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April 1, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Colin (Green Bay, WI)

How can you honestly rank Tony Gonzalez #2 on you tight ends list? It must be because you write for NFC South.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Best tight end in the history of the game. That counts for something in my eyes. All right, chat is up and running. Fire away.

Amar (Kunsan, Korea)

Say if Talib is proven innocent of assault with a deadly weapon but perhaps is convicted of assault for beating up the guy or if all charges end up being dropped, do you think the Bucs will still end up releasing him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Yep, I do.

Ryan (Columbia, SC)

You can't possibly think the panthers drafting a "franchise QB" 2 years in a row is a good thing

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

You think they got a franchise QB in Clausen??? I mean, there's still hope for him. But you can't look at last year and turn around and realistically say, "Jimmy Clausen is our starter".

james (florida)

what happened to lawrence sidbury last season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Pretty much nothing -- that was the problem.

KingKev (TX)

Do you ever get annoyed when people begin their questions by saying "Thanks for answering my question." Seems awfully presumptious on their part if you ask me. Anyway, I appreciate you posting this. Do you think the Panthers should draft Marcell dareus and see what they have in Clausen in year 2? That seems to be the best long term strategy. Its not like Bradford is sitting atop this draft.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

I think that's what the old Panthers would have done. But I don't think the thought process in the building works the way it once did.

Corey (D.C.)

If Plaxico Burress is physically fit enough to handle a full NFL season and contribute, do you think the Bucs would consider him? He seems like he could help the younger guys, and generate sales and attention for the team (which is always good), and probably come fairly cheap. Thought?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

In light of all the recent stuff about character with Tampa Bay, do you really think that's a good idea?

Mke (ATL)

Hey Pat, you said in last weeks chat that you'd be putting up an article this week on how Bob Bratkowsk will help progress Matt Ryans play, still in the works?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Yep, I've got tape transcribed of Mike Smith talking about that at the owners meeting and will do an item on it at some point. Mr. Talib kind of pushed a few things back a little bit.

Will (New Orleans)

Pat, you recently commented on the best tight ends in the NFL, what do you think the odds are that Jimmy Graham joins that discussion next season? kid had some nice catches last year

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Think there's a very good chance he'll be in the discussion last year. Kid came along way faster than even the Saints expected. He's why they were so willing to part with Shockey.

Dylan (Las Vegas)

Is Clausen trade fodder for Carolina?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

No, not at this point. What value could he possibly have. And like I keep saying, there are some important people in Carolina who still think he can develop into something.

Ryan (Cedar Rapids, IA)

Is Larry Asante a safety worth noting on the Bucs squad? Watching the Big 12 I heard his name all the time and didn't know if there was any word him contributing.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Yes, they've talked about him as a guy they like and think can play.

Matt (Asheville, NC)

Hey Pat what are the chances we see Carolina make their choice early?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Don't think it will come down where it's a total unknown up until Goodell announces it. I think they'll let it be known a little before. But I'm talking like maybe earlier on the day of the draft or a day or two before.

Max (Charlotte)

A friend of mine at the Observer says you are pretty goodat Golden Tee Golf, true?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Well, I was. But I retired from that about four years ago when people started rigging the tournaments. I've made a little comeback lately, but am not the same player I once was. In my last tournament, I shot minus-11 and finished third.

Mark Dominic (Tampa)

Who do I call first on the day the lockout ends, Talib's agent or Asomugha's?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Spell your last name right and I might answer this.

Paul (Knoxville)

With Brees so involved with the CBA negotiations...do you think he's still preparing to play football the same way?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Brees is one of the most competitive people on the planet. I'm sure he's doing some working out and working on football stuff.

redzonejones (New York)

I think its pretty likely by the start of the season the bucs wont have Tanard or Talib on the roster and considering how good they were do you think solidifies the bucs picking a D end to help a now poor secondary?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

I agree that both will be gone. But I wouldn't say that makes the secondary instantly "poor". Still some good players at CB and some hope at safety. But I think there will be some movement at DB in draft or free agency. I'm not saying they go that way in the first round. But I think you'll see a DB or two added along the way.

Bryant (Virginia)

After this new situation with Talib, do you believe the Bucs will be more inclined to keep Tanard Jackson?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

There's no guarantee Jackson will even be reinstated, so how can Bucs even count on that?

J.P. (Kenner, La.)

Hi Pat. As a life-long dedicated NFL fan, it has been very difficult to pick which side to support, owners or players. My first thought was to back the players because, as they've said numerous times, the fight was brought to them. But the owners didn't really have a good negotiation in the last deal they struck with the players and were feeling the pinch. The players should NOT get their pay cut, but, at the same time, the owners are the ones that invest and take the risk. Who should we back, Pat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Just my thought, I wouldn't be backing either side.

Pat (New Orleans)

J. Casillas looked really good last year before he got hurt...granted he only saw action in the preseason. Do you think he will contribute next season? At what level...role player, solid starter, possible star?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

In the mix to start. Payton sang his praises at owners meeting. But let's see what they add in the draft.

Steve (Winston-Salem)

In your opinion, are the Panthers taking Cam with the 1st pick?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

They haven't made a firm decision, but Cam is definitely a possibility.

Adam (Raleigh NC)

Any word on how the draft will work next year if there is no NFL this year? Possible that could come into play for the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Nobody will really say for sure. I don't think we'll ever get to that point.

Steve (Winston-Salem)

Would you take him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Yep, I would. If you haven't seen it, take a look at column I wrote yesterday saying the Panthers NEED to take Cam Newton. Am I sold that he's a can't-miss guy? No. But the flip side is he could be the next great QB. Think the Panthers have to roll the dice and take him if they want to have a chance to compete in NFC South for next 5-7 years.

Jeff (Utah)

What is the likelihood Steve Smith gets dealt this off season(when and if the CBA gets worked out)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Think the chance is above 50 percent. They're not going to give him away. But I think a second or third-round pick might do the trick.

Richard (Ann Arbor)

Thoughts on Jaclyn Fujita's piece on the labor situation?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Haven't seen it. Will take a look after the chat.

Evan (Durham)

How much pull will Ron Rivera have with personnel? Cam Newton doesn't seem like a Hurney pick, but that may be because of Fox's conservative influence.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Hurney is running the show now more than ever. I also think Hurney has opened his eyes to some realities recently and realizes it's a QB-driven league and the old "ball-control offense and solid defense" doesn't do what it used to.

Keaton (Myrtle Beach, SC)

If free agency doesn't happen before the draft and the Falcons can't pick the change of pace back that they want, is there a chance we see Jerious Norwood back in red and black?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

I really don't see that.

kenny (tampa)

Considering Kellen Winslow doesn't practice during the week. What do you think about the bucs drafting another TE. Specifically Jordan Cameron, who has the basketball background similar to Graham, Gates, and Gonzalez?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Seems like it's almost always a good idea to draft TE with basketball background.

Will (New Orleans)

ok so I know he was bad last year, but Clausen was just a rookie, since when do we pass final judgment on NFL qb's after just one season? hell Jamarcus Russell even got more than one year

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Nobody's passed final judgement on Clausen. But they can't realistically go into this season saying, "Jimmy Clausen's our starter and everything is going to be fine". They've got to have another option. If it doesn't come in draft, they go out and trade for or sign someone like Palmer, McNabb or Kolb.

Jmoore (Atlanta)

Steve Smith to the falcons for a 2nd round pick, Matt Ryan would be really great!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Panthers aren't going to trade him in division.

Fergus (Loch Wylie)

If Hurney is running the show more than ever, what makes you think he would so quickly reverse himself on the value of Clausen? In fact if you read between the lines of a radio interview with Hurney and a pro scout last night, it seemed as if they were laying the groundwork for a return of JC by virtue of having signed Shockey (a good TE being a young QBs best friend).

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

I don't rely just on transcripts of radio interviews.

Pat Yasinskas (Tampa area)

With the lockout, has the NFL news been less intriguing for me to write articles this offseason?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

No, with Talib and draft stuff, there's been enough to keep it rolling. If we get to May and June and lockout still is on, that's when it could get challenging.

Mark Dominick (Tampa)

Who do I call first on the day the lockout ends, Talib's agent or Asomugha's?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Try it again, you're still a letter off.

Chance (Evanston, WY)

Pat, Does losing Talib hurt the bucs as bad as it looks or are they better off without him due to his poor decision making?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Better off without him.

Adam (Raleigh NC)

I got to agree with Will. Freeman wasn't very good his first year, but became a much better QB the second year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Freeman wasn't even allowed on field until the second half of his first season. That's because Bucs were so bad, they didn't want him to get destroyed. Panthers aren't in same situation. They've got good RBs and a good o-line.

Larry ((Tampa))

Pat, do you ever talk with Pete Prisco? Doesn't he live in or around the Tampa area and if I recall, didn't he work the Trib while you were there?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Pete is one of my best friends in the biz. Talk to him frequently. He actually lives in Jacksonville. No, he didn't work at the Trib. He worked at Jax Times Union, which is where I first got to know him.

CJ (Charlotte)

Hey Pat, Could you see the Panthers taking Blaine Gabbert with 1st pick?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Yes, that's also in the mix. They like Gabbert too.

Adam (Atlanta)

Pat, I have trouble pronouncing your last name. Could you spell it out phonetically?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

It is spelled phonetically. Look at it and sound it out.

redzonejones (NY)

Do you think Stroughter's role is gonna change? They expected much from him this past season and he didn't deliver. Briscoe against the Saints makes me believe the Bucs will run the passing offense similar to the

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I think Briscoe may move ahead of Stroughter. Bucs are very high on Briscoe.

Chad (Las Vegas)

It's Yas-ins-kas? I thought it was Yaz-ink-as.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Ya-sin-skas.

Brittin (Omaha, NE)

How much influence do you think Ron Rivera's history as a D guy have in the first picks in the draft? I know a lot of talk is going about Gabbert and Newton...but I cannot seem to think that Ron Rivera is going to put his 1st pick on a QB.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

It ain't Ron Rivera's pick. It's Marty Hurney's pick. And don't you think maybe somewhere in the interview process Rivera might have scored some points by looking at reality and saying, "Guys, we probably need to get a QB for this team"???

Tym (Denver, CO)

PY, Happy Fools Day! What do you think the market is for Ruud and how exactly are the Bucs going to replace him? AND WHYYYYYY didn't the re-sign him about 9-16 months ago? This guy is a stud!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Shouldn't you be studying, Mr. Law Student!!! Hey, they had plenty of chances to sign him. I don't think they ever have thought he's a true big-money player in their system.

James (New Orleans)

Pat, I've got a sneaking suspiscion the Saints are going to draft an OT in with one of their first 4 picks. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Wouldn't surprise me. Think they have hope for Charles Brown. But, if there's a guy they like, I wouldn't be surprised if they grab another OT.

Will (New Orleans)

are teams allowed to trade draft picks during the lockout, or are ALL trades banned?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Can trade draft picks. Only draft picks.

Will (New Orleans)

also, Pat, as a law student myself, I have to say, these chats have definitely precluded some serious study time

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Hey, I was a law student once myself, so I can understand why you need diversions!!!

Pete (Birmingham England)

Does the Bucs focus in the 1st round of the draft shift from DE to DB? Who are they likely to target?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

No, I think DE still is, by far, biggest need. As I said earlier, their secondary isn't terrible even without Talib and Jackson. They may make a move for a DB in the draft, but I don't think it suddenly becomes their first-round choice.

Tom (Asheville)

Not saying I'm a real Clausen fan but do you ever get any feedback from your sources that the stone age offense and lousy coaching he got factored into last year? Thats at least a consideration among my beer drinking buddies.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Oh yes, there were a couple of very important people who were more than a little mad at Fox for going through much of training camp with Hunter Cantwell at No. 2 QB and Clausen splitting No. 3 reps with Tony Pike. Same people thought former QB coach Rip Scherer (not sure I'm spelling that right) did a horrible job. And we all know Jeff Davidson and the whole offensive scheme wasn't very good.

redzonejones (NY)

I've seen some of you pieces on the secondary for the bucs. But besides Myron Lewis and Cody Grimm I don't see much hope. E.J. Biggers got ownede by Calvin Johnson and Elbert Mack doesn't get much playing time.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

There's a guy named Ronde Barber. I think Biggers and Lewis have lots of upside. And I'm not saying Sean Jones is great, but he's at least adequate.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Why do Bucs fans hate the Glazers so much? Shouldn't they look at Tom Benson with the Saints and see how much a disliked owner can turn things around? I personally don't think the Glazers have been that bad either.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

You're preaching to the choir on that one. I covered Bucs through a chunk of the Culverhouse years and lived here through most of that era. Glazers are a million times better than Culverhouse.

Nick Goings (NC)

Thanks for the shoutout in your article yesterday:)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Nick, if that's really you, hello. You were always a pleasure to cover. Hope you're doing well.

Lil Man (New York, NY)

Pat, do you know if there will still be a rookie symposium if the lockout is still in place? Do you think teams will take an extra hard look at character if they know they can't keep an eye on their latest investment?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Goddell was asked about symposium during league meeting and said, yes, it still would be held in a league meeting. As far as second part of your question, I'd guess and say that might be something of a factor.

Will (New Orleans)

Calvin Johnson owns everyone, not really a fair comparison

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Good point. And also, I think E.J. Biggers and everybody else in that secondary gets a little better if they actually have a pass rush.

Corry (CT )

There was a lot of talk about Tiki Barber coming to tampa. Do you see that happening ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

No, but until he signs somewhere else, it will at least get tossed about due to the Ronde connection.

Brody (Alabama)

Have there been more college players decline to enter drat now because of the lockout

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Well, techinically, they had to make their decision in mid-January, long before the lockout. Did some of them look ahead and think a lockout was coming? Maybe. But I don't know that would really stop somebody who feels they're ready to play in the NFL. There still will be a draft and I still think this thing gets resolved before the regular season.

Duke (Austin)

There has been alot of talk about the Saints going after Defense in the draft.....However every year they suprise us and go a different direction than thought (ex: last year drafting a CB when we needed help at LB). What do you think about them going after a WR late in the draft?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Nothing would surprise me with Payton and Loomis. Like you said, they don't always do what everyone expects. And that's worked out pretty well for them.

Phillip (Atlanta, GA)

Will Falcons trade up for an impact Defensive End?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Think that's a definite possibility. Dimitroff isn't afraid to be agressive and I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to leap frog Bucs and/or Saints.

Justin Houston (Atlanta, GA)

Am I going to be in the NFC South this fall? if so, which city? Tampa? New Orleans? Atlanta?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Think you're a strong possibility in all three. Tampa's got first shot at you at the moment, so I'm thinking we might be neighbors soon.

Travis (Two Rivers, WI (unfortunately))

Biggers was basically a rookie last year after missing his first full season with injury. He and Lewis have more of that length that Rahim started to like with Talib. Both will have a year under their belt, and if Ronde is the main guy theyre looking too without Talib there, that's all the better for their long term development. Throw in Nnamdi, and that will be a class act character secondary.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

No argument here. Nnamdi might be a pie-in-the-sky dream, but I also think it's at least a possibility.

Ken (NY)

another worst to first season for the nfc south next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

I have a tough time seeing that one right now. But, hey, the precedent is definitely there. Couple more questions before we wrap this up.

mike (mass)

what happened to arron sears?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

He's out of league and probably not coming back. You can Google him and catch up on that sad saga.

Chad (Las Vegas)

I will shave my head and get a Panthers Tattoo if they finish 1st, and I am a Saints fan.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

Chad's probably save. But let's get this on the record, just in case!!!

Phillip (Atlanta, GA)

Even some Auburn Fans don't believe in Cam Newton in the NFL? Why are you so sure the Panthers take him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

I am not SURE the Panthers will take him. I wrote that I think the Panthers SHOULD take him. I also wrote that they are strongly considering taking him, as well as considering other options.

BJ (Charlotte, NC)

Good afternoon Pat. We miss your daily stories and blogs in the Observer, although the current writers are doing a good job with daily Panther news and rumors. Quick questions, how much of a difference with the new QB coach Shula and OC Chudzinski have on a potential rookie QB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:05 PM)

Chudzinski's got a good rep and will bring a completely different look to the offense. Contrary to opinions held by a lot of people, I think very highly of Mike Shula and think, as a QB coach, he can be very effective. I miss Charlotte and am looking forward to coming up there for the draft.

Phillip (Atlanta, GA)

Charles Johnson........what is your guess? stays in Charlotte or makes it to UFA and moves to Atlanta?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:05 PM)

Stays in Charlotte. Panthers aren't letting him get away.

Tim (Athens)

Master's week is coming up. Any plans to watch?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:07 PM)

Probably only the final few holes. I've got a short attention span. Right now, just looking forward to tomorrow and college basketball. All right, we're way past our deadline. Thanks to all for stopping by. See you next week.