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January 7, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

dupree (Dallas/NO)

Why doesn't the NFL consider making all IR player's egilible for the postaseason playoff rosters. Lynell Hamilton and Randall Gay would be great assets for the Who Dat Nation right now

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Very good question. I think you may see that happen as part of the new CBA if they go to an 18-game season. All right, chat is up and running.

Marcus (Concord, NC)

Hey Pat, do you think that the Panthers are even gonna look at a guy like Josh McDaniel for the OC job? Also will they shop around their pick and try to pick up either Kyle Orton or Vince Young in a trade down?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

I suspect whoever the Panthers hire as OC might be a bigger name than their head coach. They've got to get the offense right. Not sure if McDaniel would be the guy, but somebody like him. As far as QB, they've got to get someone who is at least a viable alternative to Clausen. With Luck out of the picture, that will have to come through free agency or a trade.

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

Pat, Who would you take if you are the Carolina Panthers & are stuck with the #1 pick? I have a hard time believing anyone wants that #1 overall pick now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Let me turn it around and ask you and all Carolina fans what you would do? I know the easy answer is to trade down, but that's much easier to say than do. I don't see another QB that's worthy of No. 1 pick. I'm not fully into draft mode yet, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on who Panthers should take now that Luck is out.

saints4ever (louisiana)

Will the loss of Thomas and Ivory cost the saints the game in the end, since JAWS claims Brees will throw over 50 times?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

It could definitely be a factor. Haven't seen forecast for tomorrow yet. But I'm in Seattle now and it's typcial January day -- cold, rainy, windy and foggy. Not exactly ideal conditions to be throwing 50 times.

John (Mission, TX)

Why does the buccs win over saints not get any praise. All you hear is saints had injured players. So did the buccs and they had many rookies starting. Why does this happend. Buccs will be a team to look out for in the next year..

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

No argument here. Bucs went out and showed they can beat a good team. They're going to be good going forward. Heck, with Freeman, they should be good for the next decade.

David O'Reilly (Belfast, Ireland)

First off, thanks for the constant updates on the NFC South Pat.. Always a good read with different thoughts projected.As a Falcons fan, I'm glad the D-Line has started to get some recognition. Jonathan Babineaux has been outstanding and should be going to the Pro Bowl. My question but is do you think John Abraham deserves Hall of Fame consideration?? My opinion is yes, and if he is able to reach the 115mark, moving him to 15th all-time, he has to be inducted. Maybe he needs a ring to seal the deal, but he is DE who has not always played on strong defences but has carried them on his shoulders

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Couple more good years and a Super Bowl ring might do the trick.

Dan (Myrtle Beach)

Pat, please give us hope and talk us off the ledge... Owner wants a cost controlled head coach, has no optimism on CBA, Luck stays in school and we traded pick #33 for Armanti Edwards.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

That's a tough one. But let me try. You've got some talent on your roster, assuming you re-sign your own free agents. Add some more help in the draft and you might be able to turn things around kind of like Tampa Bay did this year.

Richard (Ann Arbor)

Do the bloggers ever put up friendly stakes over playoff games, like the mayors/governors?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

No, I know this may seem strange to fans, but we really don't care who wins or loses.

Bob (Matthews, NC)

Pat,What have you heard about Panthers coaching search? Why have we not heard Mike McCoy's name mentioned?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Or any offensive coaches for that matter? If they go with defensive coach, like it looks like they will, they better get a very strong OC.

Dick (Dallas)

I heard Jenkins and Graham are out for the Saints tomorrow, with Ivory and PT both on IR, how much do you think these injuries will affect the team in the game tomorrow?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

I don't think that's definite yet on Jenkins and Graham, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit. If Shockey and Thomas play, they'll be fine at tight end. If Jenkins is out, that's going to provide some challenges. Sharper's not what he was even a year ago.

redzonejones (NY)

Do you think the bucs will do what they did last year and grab two bookend DE?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Yep, in some way, shape or form. Might not be first and second picks like it was with DTs. But they may get a couple throughout the draft or draft one and sign one as a free agent. It's an obvious need and they know they have to take care of that.

Aaron (Louisville,KY)

Not really knowledgeable with Jaique Bell. Is there anything to get excited about potentially or is he just added depth?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Just depth at this point and I'm not sure if he'll even be on active list tomorrow. He was on Philly's practice squad and has only had a couple days of practice with Saints. I think you'll see mostly Reggie and Julius Jones tomorrow.

Joel (Binghamton NY)

Im slightly surprised that Carolina hasn't reached out to Brian Billick for head coach, and from what ive heard he could bring Rob Ryan in to run the defense, doesn't that make more sense than hiring Ryan as head coach

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Yep, I'm surprised Billick's name isn't coming up anywhere. Leads me to believe he probably doesn't want to get back into coaching.,

Bob (Matthews, NC via Waverly, PA)

Jerry Richardson said he will not sign anyone until a new CBA is a done deal. Can other teams sign any of the Panthers UFA's if JR is going to sit and wait?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

No, there can be no free-agency without a new CBA. Good to hear from my Waverly buddy. Spent many a day playing basketball at the Waverly Community House when I was growing up and my knees are still paying for it.

Matt (Raleigh, NC)

I would like to see the panthers draft AJ Green to answer your question. Him across from Steve Smith with a better OC would make a much better offense and make clausen or whoever is QB look better

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

That seems to be the consensus I'm getting from most Carolina fans.

Matthew (Mississippi)

Pat, will Jerious Norwood ever be a factor in ATL? He has shown flashes but can't seem to shake the injury bug.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

No, I think they'll let Norwood go and look for a speed back in the draft.

JP (Inverness, FL)

Who are you more impressed with Ryan after a season and a half, or Freeman? I know Ryan developed a little differently, but it was not that long ago he was about where Freeman is now and since I think they may be the next great division QB rivals, now is a great time to speculate.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Excellent question. I really like them both. They're two different guys in two different offenses, so it's hard to compare them. But I think their presence means Falcons and Bucs should be good for the next decade or so. And Brees still has some good years left, so the NFC South is going to be strong for a long time to come.

Jason (Birmingham)

When do Raheem and Donick get their extensions? They earned new contracts and deserve long-term security regardless of the status of the CBA. Fantastic job this year with all the young Bucs!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

I think you'll see some movement on both of those fronts soon.

Jeff (Charlotte nc)

Pat do you think they will be a lockout.As Panthers fan should we not pray for a lockout?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

I think there will be a lockout to some degree. The deadline is March 3 and my guess is there will not be a deal in place by then. That would mean the start of a lockout. At that point, all it would mean is no free agency and no organized offseason workouts. Think it might drag on like that for a couple months. But my guess is they'll get something done before the season.

Aaron (Louisville,KY)

I don't think the Saints are going anywhere unless somebody can successfully run the football in the playoffs. Call me crazy but I think Reggie gets 20 carries a game in the playoffs and maybe makes some noise. Your take on that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I also think Reggie is going to make some noise (see my column today on NFCS Blog). But I think 20 might be a little high for him. I'm thinking more like 12-15 carries, plus a few for Julius Jones.

BJ Grace (OC)

Why is everyone against Jim Fassel-he recruited Elway from Hign School;coached and developed Elway at Stanford and Denver and was one of a few named NFL COACH of the YEAR plus he is a QB guru. Thoughts

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Good question and I really don't know the answer. He seems like a forgotten man.

Ben (Atlanta)

Pat, the conversation about the best ever Falcons team has been going strong lately, put the four division winners ('10, '04, '98 and '80) in a mythical four team playoff and who wins? I say 1980's team was the best.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

I honestly don't remember the 1980 team. So I'd have to say it's between this year's team and the 98 team and will be decided by what this year's team does in postseason.

Joel (Binghamton NY)

If and When the CBA is finalized, do you see Carolina wrapping up DeAngelo Williams long term, or do they Franchise and trade him. I would like to see him be a panther for a long time and how do you break up Stewart and Williams. And he wants to stay in Carolina

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

I think they'll make every effort to sign him. They need offense and he's a complete running back.

Richard (Ann Arbor)

Your lack of a rooting interest in any given team is reflected in your writing, but you clearly take pride in this division, Pat.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

I take that as a compliment. That's the way it's supposed to be. No rooting interest. But, yes, the division is my territory and it's a great division, so, yes, I do take pride in it. We don't have the big markets, but we've got some fantastic football.

Jeff (Charlotte nc)

Pat if they will be no Free agency do to lockout.Then what happen to all the Free agency players ones the season start ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Depending on when they get a deal, there probably will be a shortened period for free-agent signings. Maybe even a short window to allow teams to re-sign their own players.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Just read Kalil is going to Pro Bowl to replace Sean O'Hara. Pro Bowl score: CAR 2, TB 0 :)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Well, it's not over yet. Freeman and Winslow could get in. And Donald Penn, too.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Do you think Mularkey deserves the attention he's getting as a head coach candidate?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Yeah, I do. He's a bright coach and has some charisma. Track record in helping Matt Ryan develop is solid and he's got previous experience as a head coach.

Paul (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Hi Pat, great blogs as ever; even though I am a Falcons fan I got a question about the Panthers. Why are Carolina only looking at defensive coaches? Their offense is a mess this season and with Luck staying in college surely they should be looking at a coach who could improve Clausen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

I totally agree with you. But it looks like they're focused on defensive guys as head coach. Guess old habits are hard to break. If they go that route again, they better be sure to go out and hire very strong OC and QB coach.

Bob ((Louisiana))

Back in 2006 against Dallas, Sean Peyton handed the ball to the full-back (alot). Is Evans going to see ball?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

I think you might see Evans get a few carries tomorrow. But nothing out of the ordinary. I'm talking less than five carries.

shanard ((slc,ut))

Pat, with the surging buc's should they give the skins a 3rd for big al to shore up that front with mccoy that would be help big time and put up with the attitude.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Absolutely not!!! They don't need him. McCoy and Price will be back and they'll be better. Middle of d-line is going to be fine. Bucs need help on the outside. No sense going away from a youth movement that's working. No sense messing with good chemistry in the locker room.

Kevin (Omaha)

Pat, great job on the blog. Thought I would give you some in the field feedback on the506.com, as a Bucs fan I was thrilled that I would get to watch the Bucs-Saints game last Sunday but my dreams were thwarted by either the local fox affiliate or cable provider and had to sit thru the Vikings-Lions instead of watching my Bucs.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Man, that must have felt like a kick to the gut. My condolences. Bucs/Saints was a good game.

kenneth (oklahoma)

raiders fan here pat, has al gone senile again. or is he making the right choice this time

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

I try to stick to NFC South. But I'll give you a quick answer on this one. I thought Cable was decent and had made some progress. I would have stayed with him.

JP (Inverness, FL)

I second Richard. If the lockout happens would that prevent guys like Freeman getting together with his offense and working out, or would that be bad lockout etiquette?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

They might get together on their own and workout. But it wouldn't be anything supervised and coaches wouldn't be involved.

Rum (N'awlins)

Hey Pat, I know Luck said he wanted to go back for his degree--but how much do you think uncertainty in carolina had to do with his decision?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

He and his father both have indicated that wasn't a factor in the decision. I'd been hearing for months that he was leaning toward staying in school. So I don't think decision was really an indictment of the Panthers. If they felt that way, they could have done what Archie Manning did with Eli and forced a trade.

Taylor (Miami)

I wish we had an NFC South blogger that talked more football and less CBA. I mean our division has 2 teams in the PLAYOFFS

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Well, ask some playoff questions, please.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

As much as I would hate to see this but I think the Panthers are crazy not to at least interview Mike Mularkey. Great offensive guy, knows the NFC south well and would not ask for a lot of money (Harabaugh).

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

I'm shocked that his name hasn't surfaced in Carolina search.

Joel (Binghamton, NY)

Do you think Carolina goes to a 3-4 now that fox is gone. With the linebackers they have ( Beason, Anderson, Connor and Davis if he re-signs) have the ability to run that scheme, your thoughts

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

That will be entirely up to the new coach.

Dan (Land o' lakes, Fl.)

Just wondering, do players or owners ever call you for your opinion? Keep up the great work.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Happens from time to time. As a matter of fact, I'm heading over to Saints hotel after the chat to give Sean Payton his game plan for tomorrow. JUST KIDDING!

Taylor (Miami)

Ok I will. Who do you like in a rematch of Saints v Falcons in the Georgia Dome?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

If that happens, I'd lean toward Falcons. They've got the bye week and should be healthy. More importantly, they'll be highly motivated because of the picture taking on their logo the last time these two teams met.

Haile (Durham/NC)

Do you think the Panthers are going to get rid of Chris Gamble? Do you think they will resign Richard Marshall?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Think you might see both of them out the door.

Nathan (Orange County)

I read somewhere that Derrick Brooks has been "consulting" Raheem this past season. You have any insight on whether the Best player in NFC South History might be joining the Bucs organization?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

No, Raheem just made mention of how he talks to Brooks every week and values his advice. I think Derrick has a lot of other things going on in his life and is happy the way it is.

Rum (N'awlins)

Hey Pat, what's your opinion on Gregg Williams comment about wanting to remain in NO because they are one of the few sane franchises around--I'm surprised I haven't seen comments about him saying that.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Didn't catch that one. Where did you see it?

Jason (Birmingham)

Do you think the Bucs can ride this year's momentum into some primetime games next year and some butts in the stands? Not sure what else the team could do to generate buzz and interest in the team.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Yeah, I think they'll get a prime-time game or two. But it probably will be on the road. League won't want to show a half-empty stadium.

Lee (Iowa)

Love the blog! Who has done a better job for the Bucs this year, Raheem or Mark Dominic? And by the way Mark Tampa 10 Carolina 2!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Equally good job by both. Dominik made a bunch of nice moves and Morris coached very well. Can't say one was better than the other.

michelle (Melbourne, fl)

what part of the game do you believe the falcons lack in strength that could prevent them from making it to the super bowl? what can they do in the draft to help with this?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Think they're pretty solid all over. I'd just like to see them open up offense a little bit more. Think they have all sorts of weapons in the passing game, but don't use them to their full capacity all the time.

Matt (Statesboro, Ga)

Does Tony Gonzalez's contract run out this season? And if so, do you think he'd resign/would the Falcons offer him an extension?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

No it doesn't. I'd have to look it up to be certain. But I'm pretty sure he's got at least two more years on his deal.

Steve (Arizona)

Do you think that New Orleans will still win the football game on Saturday against the Seahawks minus Thomas and Ivory?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Yes, I do. Seahawks just aren't that good.

Tye (State College, PA (Falcons Fan))

Read and article on SI giving praise to all NFCS QB's except Ryan. He said his yards-per-completion is not championship caliber, and had some stats to back it up. You read anything into those?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

No, I'd disagree with that. But, as I said a couple minutes ago, I would like to see them open up the offense for him just a little bit more.

Rum (N'awlins)

I guess it wouldn't be a play-off season if Gregg wasn't quotable.. ;)Jef duncan can tell you about it, I'm guessing he was there.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

I will see Dunk later today and will ask him.

Steve (Arizona)

I see people talking Saints and Falcons but the Saints just lost two running backs and would have to get through the Bears and Seahawks. What are the chances that happens?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Might be tough to get through the Bears if that happens. But I think most likely scenario is Saints play Falcons in next round.

Bob (Louisiana)

Pat, During your game planning with Sean Peyton, please stop trying to run the reverse. It has failed the last few attempts.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I'll be sure to tell him!!!

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

To answer my own question. IF the panthers are stuck with the #1 pick I might even go out of the box & draft CB Patrick Peterson of LSU #1. He looks like a special talent to me

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Wouldn't argue with that and I think CB might be a real position of need for them.

Kevin (Omaha)

I am ok with Tampa getting no recognition, then Raheem can use the underdog, under appreciated all next season as motivation.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

I'm sure that will be used. Raheem is a motivator.

Tye (State College, PA (Falcons Fan))

Would you agree a under-rated Falcons need is a true slot receiver. Douglass just isn't cutting it. I know he had knee surgery, but that may be even more reason to draft a high round slot guy.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Yes, agree. Thought he'd be much more of a factor this year. But he hasn't been.

JP (Inverness, FL)

More dangerous for Atlanta coming out of this weekend: Green Bay or Philly?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

I say Philly. Eagles have beaten Falcons in recent years and the whole Michael Vick angle would cause some distractions.

curtis (saskatoon canada)

pat u mentioned jenkins as a breakout player that makes big plays.....wouldn't william moore be up there too? had a pretty solid season

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Yep, pretty close. He gave up some plays too. But he definitely progressed as season went on.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Give little HD a break..Its a general concensus that it takes a year to completely get back from ACL injury. Also lets not forget Kerri Mier who is on IR...Wow ATL do have a lot of offensive power.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Not sure on HD. But I am anxious to see what Kerry Meier can do next year. Falcons were really happy when they were able to draft him. Two more questions.

Richard (Ann Arbor)

Slow down, Steve. You're assuming that the Packers would beat the Eagles. Saints can play Atlanta without facing the Bears.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Exactly.

Dan (Land o' lakes, Fl.)

I have to laugh about the Bucs lack of recognition. Thats all press" flavor of the month attitude ". The teams know that the Bucs arefor real.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

I think Dan doesn't get the recognition he deserves. He once played basketball against Jeff Malone -- and lost pretty badly. Dan's a friend of mine. Inside joke, but the Jeff Malone story is true.

Jeff (Charlotte nc)

time is up Pat time for your Coffee or you staying until 4 pm est time

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Nah, I'm gonna run. I've got to do my Final Word piece and swing over to Saints hotel -- to pick up my credential and not to give Sean Payton any advice. Unfortunately, I'm not a coffee guy. It's Coke or Pepsi as my coffee. But John Clayton's gonna show me the town tonight. Thanks to all. See you next week.