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February 4, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)

If you had to build a franchise around Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger who would you pick?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:50 PM)

I take Rodgers all the way. All right, the chat's up and rolling. As you know, we usually stick totally to NFC South. Let's try to do that today, but I'll be a little flexible and take some Super Bowl questions if you want. Let's roll.

C.J. (California)

Should we expect another season of Jimmy Clausen or a new rookie at QB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

Actually, my guess is you might see them bring in a free agent or try to trade for someone like Kevin Kolb. I think they really need to solidify QB to be competitive.

Mike Mularkey (Atlanta)

Am I going to Tennessee, or staying in Atlanta?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

Shouldn't you be in your interview with Titans right now??? Good luck. I expect we'll know something early next week.

Tim (ATL)

Do you have a sense of how the Falcons feel about LT Sam Baker?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Yeah, they know he hasn't worked out like they hoped. Not sure they're ready to give up on him yet. But wouldn't be totally surprised if they go get a left tackle in the offseason.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the Best & the Worst Super Bowl that you have seen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Actually, a lot of people forget about the Panthers/Patriots Super Bowl and what a great game that was. I'll go with that as the best. Worst? Well, I wasn't covering it because I was in college, but the Bears/Patriots. That was such a blowout.

Quilly (Ireland)

Hey Pat, Where do you see the falcons going in the first round of the draft. Do you see us trying to upgrade our DE position, O-line or nickle corner position ?? Or will we just go BPA at #27 ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Think DE is probably the priority. But when you're sitting at 27, it's hard to lock in on one position because there might not be anybody available at that spot. So they have to stay flexible.

Jeff (Huntsville)

If Mularkey is the new HC of the Titans and we already lost Musgraves to the Vikings, who do you see the Falcon's bringing in as their OC?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

That's a huge question because there aren't many guys available because almost every other staff has been filled. Smitty will really have to reach deep into his bag of tricks to get a good OC at this time of year.

William (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)

Any rumor of the bucs after an agreement in place or even before that the bucs would go after Nnamdi Asoughma. Seems like having him with talib and ronde as a nickel which is pretty much what he does now with healthy returning safeties would be a good defensive backfield.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Haven't heard anything out of the team on that, but it makes a lot of sense. Problem is, there are going to be a lot of teams after him and the price tag is going to be sky high. But, if they want him, they'll have the cap room to have a real shot at him.

Al (DC)

Smitty gets no props for keeping his mouth shut and dealing with trade stuff behind closed doors, rather than a Chad Johnson, Carson Palmer, Lance Briggs type airing of dirty laundry. Does your gut tell you he'll be back in Carolina?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

I think so. I think hiring his college WR coach and Ricky Proehl as a consultant will help make him want to stay. And I'm sure they've told him they plan to try to solidify things at QB. I think he stays.

tahoe (Charlotte)

You think the panthers will make a trade to try and get kevin Kolb?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

That's exactly what I would do if I were them.

Matt (Florida)

Why not play the Super Bowl in Hawaii instead?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

With the weather in Dallas this week, that sounds like a great idea. You've got my vote. Or I'd just play it in Tampa, Miami, New Orleans and Arizona on a rotating basis. Throw in San Diego or LA if either builds a new stadium.

Chad (Vegas)

Could you imagine IF Carolina can turn it around. How great would it be having New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Carolina all good, but I guess 3 out of 4 aint bad.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Hey, it could happen. Panthers still have a fair amount of talent. If they can just get a real QB, they can compete.

Greg (Statesboro)

What are the chances the Falcons get a TE for the future?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Think you could see that in this draft. And, remember, although Gonzalez says he wants to keep playing, he's no under contract.

Scott (Flowery Branch, GA)

Pat - with the news that the franchise period begins soon, do you expect any owners to make moves that involve guaranteed money like a tag, or do you see the owners sitting tight in a show of "solidarity"?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Well, the latest is that the league and the union are fighting over whether franchise tags can be used or not without a new CBA.

Troy (Pittsburgh)

Hey PY, Any reason to think that the Falcons will go WR in the 1st round? I like Jonathan Baldwin from PITT.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Not their biggest need. But I wouldn't rule it out. I think they need another playmaker on offense and one on defense.

Chad (Vegas)

Forget Hawaii; the SB needs to be rotated between San Diego, New Orleans, Miami, and then the 4th site can be a bid on or other city rotation.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

I'm with you on Miami and New Orleans. I'd throw in Tampa and Arizona, too. San Diego's got to get a new stadium before league will give them anymore Super Bowls.

James (Dallas)

who should saints get in free agency if there is one.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

I'm really hesitant to even throw out names because we really don't know who free agents will be. Teams are going to re-sign a lot of their own players and the structure of the new CBA will decide if some guys are restricted or unrestricted free agents.

Michael (Orlando)

Pat,Do you think Cody Grimm did a good enough job at saftey last year that he will be the starter if healthy this next year or do you see the Bucs looking in free agency for a saftey?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

He did a nice job, no doubt. I think he'll have a shot to start, but I think they still need to add a safety for the other spot. Maybe even two safeties. Grimm's still a bit of a question mark in my eyes. He did some really good things, but he's undersized, so I think the jury is still out on him as a starter.

Haile (Durham,NC)

Do you think the panthers have any interested in Vince Young?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

No, I think they stay clear of him.

Tom (New Orleans)

Do you think the CBA going to be done before March 3rd?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

No, I don't. I think we will see a lockout. The question is, how long does it last? My guess is they get something done in June or July.

Chad (Vegas)

With the stellar play of Jimmy Graham do the Saints let Shockey go?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

I think that's possible. Graham came on faster than I ever expected. Shockey's got a big salary, is getting older and has a long history of injuries.

Jamie (Atlanta)

Do you think Mularkey leaves the Falcons if he know he would be leaving them in a big hole at OC?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

I definitely think he feels a certain bond with Falcons. But head coaching jobs don't come along often. Honestly, Smitty is the kind of guy who would probably tell him to take the job, if it's offered, even if it puts the Falcons in a tough spot.

michael (tampa)

Pat, in your article on the 2009 draft re-do, you left out EJ Biggers. Do you think he deserved a mention?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

I already gave Bucs an A+. What more do you want?

Quilly (Ireland)

Hey Pat, do you see Mr. Blank extending Thomas Dimitroff's contract this off-season now that he has Smith locked up already ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Yes, I think that will be the next move.

Fred (New Orleans)

Do you think Reggie Bush could be better on another team?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Could be, but I think Saints re-do his contract and he stays.

Bruce (Orlando)

Will the Bucs Special Teams unit, a unit that has been very strong over the last 5 years, suffer without Rich Biccacia??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

The guy they hired (Stukes) has been working with Bisaccia last five years, so I'm sure he absorbed a lot of his coaching style.

Sporty (commadore 64)

I have a web page and I flew to Dallas and I told myreader it was cold. How do I buy a press ticket?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

You don't buy them. NFL issues credentials if you qualify.

Nate (Orlando)

Chances John Abraham has another off year, this was predicted by the falcons, he has one good year, then an off year...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Yep, possible and age could catch up. That's why I say get a DE early in draft or in free agency.

Jamie (Atlanta)

wow you really rate Mike Smith highly. That pleases me as a Falcons fan, but we still need an OC!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

I honestly think Smitty is one of the best coaches in the league. Also, one of the best people in the league. A really genuine guy.

Ken (NY)

Whats the latest on Matt Moore?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Not under contract to Panthers. Rehabbing his injury. Doubt he'll be back.

Ken (NY)

Who wins the Superbowl?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

All right, here's my official prediction, for whatever it's worth: Green Bay 24, Pittsburgh 21.

Chad (Vegas)

I see a lot of similarities between this Saints managment team and the Patriots. The Saints seem to let a lot of players go at the perfect time, before they take up to much salary and it's not wother the production. They seem to be willing to do that this year with Thomas, Shockey, and restructuring Bush's deal.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Yep, Loomis has developed a real knack for drafting with an eye a year or two ahead. Like getting Malcolm Jenkins to replace Sharper and now getting Graham to replace Shockey.

Roger (New Orleans)

Who is more relible to Drew Brees is it Lance M. or Marques C.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Colston. He's a stud.

Al (DC)

Just saw a report that Clausen had foot surgery. Maybe that was the problem all along . . .

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Hmm, haven't seen the report. But I remember now there were some concerns about his foot back at draft time.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, given that Matt Moore may not be back with Carolina in 2011, do you feel he may have a chance to be a starting QB with another team? Or, might he be another backup QB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Nice guy, but he's clearly a backup.

Jamie (Atlanta)

So pretty much no one knows who the Falcons will be looking at for OC if Mularkey goes?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

I'm sure Mike Smith has some ideas. But I don't have a list of who's available right now. Like I said, the timing on this couldn't be much worse because most coaches already have jobs.

JM (Charlotte)

Do you think Deangelo Williams will be back with Carolina next season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

I do. I know some people don't. But I think he's too good a player to just let him walk in free agency. I think they make a strong attempt to re-sign him.

J.P. (Kenner, La.)

Was the main reason Gregg Williams pulled out of the Titans head coach sweepstakes because of the issue with his son as an assistant or the issue of not having a proven QB on the roster?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

From what I heard it was because he didn't want to replace Fisher, who is his best friend.

Chad (Vegas)

Does anyone with any NFC South ties get into the HOF this year? Unfortunately I say no.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

I think Deion gets in. Although he bounce around, he did have four or five years with the Falcons. I think it's going to be real close on Willie Roaf. I think he's a Hall of Famer, but afraid he might have to wait a year or two.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

With the awful loss to GB in playoffs, do you think Dimtroff/Smith detour from their plans, build through the draft and add2nd-3rd tier free agents) or looking to add the pieces to win now, WR/DE and more secondary help.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Think you might see them be slightly more aggressive in free agency because they realize their window is open. But, overall, they pretty much stick with building through draft.

Ben (New Orleans)

Can Chase Daniels be a good starter if Drew brees get hurt?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

There would be a definite drop off, obviously. But I think Saints could still be decent. Payton would coach to Daniel's strengths and there is plenty of talent around him.

CC (Atlanta)

Tony Gonzalez signed a 3-4 yr extension when the falcons traded for him. Shouldn't you know that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

My bad. Just went and looked it up. Gonzalez is signed through 2011 season.

Charles (San Francisco)

PatWhat did you think about Suh winning ROY? Seriously, over Mike Williams AND Bradford?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

I was shocked. Thought Bradford would get it simply because he's a QB.

Charles (San Francisco)

The Bucs D-line is still a work in progress, but there are some nice DE's in the draft this year. So how secure is Stylz job in 2011? Also, didn't he play better when his name was Greg? He may need to take a page out of Ocho's book and go back to his given.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

I wouldn't say any of last year's DEs are real secure on that roster.

Jamie (Atlanta)

Do we have to wait for a new CBA agreement for free agency to start? That might be as late as June or July or later??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Yep, that's what it might come down to.

Nathan (Orange County)

I don't understand why everyone seems to think Cadillac is going to be (and should be) released. He made it through this season without injury now that he is not the lead back. He is respected in the locker room and around the league and was a solid RB in short yardage and passing situations. He needs to return.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

He's not under contract. You going to pay him like a starter to be Blount's backup? He might get starter money elsewhere.

Evan (Durham)

Does Marty slip Jerry a roofie-colata on draft day so he can draft Cam Newton?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

That one, my friend, earns you Best Line of the Day. I'm still laughing.

Bruce (Orlando)

Do you see any simularities in Mike Tomlin and Raheem Morris coaching?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Yep, Raheem was groomed by Tomlin. He talks about Tomlin all the time.

Sporty (commadore 64)

I think Rudy Carpenter will be a good back up to Freeman, heis quick and can squirt around defenders. Or do you think josh Johnson is the future? I have a web page.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Congrats on your web page. Rudy is a resourceful guy. Bucs must like something about him or else he wouldn't still be on the roster.

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

I read a report the other day about the Dolphins management being interested in DeAngelo Williams. Could that be considered tampering?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Only if they talked to him or his agent. Even then, they'd have to get caught. Lots of stuff like that goes on, but goes unnoticed.

Nathan (Cary, NC)

You think that Hurney would draft Newton if he could?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

No, I don't.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

PY, How would you fix the FALCONS secondary.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Get a nickel back. Other than that, it's not a bad secondary.

Jamie (Atlanta)

So with teams having to wait until the new CBA agreement to start rebuilding their teams, we could see a frenzy of signings as soon as soon the CBA agreement is in place?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Yep, but, depending on the timing of it, I think they might give a little window for teams to re-sign their own guys. Say it happens in June. I think they might give teams a week to re-sign own guys before opening it up fully.

Will L (Nashville TN)

I know the titans will probably promote much from within, but if you had to pick from the coaches that they are interviewing who would you think is the jewel of that group?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

I'd hire Mularkey. But I also think very highly of Mike Munchak. He's from basically the same hometown I'm from.

Charles (San Francisco)

Pat you're closer to management than most, is there any substance to the owners concern about revenue? Watching the Bucs lose half their starters to injury, I don't see how 18 game season creates a better product. I've listened to their argument but it sounds more like a "Greed is Good" speech.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I wouldn't mind seeing the preseason shortened. But, yes, the whole driving force behind the 18 games is money.

Andy (Whispering Pines)

I agree with you that Kolb is the best viable option to the Panthers QB problems, but do you think that the first overall pick is enough to get him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I would not trade the first overall pick for Kolb. I'd package some later picks and maybe a player.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

So if a new CBA is not done until June/July what happens with the draft?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

The draft will take place in April no matter what.

Rocky the Bull (USF campus)

Honestly Pat, who is going to give Caddie starter money? He proved at the beginning of the season that hes not a starter anymore. I'll be shocked if he doesnt come back.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Look, I like and respect Caddy as much as any player in the NFL. If you can keep him at backup money, keep him -- he's a great locker-room guy. But go out and get another running back. You need somebody to go with Blount. His running style is so physical that I worry about his durability going forward. You need someone else who also can be a feature back. Caddy is not that guy, at this point.

Jeff (Huntsville)

But can teams trade players for draft picks if the CBA agreement is not done?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

As I understand it, they can only trade them up until March 3. Once the lockout kicks in, no trades.

David (West Point, NY)

Any word on the Tanard Jackson situation? Will he still be under contract when his suspension is over?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

I need to check on that and get clarification. He was only under contract through 2010. But sometimes with suspensions, the contract tolls over. So what remained on his contract at the point he was suspended may toll over until next season. I'll check on that next week.

J.P. (Kenner, La.)

Jenkins is the MAN, so what do the Saints do with Sharper next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

My guess is he retires.

Quilly (Ireland)

Hey Pat, Do you see the falcons keeping onto Norwood this off-season or will we leave him hit FA. I think alot of falcons fans feel he's injuried too much to contribute .

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

I think you let him go and go find a young speed back.

J.P. (Kenner, La.)

Pat, is it realistic to say the CBA negotiations are a battle between millionaires and billionaires?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

Yep.

Sam (Raleigh)

When you watch football as a journalist is it different from when you get to the game as a fan? How so?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Good question to end the chat on. It's very different. I'm taking notes or writing during the game, so you're constantly looking up just as the next play starts. Also, there's no cheering in the press box -- that's a league rule. It's work and you can't really sit back and enjoy. That's why I'm kind of looking forward to this weekend. I'm not at the Super Bowl, so I'll be able to watch it and enjoy it on tv like a fan. Hope you all enjoy the Super Bowl and have a great weekend.