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April 15, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Robert (Arlington/TX)

Hey Pat!! Please tell me the Bucs are not seeriously thinking of drafting a RB in the 1st round? That is not their biggest need!! They did not have to work out Ingram?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

They get to work out 30 guys, so, as I always say, don't read too much into who each team brings in for visits. Some of them are smoke screens. Some of them are just to fill a spot on a list of 30. I do think Bucs need RB somewhere in this draft, but not in the first round because they have to take care of greater needs. All right, chat is up and running early. Fire away.

Hans (Charleston )

Hey Pat. Given the preseason schedule includes 4 games, do you think the league has given up on the proposed 18 game season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

I think, at least for a few more years, the 18-game schedule is off the table.

Mike (ATL)

Hey Pat, what percentage chance would you give a new CBA being in place before April 28th? The draft just won't be as much fun without player trades.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Almost none. My guess is more like June or July.

Ryan (Columbia/SC)

I understand that Newton is a rare athlete but I just don't see him becoming a great pro. To me he would be similar Vince Young at best. What are the chances the panthers pass on him and take someone who can make an immediate impact like Dareus or Peterson and commit to Jimmy Clausen for this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

As I've been writing for weeks, I think climate in the Panthers' building has changed and they're not the same old conservative franchise. They realize they have to get a QB. And, seriously, how could they say "Clausen is our guy" heading into the season? He might turn out all right in time. But, to this point, we've seen no strong evidence that will happen.

Chris (Minnesota)

Have you heard anything about who the Bucs will be putting in the Ring of Honor this year?

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

When do you think that we will see the NFL Lockout end?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

June or July. And I accidentally hit the submit button before answering question from Chris from Minn. about Bucs Ring of Honor. That's a tough one. Logic and following history would say Doug Williams. But I don't think he and the franchise are in best of graces right now. So question becomes, how far do you skip ahead? Paul Gruber or Hardy Nickerson? Or do you jump straight to Derrick Brooks?

Jack (Portland Oregon)

Hello- Do the pro scouts and general managers use the info from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay along with their own info on players in the draft?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Every NFL team has a full scouting department with budgets of over $1 million. I'm sure they pay attention to what media says, but I would hope they'd have enough confidence in their own people to make decisions based on that.

Matt (PA)

Ron Meeks is a very highly respected DC, why did he take a demotion to stay with the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Mainly because I don't think he had any offers to go elsewhere and be a DC this year.

Nisarg (Tarboro, NC)

Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams has stated that he wants to remain with the Panthers. He's spoken of staying loyal to the team that drafted him and helped him turn into a two-time 1,000-yard rusher. But he doesn't want to stick around if the Panthers don't get better at quarterback. Do you think thats going to factor in to who they draft first?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

I think they're focused on improving QB situation no matter what and they don't need to hear it from their players. They already know what they need to do. It's pretty obvious.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

What's up Pat? Could you see the falcons pulling the trigger on a trade to move up in the draft if Daquan Bowers gets past the Lions and into the teens somewhere? Or have the red flags with his knee just turned off most teams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I don't have access to medical reports like teams do. But, if Falcons doctors are comfortable with Bowers' status, yes, I could see them jumping up to get him.

Matt Riddle (Statesboro, Ga)

The way things are going, do you feel confident the lockout will be resolved before the season starts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Yes, I do. I just don't think there's a sense of urgency on either side right now. When the thoughts of lost pay checks and lost ticket money really start to creep in, that's when I think the urgency will kick in and something will get done.

JL (The Boot)

Hey Pat, do uthink the Saints will open against green bay?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

That's my guess. Makes a lot of sense to open with last two Super Bowl champs in Lambeau on a Thursday night.

Jim (Louisiana)

Hey pat with the addition of Shaun Rogers on the D. Line dont rule out Payton and Loomis taking any body they consider teh best available player.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Agreed. They have a history of not going for immediate need all the time. Besides, we don't know how Rogers will work out. He could only be there one year. Wouldn't be surprised if they go DT. Wouldn't be surprised with anything Saints do, unless they draft a QB, kicker or punter in first round.

Jaryd (Ashland, Va)

After the buccaneers address their needs on the defensive side of the ball. What running backs do you think they will target in the later rounds to complement Blount? Maybe a Noel Devine or the guy out of Kentucky?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Yeah, those guys make sense. Or here's one from my wheel house, how about Penn State's Evan Royster? He's a solid all-around back who should be available in middle rounds.

Haile Whitworth (Durham NC)

I heard that the league is trying to approve being able to trade rights to players on the roster for this years draft? Is there any truth to that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

I've heard some rumblings on that, but nothing defnitive.

Brad (Fayetteville)

Why all the talk about Steve Smith leaving the Panthers. It seemed like all along I've heard that he was staying.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Think that one is still very much up in the air.

Kris (NC)

Can you please not answer any questions about Tanard Jackson, or the impact of Jimmy Graham as a starter next year? By my count, you have answered those questions in the past 8 chats.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Here's an idea, instead of counting what I've answered in past chats, send a fresh question. Believe me, I get tired of same old questions, but can only work with what's in front of me.

Rodney (Springfield, MO)

If Panthers stayed at #1 for the draft, which non-QB prospect could you see them drafting?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

I think they're going QB. If they somehow don't, I'd guess Dareous.

Paul (Knoxville)

Any chance Colts @ Saints gets primetime love?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Entirely possible. Two good teams and Peyton Manning in his hometown. League loves a good story line.

Broc (Boulder, CO)

Greater likelihood...Falcons trading up in the draft or trading down??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I'm going to break from tradition and say up. Dimitroff can be aggressive when necessary. This might be the year to get aggressive and get ahead of other teams needing DE.

Matt (Lynchburg, VA)

Pat this is my guess...Panthers Draft QB: Steve Stays Anything Else: Peace Out! Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

My guess would be the opposite. But we'll have to wait until lockout ends to truly find out.

Brandon Barry (Delaware, OH)

Heard anything more about Josh Johnson going to the 49ers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

No, rumors are out there among fans and there's logic in it because of the Harbaugh connection. But the fact is teams can't talk trades in a lockout.

JL (The Boot)

What was the perception the owners felt from the meetings in New orleans, did they have good hospitality?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

It was much quicker than the usual spring meeting. They cut it down to just Monday and Tuesday and I don't think owners had a lot of time to do much sight seeing. The hotel where the meeting was held, The Roosevelt, was very nice and I know there was a party at the World War II Museum on Monday night. I didn't have time to get there, but the reviews I heard were very good.

Mike (Mass.)

Hey Pat. i keep hearing how Da'Quan Bowers keeps dropping down in the draft. Why dont the Bucs take a chance? I mean he was at one point considered top 5

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Depends on his knee. But this is sort of like when Warren Sapp came out. Sapp was initially considered No. 1 overall pick and, then, he fell. Bowers was considered No. 1 by a lot of people early on and it looks like he's falling.

Al (DC)

Would Clausen get a chance to start over Cam?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Probably only if lockout doesn't get resolved until late and there's only a very brief period to get ready for season.

Tom (Nawlins)

Pat, a few months back you said Vilma was the best all around linebacker in the NFC South yet you voted for Beason in the power rankings and not Vilma. What gives?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

If I had to pick one LB from NFC South to be on my team, it would be Beason. Vilma is very good and would have been the next guy on my ballot. But, if you noticed, other voters included Beason and not Vilma.

Jon Hansen (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

If free agency ever happens, can you see the Bucs going after at least one big name free agent?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Yes, I do. If there is a cap, they're going to have to spend at least to the cap minimum. Plus, I think they feel the youth movement can be helped along with a free agent or two. They won't go crazy, but I expect a move or two.

Marcus (Boiling Springs, NC)

What has to happen for the Panther's to land AJ Green? It sounds like they are doing some serious work on him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Don't rule that one out, but I think it only happens if they trade out of No. 1.

Jay (NC)

You still think DWill stays in Carolina or is Miami looking like his landing spot?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Think he stays. Also, depending on new CBA, he could be restricted free agent, which would make it tough and costly for Miami to get him.

Brandon Barry (Delaware, OH)

The Buc's have a great TE in Kellen Winslow, but with his knees always seeming to need surgery what is the likelyness they draft a TE in a later round?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Wouldn't be a bad idea. But you really don't need to get a TE until late. There are always decent TEs available late.

Broc (Boulder, CO)

Typically the Falcons make a splash in free agency with one acquisition...considering that free agency happens, what do they go after? Linebacker?? DE?? OL??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

In the current landscape (lockout), I think that will depend largely on what they do in the draft and what need or needs remain after the draft.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

Pat, you are Dimitroff, here are your options: Trade up 10-12 spots to get Bowers, giving up a 2nd rounder next year, sit still and draft best available player, trade down to the top of the 2nd round and pick up an extra 3rd rounder this year. What do you do?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Dimitroff's got a big advantage on me. He's got access to Bower's medical records and a team of doctors to advise him. I really like Bowers, but if he really is falling this far, then he's falling for a reason and it might be best to stay away from him.

Brandon (Tallahassee)

If Justin Houstin is the best DE available for the Bucs at 20 can you see them addressing another position of need?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Quite honestly, I'd take Houston. I think he can bring some QB pressure.

Nick (Jacksonville)

Who would you rather have on your team Freeman or Ryan and why?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Freeman probably has more upside. But, right now, I'd probably still go with Ryan.

J.P. (Kenner, La.)

Coming from a Saints fan, I believe Beason is a little better than Vilma, but not by much.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

I would agree with that. Like I said, Beason would have been next on my ballot. Keep in mind, we had to include 3-4 LBs, who are sort of DEs, in that vote. Among 4-3 MLBs, Vilma is very close to Beason.

Reggie Bush (NOLA)

Will I be a Saint next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Yeah, you're coach pretty much guaranteed that at the NFL meeting. Sounded like you and your agent had plenty of talks with Saints about a contract extension before the lockout.

Coach Morris (Tampa)

I wouldn't trade Freeman for any QB in the league! He is young and has more upside than any other QB in the NFL!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

I get that and agree he's got a ton of upside. But reader asked (repeatedly and I'm talking like 35 times) for an answer. I really didn't have a strong feeling either way, but felt compelled to at least give him an answer.

Nathan (OC)

Is the book totally closed on Tiki and the Buc's? I haven't heard much about it lately and I don't like what I hear about Kareem Huggin's recovery coming along slowly, if at all so maybe it should at least be on the table. Ingram or Leshoure will not make it to the Bucs second round pick.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

I don't think there's ever been any real life to Tiki talk. It makes for a good angle for media and fans because of Ronde. But, seriously, does a 36-year-old RB who has been out of the game for three or four years really fit with what the Bucs are doing right now?

Nnamdi Asomugha (Oakland)

Besides the no income tax in florida, why else should I join the bucs if they offer me a fat contract when free agency resumes?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Weather, a head coach who used to coach DBs and a promising young team with a great young QB.

Gin (New Olreans)

Nathan, Tiki is done!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. Nicely played, Gin.

jeff (clearwater beach)

Pat, do you think the falcons WOULD have a winning record without turner, honestly in your heart of hearts do you think Ryan can carry his team like other stud Qbs????

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

If they let Ryan carry his team, he could. They need to let him loose a bit more and I think they have come to realize that.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

PY, I think when folks debate on Gabbart & Newton, I think Gabbart is more NFL ready than Newton now, but if both reach their potential, Newton will be the better QB. Fair assessment?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Very fair and I would agree.

Nick (Tampa)

I know its early but if someone made you pick the order of the division winners next year what would it be?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

How bout we wait to see what happens in draft and free agency?

Steve Mort (Rural Hall)

Hypothetically, if you had to decide between drafting Newton, and moving down and drafting Green which would you do? I think Green would solidify the WR position, and adding a vet QB (like Hasselbeck) makes the Panthers competitive right away.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

I don't think it's about being competitive right away. I think it's about getting a long-term QB. Besides, even if they play rookie QB right away, he's not going to be asked to carry team. Carolina has good RBs and good o-line and a decent defense.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Isn't it easier for Carolina to take Newton this year as compared to years past? I mean we all know the new CBA will have a rookie scale in it so they won't be exactly breaking the bank for Newton and it will now be easier to recover from these sort of mistakes; not saying Newton will be a mistake though.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Agree, new CBA probably will mean they don't have to tie up nearly the guaranteed money they would under the old system.

J.P. (Kenner, La.)

I read an article that indicated if the Saints didn?t draft for need, they are going to be "desperate at a few positions when the lockout ends". Do you agree Pat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Yeah, but not that many positions and Saints are bigger players in free agency than anyone else in NFC South.

Chad (Las Vegas)

If the league is operating like normal shouldn't we get the regular season schedule next week? Normally they would announce pre-season games and a week, or so, later, the regular season sched.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Think sked will come either middle of next week or the Tuesday before the draft. At least that's what I've been hearing.

vJ (Tampa)

how likely is it that the bucs will finally get a monday night game again?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Think it's very possible, but it will probably be a road game.

Steve Mort (Rural Hall)

So.... you choose Newton instead of moving down, gathering more picks, and selecting Green (just for the record)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Yep, but that's just me and I don't matter. Only person that really matters in that call is Marty Hurney.

Brandon Barry (Delaware, OH)

Do you see Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn having the same impact as they did last year or even better? or are we witnessing 'Michael Clayton' type season? (one good year)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I think Benn will emerge more this season. Williams is very good, but I think he's going to get hit with a lot of coverage until Benn and some others emerge.

Steve (Tampa)

How hard are the Bucs looking at Akeem Ayers with their first round pick? I think LB is a very understated need for them.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

They had him in for visit, which may or may not mean something. I think they really need a DE. But, if the right DE isn't available, Ayers could at least give them a play-maker in the front seven, which would be nice.

Nick (Tampa)

Any word on Bucs getting Hardknocks? I hope they do!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

No definite word. But let's just say I think they really are pushing to do it.

john (Charlotte )

Pat how come you not are going to do an interview on one of the panthers sports station in Charlotte either WFNZ or fox-sports 730am.After-all the panthers have the first overall pick

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Umm, I was on FNZ the other day with Frank Garcia and the great Stan Olson and I've been on pretty regularly with Bryce Johnson.

Haile Whitworth (Durham NC)

What football creditentials got Matt Hurney in a position to pick the teams players over the head coach? Doesnt the coach know how to scout the players better for his own system?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

The man's name is Marty Hurney.

Dwayne C. (Atlanta)

Seeing that Harry Douglas is coming off of his first full season after knee surgery, do you think he will have more of an impact this season or do the falcons just look for another speed-slot receiver in the draft?post your question or comment

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Falcons are optimistic about Harry D having bigger impact this year. At the same time, this is their chance to bring in other alternatives that might end up being better than him.

Broc (Boulder, CO)

Do the Falcons pass on Ingram if he falls to them?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Depends on DE situation and what's available. But I wouldn't be totally surprised if Ingram ends up there. Turner's had a lot of carries in recent years. Not saying he's washed up, but might be time to get a guy to pair with him in the short term and maybe replace him in the long term.

Jody (Portage Pa)

Pat do you feel Wisnuski of Penn State can play guard at yhe NFL level or is he purely a center. Where do you think he might land?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

He's a Penn State guy, so he'll be a stud wherever he plays!!! Seriously, he could probably play guard or center, but I think he'll play center and can probably step in and start right away.

Tim (Athens)

Most teams hold a press conference to introduce there first pick within a few days after the draft. Will the Panthers be able to hold a press conference to introduce the person they drafted like Cam Cameron if there is no CBA?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

My understanding is that Cam Newton or whoever the first pick is will be coming to Charlotte for a press conference the Friday after the first round. Heck, that guy could even get on a plane out of New York late Thursday night. Goodell already has said teams will be able to bring in top picks for press conferences.

John DiGiulio (Baton Rouge, LA)

Could the Saints potentially draft a player that they haven't had a visit with? I would really like Akeem Ayers, and I would imagine Greg Williams would find his versatility and athleticism appealing, but the Saints haven't visited with him (as far as I know).

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Yes, and I'm not saying they draft Ayers specifically. But it's not uncommon for teams to NOT bring in a guy they really want for a visit. That's one way of throwing other teams off their plans.

Wayne (Md)

I know you say the Panthers are changing and willing to risk a little more than usual, but isn't taking Cam Newton #1 overall a HUGE jump from where they were before? I mean, Fox wasn't the only conservative voice in the office was he?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

No, he wasn't the only one. But I think Hurney and Richardson have taken off the blinders and realized that sometimes you have to take a shot. All right, two-minute warning on the chat.

Broc (Boulder, CO)

Chances the Falcons draft pick loses his rookie year to injury?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Ouch! Well, there is precedent for that.

Haile Whitworth (Durham NC)

How big will Chud make the Panthers offense in his first season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Think he'll make a big difference for two reasons. 1: He's not Jeff Davidson. 2: He doesn't have John Fox looking over his shoulder.

Broc (Boulder, CO)

Once a player is drafted this year...does the team that drafted them immediately stop contact with them? Until the cba is worked out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

That's pretty much my understanding. Top picks can come in for a press conference, but that's about it.

vJ (Tampa)

why no love for mark ingram in tpa? i think he'd be a great addition to our back field and complement blount as a 1-2 punch. on the flip...what happens to the running game if blount goes down (god forbit) with one of his leaping hurdles? who will pound that rock?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

I don't disagree at all. In fact, I threw out that scenario in yesterday's column. But I also think adding a pass rusher is a much bigger need.

Broc (Boulder, CO)

Pat...thanks for answering all of our questions this week...have a great weekend!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

When Broc says it's time to go, I listen!!! Thanks to all for stopping by. We'll do it again next Friday.