give me that he is on a bad team excuse, JUSTIN SMITH, who is on a 5 win team in San Fran made it a DE over him and he has 5.5 sacks, thats 6 less sacks than Johnson, so are you telling me Smith who is also on a bad team deserved to make it over Johnson? I think at the very least Johnson should have been on your list, because you have YET to make any mention of his play in any blog post, only in one or two chats, for the life of me I don't know how you have not managed to include Johnson on one your rising lists.
Charles Johnson has been a rare bright spot for the Panthers. There, he's been mentioned.
I think he deserves more than a forced mention on your chat.
Well, keep an eye out for the All-NFC South chat after the season. Other than that, the story with the Panthers these days is the coaching situation.
Pat I'm sure that you will hate to hear this.But i think that Andrew Luck will come out and be a Carolina Panthers
Funny because the real Scott Fowler wrote the exact opposite on his blog yesterday.
i know u said u heard that some important ppl in the front office likes clausen but please please tell me u heard that they changed their minds and will keep him as 3rd string
They like him and would like to see what he could do in a real offense with a different coach. But, obviously, they're not completely sold and there's no way they can be completely sold. If they can get Luck, I don't think they'll pass on him. If not, they'll bring in another QB or two to compete with Clausen and be viable alternatives to him.
Pat, teams know who are first alternates for the pro bowl such as GB knows Rodgers is next in line. Are there any NFC South players in the same position? Also do you think McGloin pulls it out for us tomorrow afternoon?
I know Carolina's Kalil is a first alternate and the Saints had several.
With all the Bucs have been through this year, I'm incredibly proud of our young team and the job our HC has done. At first i was a bit concerned we won't find the talent we need at the DL and OL now that we're drafting later in the draft, but I think we draft better than anyone else in the league. Think we'll splurge on a big FA or two or invest our money into re-signing our young guys to a long term deal?
We'll see what happens with the CBA/lockout situation. But, if that gets resolved, Bucs will have a ton of money under the cap. Not saying they'll go nuts, but I think they might sign a few free agents to help the process along.
Pat, I've been curious what the contract situation is for Blount after this year; I have to imagine an undrafted rookie that is picked up after training camp can't have gotten that long of a contract. Is Blount locked up beyond this year?
Believe he's on a two-year deal, but I would have to check that. Drop me a note in the mailbag to remind me to look it up.
Hey pat. Chris mortenson said that there is still an outside chance that cowher could come to carolina... Your thoughts
No offense to Mort, but I sincerely doubt that will happen.
Why did you not say anything about Roddy Whites Katrina comments, if that was Steve Smith you would have written and 4 page article bashing they guy.
Look at the NFC South Stock Watch post from Wednesday. Roddy gets a mention there.
I know you have mentioned many times that the Saints are being patient with Patrick Robinson. During the Monday night game with the Falcons he demonstrated how much he can truly hustle. Did the Saints take note of that?
I'm sure they did. He also did some good things earlier in the year when Greer and Porter were hurt. But they're in a nice position where they don't have to force him out there and he can be brought along slowly. That's kind of what they did with Jenkins last year and look what he's done this year.
Raheem Morris to me has done the best coaching job in the league this year. Taking the youngest team in the league to 9 wins after last season was incredible. What realistic chance does Raheem Morris have to win Coach of the Year?
Think he and Todd Haley would be serious candidates.
I think your new year resolution for 2011.Should be stop talking Cheep shot at the Carolina Panthers.
I'd be happy to do that. But it would help if they won some games and gave me something positive to work with.
Jimmy Graham is constantly complimented on his athletic ability. He also appears to have tremendous football knowledge with only one year of experience at Miamil. I can only remember one mistake all season when he was late to the huddle and cost the Saints some yardage.
Yep, remember watching him in training camp. Expected him to be pretty raw. But you could see right away that he had a pretty good grasp of things and that's only gotten better.
Pat, I know every piece of your being wants to see Luck stay in school because you hate the Panthers.
That's where you're wrong. I'd like to see him come out and go to the Panthers. It would create some excitement for Carolina fans and they deserve some excitement after what they've been through.
How soon do the panthers name their next head coach?
Just my guess: 10 to 14 days.
Let me rephrase that. Can you see this team consistently scoring 28+ points a game in the future with all these weapons? This passing game is only gonna get better with experience and if they can find a scat-back to go with Blount the running game will be even scarier.
Yep, they've got talent at all the skill positions and the scat-back would help. Maybe a little help for the offensive line and there is no reason this offense can't be a machine.
Money aside, Bucs shaping up to be a good FA destination with the dynamic young players+'players coach' and with Freeman at QB?
Yeah and no state income tax doesn't hurt either.
Think Freeman might help the Bucs recruit FAs this/next off season by his play this year?
Absolutely. Who wouldn't want to play with him?
I also saw somewhere's that Brees singled him out and told him to stay out on the field with him to play pitch & catch.
You're talking about Graham, right? Yeah, I think I saw that too. When you've got Brees taking you under your wing like that, it's a marvelous thing.
I am still wondering how did tony pike get injured.... he did not play but made it on the IR... did he get put on IR to make room for someone else
No, he did play a little and got hurt. Forget what the injury was. Think it might have been his shoulder.
Clabo and Bryant are first alternates for Falcons in ProBowl.
Yep, correct. Thanks for the reminder.
How's Ivory doing? I saw the quote where he said he felt 'a bit' better than last week. Is he being coy? Think we'll see a heavy dose of Ivory this weekend?
Ivory was a full go in practice yesterday, so I'd say that's a good sign.
Why is there no mention of the classlessness of the Saints stomping the Falcon at midfield, as there would be if the teams were reversed?
I'll leave that one up to Saints and Falcons fans to argue about.
So has the front office said anything about resigning D Williams & J. Beason?
Nope, on that end, I think everything is on hold until the labor situation is resolved.
Winslow sure seems to be worth that trade and contract so far. Only real vet Freeman is throwing to and strong redzone/3rd down play this year.
Yep and he hasn't been a distraction, which was a knock on him in Cleveland.
Pat, I really like Jim Skipper, the Panthers running backs coach. Think he'll make it through the coaching purge with the new ball coach once named?
He could. He's very well respected throughout the organization and around the league. New coach may want to keep him or be talked into keeping him by the front office. But, if Fox lands another head coaching job somewhere, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Skipper follows him.
Who do you think will be the Falcons' Offensive Coordinator if Mularkey leaves?
Will Thomas Decoud and William Moore be the 2011 starting safeties for the Falcons.
Yep, from what I've heard the Falcons like both of them.
Pat, I'm tired of you and others acting like the Carolina job is some barren waste land, which is the complete opposite, there is alot of talent here in Williams, Stewart, Goodson, Kalil, Otah, Gross, Smith, Beason, Johnson, Gamble, Marshall. Furthermore there will be money to spend after the CBA and the #1 pcik with the potential of drafting the best QB to come out since Peyton Manning.
How have I portrayed it like that? Because I've said it won't be Cowher or Gruden? Well, it won't be because that's not what Richardson wants. He'll get a good coach, but he's not going to pay a coach $10 million a year. He can get someone who is a rising star with the energy to build this team.
Hey Pat, how's da travel schedule for this weekend--considering today's new year's eve?
Leave tomorrow afternoon for your fair city. Would have liked to go to the Outback Bowl and see Penn State, but the travel sked does not allow for that. Hope to catch some of the game at home and the end in the airport before I leave.
I think the Panthers should hire their new head coach off the falcons staff. ;)GEAUX PANTHERS!!!
Could happen. I think Mularkey will get some looks for several jobs.
I think the coverage and comments of the Panthers has been fair and proper. Bucs comments last year frustrated me but if the players are truly good they will shine through quickly next year when the Panthers get a new coach and possibly a new QB to energize the team.
No argument here. There is some talent already on that roster.
When did I ever mention Cowher or Gruden coming to Carolina? The fact is YOU people in the National Media like to portray the Carolina job a bad one when in fact it is one of the best available.
I'm just trying to figure out why you think that I think the Carolina job is a bad one? I thought maybe you were implying that the fact I've said it won't be Cowher or Gruden was part of your logic. I don't think it's a bad job at all.
Do you think the Panthers will let Deangelo Williams go in the free agency and just stick with Jonathan Stewart and Mike goodsen?
That is a very good question and I don't know the answer. I think it's all going to depend on what happens with the CBA. If a deal gets done, they'll have plenty of cap room to work with and I think they'd make a pretty strong attempt to keep DeAngelo.
What do you think of Perry Fewell as a candidate for the Panther's job? Hiring the Giants defensive coordinator was the way John Fox was brought in. . . .
That's another one who I think will at least get a look. Defensive coordinators have been the route Panthers have gone twice before and that's worked, at least in the short term. But I also wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they shake things up and go with an offensive coach.
What happens to John Fox? Fishing trips?
No, I think he's got a shot at a head coaching job. Maybe the Giants. Maybe the Browns. If not, he certainly can get a job as a D-coordinator.
Hey Pat, in honor of Fox's last game at carolina--what's your fav Fox moment?
Ahh, great question. Guess my favorite story was in a Fox press conference one day. My former co-worker Stan Olson, who was a little challenged when it came to technology, carried his phone into the press conference. Somebody sent him a text and the volume on his phone must have been cranked to the max. It kept going off and Stan, not realizing it was his phone, was looking around at everybody else. After it became obvious the noise was coming from Stan's pocket, Fox almost fell out of his chair laughing.
I'd like to say I appreciated your article about Freeman and the Bucs needing to win a big game before the corner can be officially turned. What do you think the chances are of that happening Sunday?
It's a bit of a long shot because Saints are good and they're at home. But, like I said in that article, the next step for the Bucs is to beat good teams. Maybe the process starts Sunday or maybe next year.
Happy New Year Pat! Any resolutions for the new year you'd like to share with us before you take off?
Happy New Year to all of you. No resolutions. Just hope it's another good year in the NFC South. Thanks to all for stopping by and have a great weekend.