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February 25, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What NFC South Training Camp do you go to Mostly in the Summer?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Hmmm, I'm going to say Falcons in Flowery Branch, Ga. It's on the shores of Lake Lanier, which makes it the only place in the NFC South where you have a chance to catch a breeze. I also like going out to Tampa's camp because it means I'm at home. But I'm usually on the road constantly during training camp. All right, chat is up and running.

Chris (San Diego)

For Falcons, would speedsters like Titus Young and Torrey Smith fit better or possession receivers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Yep, speed WR is what they need to go with Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. Think either of the guys you mentioned could really help that offense.

Chris (San Diego)

Since the release of Shockey, I've been hearing a lot of Jimmy Graham, how good is he?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

He emerged as a rookie way faster than anyone expected. He's going to keep getting better. Has incredible athletic ability and could really develop into something special, especially in that offense and with Payton and Brees figuring out unique ways to use him.

Ossie Eskar (Nazareth, Pa)

Do you think the panthers should trade away steve smith for more draft picks and pick up a qb and draft aj green since they need a lot of help on offence.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

They might not be able to trade away Smith until after lockout is over. My guess is that won't come until after the draft, so it could make things complicated.

Ryan (Tampa )

Such a Beautiful day in Tampa!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Yes, it is. They should hold the combine here. It's about 82 right now.

Joe (Los Angeles (by way of N.C.))

To Cam or not to Cam with the 1st pick?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I don't see it. I think Panthers will take conservative and safe approach and go with one of the d-linemen.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat - do you think the knee surgery to Bowers downgrades him as a CAR draft target? Also, if CAR thinks they need a DE, do you think they might pursue Cullen Jenkins, who looks like he has played his last game as a Packer?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

No, as I understand it Bowers' surgery was for a torn meniscus. I had surgery for torn meniscus in both knees and cartilige damage in both knees 10 days ago and I'm walking pretty well and should be 100 percent in another two weeks. Bowers' injury was only to one knee and he's half my age. I think that was a very minor thing and not an issue at all for him.

Tony (NYC)

Pat, I asked this last week and you did not have an update, but is there any news on how Shaun Rogers interview went with the Saints? Are the Saints interested or are they pursuing some other direction?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

It's been quiet on that one. I think it was more of a due dilligence visit. Doesn't sound like anybody's going to do anything with Rogers until labor deal gets done and we have an actual free-agency period.

Tony (NYC)

Pat, any news on what the Saints are doing with Reggie Bush? I know there are critics, but he is a valuable part of the Saints, but maybe not at the current price tag.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Agree. I strongly suspect they'll keep him, but it will involve extending and restructuring his contract.

Alex (Arizona)

Hey Rick, your the best NBA analyst out there in my opinion and by the way Broussard aint got @#$# on you. After a day has passed and the shocking Perkins trade went down I got to thinking they did this to try to screw the lakers. Here me out for a sec. I stil believe the Lakers are the only team that could beat Boston in a 7 game series and by sending him to OKC arguably the team that matches up best with LA especially now with Perkins on board they are banking on the Thunder to do their dirty work for them by taking out the Lakers thus not having to worry about a potential Lakers finals. Thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Umm, wrong chat.

michael (tampa)

Pat do you see Charles Johnson leaving the Panthers, or resigning?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Panthers are putting restricted tag on him and I'm sure it will be the highest restricted tag. If the tags hold up through new labor deal, I don't see him leaving.

Rich (NYC)

Pat, can you tell us about the coaches pay during the lockout? Will the coaches of the NFC South all get paid, or will some have to take off? Also, which if any, of the assistants will have to take off? Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

They are all different throughout the league and basically all assistants will take at least some sort of hit. I heard somewhere yesterday that Saints actually have the best setup for their assistants. Not sure on exact numbers, but they'll get paid something like 50 percent during lockout and the money they miss out on will be made up to them once everything is resolved. But I think a lot of other teams aren't being as generous.

Jay (Tampa)

Hey Pat hope all is well. Do you think there is a chance the Bucs would make a play for Charles Johnson if the panthers allow him to test free agency? He is only 25 years old I know the Bucs are money tight but this guy could really help them and he's so young.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

I really don't think he's going to hit free agency in the true sense. Panthers are putting restricted tag on him and still have hope of working out a long-ter deal.

Anthony (Texas)

Seems like other teams are making moves to keep some of their star players and Richardson is once again being cheap. It is going to cost the Panthers another good year of football.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Well, right now, I don't think it's really fair to say that. Everything's pretty much frozen until labor deal gets done. Wait and see what happens then.

michael (tampa)

Pat have you heard anything concerning Tanard Jackson?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Not a lot. Just know the Bucs are planning like they'll be without him. That's really only approach they can take. If they get him back, it's a bonus.

michael (tampa)

Pat, if there is a lockout, do teams abide by the no contact rule? Or is there conversation on the down low with players?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

No, I think owners are very serious about it and there will be no contact.

Ryan (Tampa)

So what do you think of the offseason moves for the panthers. Will they draft a quarterback or free agency?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

I think they get QB through free agency or a trade and use the top draft pick on one of the d-linemen.

Victor (Tx)

I just saw that the bucs traded reggie brown for a 6th round pick. what did we give up last year for him and do you see the bucs trading anybody else for picks?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Teams won't be allowed to trade players for picks if there's a lockout. They'll only be able to trade picks for picks.

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

Is Newton's ability worth the risk at #1 assuming there is a rookie cap? I am starting to believe it might be. The only sure thing about the Panthers is that they will continue to end up last in the NFC South until they find a legit franchise QB. Would you take Newton #1?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Personally, I think it could be. He's got tremendous upset. But I don't see Richardson and Hurney going that route. They're pretty conservative.

EJ (SLC)

Even though the bucs just resigned Ronde Barber, is there any chance the bucs go after Nnamdi asomugha?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Doubt it. They're in great shape at CB. Can use that money at lots of other positions.

Steven (San Diego)

Hey Pat! Are you going to Indy for the combine?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

No, we only send half the division bloggers and we try to mix it up. Plus, I'm kind of sidelined as far as walking long distances or standing for a long time right now due to recent knee surgery. But the beauty of modern technology is that I can follow the combine very closely from NFC South Blog Headquarters.

Colin (Atl)

Pat, do you think the falcons can take the next step and actually compete for a superbowl next year, assuming there is no lockout?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Yes, if they build on what they've already got. They need to add one playmaker (either speed WR or speed RB) on offense and a playmaker (probably a DE) on defense to really put them over the top.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

What do you see as the ceiling for the young TB receivers, Benn and Mike Williams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Sky high. Both are very talented and they've got a QB who is well on his way to being great.

Rum (N'awlins)

Hey Pat, tell the truth--you scheduled your surgery so you could avoid running at the combine, didn't ya?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Pretty much. Actually, I scheduled it for right after the Super Bowl, thinking I might be covering Saints or Falcons in the Super Bowl. But, hey, you can't compare me to Jay Cutler. I knew in November I needed the surgery. But I played through the pain and finished the season!!!

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat do you think McNabb may come to CAR?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Think he's one possibility. Carson Palmer, Billy Volek and Kevin Kolb also could be possibilities.

Jeff (Charlotte)

Hi Pat i just read on Adam Schefter twitter page. that Dir De Smith addressing agents and told them that the side are not close on one single issue. and this go into September.My question if this will go into September.Then what will happen to Free agency signing to off-season workout?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Think there's a lot of posturing on both sides and that will continue. Just my guess, there will be a lockout and it will drag on for several months and get ugly and offseason workouts will be scratched. But my best guess is something will get done in June or July, right before training camps.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

What exactly is Jon Beason's status? Is he scheduled to be an unrestricted FA?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

No, he's under contract for this season.

Mikey (Denver)

Who is the best back-up QB in the NFC South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Wow, that's a tough one! Pickings are slim. If I had to pick one of them to get me through a game, I'd have to say Chris Redman.

Jeff (Huntsville)

Do you think the Falcon's will resign Brian Williams? If he can remain healthy he has been our best option at the nickleback position.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

I do. Mike Smith adores him, going back to Jacksonville. I don't think he'll be hard to re-sign.

John (Charlotte)

If there is a lockout how long before free agency would start? It will be odd if free agency comes after the draft

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Can't really answer that. It wouldn't be able to start until the lockout ends and we don't know how long that will be.

Gene Cho (Westwood)

Pat,Love the chat! I am a huge Saints fan. Do you think outside linebacker or defensive tackle is a more pressing issue for the Saints?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

You could probably flip a coin. It's close, but I'd go DT. Think if you put a quality DT next to Ellis, it would make him a star, make the rest of the d-line much better and the entire defense much better.

travis (charlotte)

why is patrick peterson not being considered for the number one pick in a pass happy league

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

NFL is big on tradition. History says you generally don't take a CB at No. 1.

Brady (Tallahassee)

When your blogger for a division is it a requirement to you reside in one of the cities in the division? Do you have to live in either Atlanta, Tampa, Charlotte, or New Orleans?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Not sure it's an official and formal requirement. Just kind of understood. We all live close to at least one of our cities. I live in Tampa, but you could also say I have residence in the other NFC South cities. I had 115 Marriott nights last year.

Paul (Indianapolis)

Hi Pat, do you fill out a mock draft like McShay and Kiper Jr.?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

No, not a full one on my own. But I think we'll be doing one with all the bloggers making picks for each of the teams in our division.

Ken (NY)

How shocked were you by John Fox saying that Orton is the starter?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Not in the least. It's the Fox way -- always give the nod to the veteran.

Rum (N'awlins)

I hope players & owners learn how to play nice REAL fast--I don't even watch the World Series anymore after that last MLB strike.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

I'm the same way and it's sad because baseball was my favorite sport growing up. I still check what the Red Sox did the night before every day and I'll watch them in playoffs. I also follow Rays a bit because I live here. But I just don't have the love for baseball that I once did. And I fear a lengthy lockout could make lots of people feel same way about NFL.

Bryant (Virginia)

How do the Bucs view Cody Grimm? Do they see him as a starter or just a filler since Tanard got suspended?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

They like him and think he has a chance to be a solid starter. At worst he's a quality backup and special teams guy. But Sean Jones is other starter right now. Think they need to bring in at least one more safety because they can't afford to count on Jackson coming back.

Raheem Morris (tampa)

Pat should I go with the race to 11 next season? Or stick to 10?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Go for 12, just to be sure it gets you into playoffs.

Rich (NYC)

Did you ever find out about the compensatory picks for the teams of the NFC South? When? How many? Which rounds?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

No, we generally get those at the league meeting in late March.

michael (tampa)

Is it true NFC South bloggers are the highest paid in the league? I heard its in the 1-2 million dollar range.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I wish!!!

Anderson (Chicago)

Pat, if a new CBA is not signed before the 3rd then coaches are not allowed to talk to the players. Do you think that the players will stay in decent shape without the coaches' help?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Yes, I think most of them will stay in good shape. But they'll miss offseason time together, which is important for team chemistry and teaching.

michael (tampa)

Is Mark Dominik a decent interview? Honest and forthcoming?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Yes, very much so, on both counts.

sean (sc)

chances of DWill being back?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

I honestly think he will stay in Carolina.

Benjamin (FL)

3 NFC South teams to the playoffs next season (assuming there is a season)? Almost had it last season.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

I'd be in favor of it. Would keep me occupied.

Bryant (Virginia)

True or False: Caddy will be a Buc next year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Can I go with "maybe" or even "probably". Think he wants to stay and Bucs want to keep him as third-down back. But the question is what they'll pay him and what he can get elsewhere. If somebody throws him a lot more money than the Bucs, loyalty might only count so much.

Benjamin (FL)

Speaking of the labor situation, one of the big deals seems to be the 18 game schedule. If Goodell really wants to get this done "for the fans", why don't the end the 18 game talk? I haven't talked to one person who actually wants to see 18 regular season games.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Really? Just curious what other fans think about 18 games. My personal opinion is I'd rather see 18 games and get rid of two preseason games. I despise preseason games. I would think most fans feel the same way.

michael (tampa)

Do you think Carl Crawford will have a big year for the Red Sox? Oops sorry .....wrong chat.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

I'll answer that one. Yeah, of course I do!

JM (Charlotte)

Pat you're following the labor negotiations. Do you believe that there will be a lockout?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

I believe there will be a lockout. The question is, how long will it last? Just my opinion, but I think it gets resolved before regular season. I say sometime before training camps.

Matt (Orlando)

I don't think the fans want 18 games, they just don't want to pay full price for 2 preseason games. If they just changed the admission price for the 2 preseason games to $20, everyone would be fine.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I can go with that.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat - on the 18 game season, I am all for it - the preseason games are terrible and are a waste of money. Why not have 2 more games that mean something rather than watching future Arena League stars play outdoors?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Or that.

Glenn (Winston Salem (NC))

IM ASKING FOOTBALL QUESTIONS AND YOU ARE TAKING BASEBALL ONES. if there is no football next season, how will it affect the 2012 draft? Will the panthers have another no.1 pick overall, or will it be randomized?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

I really don't know. I'd guess Carolina would still be No. 1, but that's so far down the road, I haven't checked on it. Besides, I've repeatedly been saying I think there will be a season.

Mark (NC)

Billy Volek! Dear God No! wasn't David Carr bad enough?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Haha! The man with the white glove. Wow, that one was a fiasco.

Joe (Tampa)

How can a team throw Caddy more money??? The Bucs have the lowest payroll open up the wallet Glazer!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

That hasn't always been the case through history.

Dwayne (Ga St University)

Who will have the bigger impact for the Falcons next season, Peria Jerry (1st rd) or Corey Peters (3rd rd)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Just a hunch. But I think Jerry emerges next season. Think he was still recovering from the knee this past season.

Billy (Allisonville, IN)

Which player has the highest IQ in the NFC-South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Wow, just guessing, I'd probably go with Brees. Erik Coleman would have been good under-the-radar guy for that one, but the Falcons cut him couple weeks ago.

michael (tampa)

Will you be at the draft in late April?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Yep, in some capacity. Need to talk to the bosses in Bristol about that. But I'm certain I'll be either in New York or Charlotte with the Panthers holding the No. 1 pick. I've done last two drafts from One Buc Place, which is nice. But I wouldn't mind going to the Big Apple for a change of pace.

Dwayne (Ga St University)

Thanks Pat. Do you think William Moore and Harry Douglas will step up as well?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Think Moore already stepped up and that will continue. Sadly, I can't say the same for Douglas. I think they look for a speed WR this offseason.

Kerry Meier (Hard Pines)

Am I good enough to start at next year or do I need a few years to develop?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

You'll be a role player on offense and a regular on special teams. Falcons like you though and were very disappointed you got hurt as a rookie.

Mark (Spokane Washington )

Hi Joe Lunardi after Gonzaga big win last night against Saint Mary's at Saint Mary's.Do you think that is enough for Gonzaga to make it to the NCAA tournament?.Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Wow, are we having routing problems with the various chats today???

Julian (Atlanta)

Pat! I always miss your chat, and I was going through the blog when it said chat at 1. I'm hoping I can slip in a question. Do you think that Matt Ryan can be a Super-Bowl winning QB? I am just waiting for him to get that explosive playmaker on offense.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Yep, I do. Just think he needs a little more help around him.

Adam (NC)

Pat, the way I understand it is (I don't remember my source) if the lockout did last all season that for the next draft that the draft positions would be lottery based among the bottom teams of each division followed by the third place teams and etc...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

You might be right. I haven't really looked that far ahead yet.

steve (nc)

Would the saints pursue D Williams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

If he were a true UFA, yes. But it looks like he'll be a restricted guy and I don't see the Saints giving up a couple draft picks for him.

Rum (N'awlins)

Like most of us WhoDats, I was sorry to se Shockey let go--I thought he was finally starting to mature.But on the other hand, I think J. Graham is going to be a monster. We saw many clips from practices of him making one-handed grabs down the field. Real nice hands.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Shockey served his purpose. Helped them win a Super Bowl and really didn't cause major disruptions -- think that was mainly because he knew better than to mess with Brees. But Graham's more than ready to take over and has tremendous upside. All right, couple more questions before we sign off.

michael (tampa)

Best QB in the NFC South right now? Still Brees?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Right now? Yes, still Brees.

Al (Wausau, WI (22 inches of snow on the ground!))

Pat, do you think the Saints will keep Reggie Bush in 2011 (assuming the season will be held)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Think they extend and restructure his contract to keep him.

Justin (Trapt in a library)

Hey Pat, Im stuck watching CNN here, so who in the NFC South division would make the best president?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Brees.

JM (Charlotte)

Do you believe Ron Rivera is a guy who can turn the Panthers around? Do you think we're in for another tough season or two before that starts to happen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Yeah, I do. If Panthers can solidify QB position, they'll be competitive. The rest of their roster isn't that bad.

Peter An (Ohio State)

PAT, ACKNOWLEDGE THE POWER OF THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

I've always respected the Buckeyes.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Who has best cheerleaders in NFC South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Come on, Mark. You know I can't touch that one. All right, that's a sign it's time to end this chat. Thanks to all for stopping by.