Hey Pat, what do you think are the falcons chances of bringing in Chad Ochocinco? Because ive been hearing alot of rumors that Bob Bratkowski wants to bring him in.
Bob Bratkowski's the QB coach. Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff make decisions. I know Bratkowski and Ochocinco have history, but Falcons don't have a need. They've got Roddy White, Julio Jones, Michael Jenkins, Harry Douglas, Eric Weems and Kerry Meier. They kind of let Roddy push the envelope a bit with the "diva receiver" personality, but Roddy doesn't have it as bad as most. You bring in Ochocinco and you could lead Roddy down a bad road and ruin what has been very good team chemistry. I don't see this one happening.
I saw a thing on TV yesterday about Bowers where he proclaimed himself totally healed up from his surgery, fit, and ready to go. Of course, he's a football player, so I wouldn't expect him to say anything else. What have you heard about his knee? Will he be able to participate in training camp (provided there is one)?
Bowers and agent have said all along he'll be ready for training camp. I think the bigger question most teams have is about the long-term health of his knee. There has been speculation he may be able to play only a few years. I'm not a doctor and haven't seen the medical reports. But all the teams did their research and let him slide through first round. Bucs got him at a spot where risk wasn't as great. If his knee holds up, the reward could be great.
Hey Pat. Little humble pie first, I was hoping the Panthers would take Dareus with the top pick, and you were all over them taking Cam Newton. What are the chances of us getting a 2nd rounder from San Diego for Steve Smith, and signing Tommie Harris to help the d-line when free agency begins?
No need to apologize. I was just trying to let you know what was coming with Cam because a lot of people, early on, thought there was no way they'd take him. Second-rounder for Steve Smith from anyone might be a little high. Maybe a third-round pick. Tommie Harris? Not sure he's got a lot left in his knees, but he does have ties to Rivera.
FYI.The mobile link to the NFC south is no longer on the site. The site only shows the entire NFL blog index. Big fan of the blog followed you from back in your Panthers days. Any word on Otah, I think he was a BIG reason the Panthers played so poorly on offense last year. Thanks!
Please send a note to my mailbag and I'll send it to our tech people and try to get it fixed.
So I know you said Nnamdi would be a "perfect fit" in Tampa but considering the youth movement do you think we will actually make this move? Do you think there is a big chance of us signing him?
I think there's at least a chance. Raheem has indicated they'll be at least a bit more active in free agency this year. They obviously will have plenty of cap room and may even have to do something dramatic just to make sure they spend to the cap floor.
Does Clausen really have a shot at being the starter week 1 over Newton?
No, only way that happens is if lockout really lingers and training camp is only like a week or two. In that situation, Newton wouldn't have time to really get ready.
Who has a better shot at starting in the slot for the Panthers? Armanti or Pilares?
Neither, they're going to be competing for the slot job.
Hey Pat, did you bloggers come up with a "game plan", at that bloggers retreat last week, for what to do if there is (GOD FORBID) no football season this year? Or will you guys just wing it if it happens.
We've got plans in place to carry us through the summer if the lockout is still in place. I think we all think something will get done at some point and there will be a season this year. At least I sure hope there is.
Pat,Did you buy a raffle ticket to work out with the Saints? :)
My knees aren't quite ready for that. I'm getting close and have even been playing softball and a little bit of basketball. But I don't think I'm quite ready to go out and run with Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter. Maybe by training camp!
A lot of people picking the NFC East and a landing spot for Asomugha. Correct me if I'm but if the league sets a cap this year the Bucs have a boat load of money to spend just to get to the salary cap floor? I think Asomugha landing in Tampa is a real possibility!
Agree. Go back and read Hot Button item I wrote on that topic early this week. I said what you said, plus also mentioned he might want to go to a team on the rise. Also doesn't hurt that Florida has no state income tax and Raheem is a bit of a charmer.
Pat, Got my Bucs club seats this year and went on a tour of One Buc. Saw the media room...pretty sweet digs you guys have there. Also saw Talib's Gun Loc...I mean locker. What's up wit that situation?
Careful. The grand jury hearing on Talib was delayed. Think it now is scheduled for next week. Yes, Bucs media room is definitely the jewel of NFC South media rooms. Other three are all fine, but One Buc media room is at least a notch above.
Do you think Brandon Hogan can mature and become a shutdown corner for Carolina?
Understandably, people are questioning his background. But people might not know his whole story yet. Panthers did their homework on him and they obviously think he's a kid who can straighten things out. I'll try to shed more light on this one in the coming weeks.
How far do you think player-organized activities will go? I know the Saints are working out together, but with no clear end to the labor battle, would players ever scrimmage together?
Don't think scrimmages would be a real good idea. Somebody would get hurt and it would be disastrous. Think they need to keep them very similar to what they normally do at team facilities in offseason.
Pat, What's the Best/Worst case scenario for what the Panthers could yield if they traded #89? What's the market like for him?
I'm thinking a third- or fourth-round pick is pretty realistic. Second-round choice is probably best-case scenario.
I know we haven't even had FA or training camps, but doesn't the NFC South shape up to be one of the hardest divisions if not the hardest division to win?
NFC South is toughest -- and best -- divison in the NFL.
who will be starting at running back for the panthers this season?
DeAngelo Williams. I don't see him leaving.
Hey Pat, that one thing EVERYBODY has to give da Saints--I think they have been one of the most charitible teams around.
Yes, they've done a lot for the city and the region and for things like Heath Evans' foundation. But let's not sell the other three teams short in this area. Falcons, Bucs and Panthers each do a lot of charity stuff.
Hey do you think when the lockout is lifted the saints would make a run at undrafted free agent Herzlich?
Can't speak for Saints, but I'd take a shot on that guy. I think he can play.
Pat, even if the lockout lingers..Cam is working hard with Weinke and Dorsey and learning the playbook already.. Do you really think the lockout will affect his chances to start that much?
You really think Weinke and Dorsey know the current Carolina playbook that well? I'm sure they can help him with some basics, but I think he needs at least a pretty-close-to-full training camp to be ready to start the opener.
I saw months ago that tenard jackson still has a year left under contract since he was suspended last year. Do you think there is a chance that they keep him around just to finish his contract since he is still the best safety on the team.
You're getting way ahead of the game. He's got to be reinstated first for them to even make that decision. He's not even eligible to apply for reinstatement until late September and there are no guarantees he will be reinstated.
Do you see the Buccaneers making a habit of bringing guys with a chip on their shoulder? They got great production out of Williams and Blount. This year they used their first two picks on DEs that were at one time projected considerably higher than they were taken. Even Freeman was considered too raw coming out of college and may have been taken higher. I'd also guess K2 doesn't like hearing about his injury problems either. I know I missed some guys who aren't quite as big of names, but do you see this becoming a trend for Bucs management?
Definitely some truth in that. But I don't think Bucs are unique in that regard. Most or all teams like guys who have chips on their shoulder and are motivated.
Hey Pat, do you think we will see Kasay handling kickoffs this season?
Better chance Jason Baker handles them, I think.
I know it would be uncharacteristic of both teams, but how cool would it be to see either the Falcons or Saints in Hard Knocks? I think there would be tons of people who would be interested in seeing how some of the more quiet but successful teams conduct their practices. I also don't necessarily think that this would put a "bulls eye" on either teams like it did for the Jets. Both teams are respected by the league and I don't see either doing anything to stir things up. Even Carolina would be interesting to see how they develop Newton, though I know that would be kind of stupid for them to publicize. Your thoughts?
I'd be all for more national exposure for NFC South. But, once the Bucs passed, I think it's safe to say we won't see an NFC South team on "Hard Knocks" this year.
Who's got the final say on who gets drafted - Morris or Dominik?
You dont think Chud is talking to Weinke and Dorsey?? No guidlines in there short meeting with Cam like 'these are the plays we want you to focus on early'?? I'd be surprised if not..
Cam saw some of the playbook when Shula and Chudzinski worked him out, but only a small portion. He didn't spend much time with coaches on the one day he was in BOA Stadium. He spent a lot of time meeting with media, being introduced to team employees and had two different (and lengthy) meetings with Mr. Richardson. I'm not sure if Chudzinski is allowed to even talk to Weinke and Dorsey. I'm sure they can help Cam prepare in some ways, but it's not the same as if he were getting coaching from Carolina's actual staff.
Please tell me the Bucs are not going to try anymore Wildcat this season with Josh Johnson. I'm pretty sure they never got anything positive out of it this past season.
I can't speak for Raheem and his staff, but I'm with you all the way. When you've got a real QB, you don't need gimmicks. Bucs have a very real QB in Josh Freeman.
Hey Pat, do you watch Treme on HBO? I KNOW that you know how passionate us WHODATS are--but I thought it was a riot watching a new yawker walking into a NYC bar in his Giants jersey--and getting WHODATTED. ;)
Didn't see that episode. Only caught the show a couple times last season when I'd get back to hotel after games.
if this lockout lasts near/into the season, will there be any free agency at all?
Nobody has really said for sure, but I think they'd have to put in at least some short window for free agency if it comes down to that.
Pat, I know you say that the Panthers have "done their homework" on guys like hogan, but what about the last three drafts have led you to think this is still the case? Look at the Clausen, Pike, and Edwards picks last year. Not to mention drafting Brown the year before. I think it used to be the case, but I'm not so sure anymore.
You can't judge Clausen, Pike and Edwards on last year. They never had a chance. Fox didn't want them or the youth movement and he was making his last stand by refusing to play them or playing them when he had no other choice.
Can you please post the phone interview that you did with Josh Freeman?!?!? I missed the segment on NFL LIVE
Josh and I did seperate phone interviews. I've requested the tape of his interview, but haven't received it yet. If I get it, I will post it.
what will be the game you are most anxious to see in the nfc south this year mine is the colts vs saints these are 2 teams that havent missed a beat due to the lockout
That will be a good one. Anytime Saints and Falcons get together is usually pretty good too. And Saints opening at Lambeau should be a good one.
Hey Pat. Adding to the last question about free agency, do you think the league will open up free agency anytime soon even if the lockout is still in effect?
That one's way out of my hands. There's been speculation about it, but don't know if the league would actually do it.
Love your work, Pat. Is there any chance the Bucs allow the legal situation to play out for Talib, suspend him/have him suspended, and keep him to pair him up with Asomugha? They is just so talented, I wish there was a way we can keep him in Tampa and have him clean up his act.
No doubt Talib is talented. But, as I said before, I think he might be out of second chances in Tampa Bay.
Pat, if you were running a franchise, would you want to appear on Hard Knocks?
Depends, if I were the owner, the ticket people or the marketing people, I'd be all for it. If I was the coach, no way.
One of the biggest questions no one seems to be talking about is DE opposite Charles Johnson in 2011. Who do you think wins the job? E. Brown, G. Hardy, a FA. I don't think Brayton deserves the job after last season. I'm hoping greg hardy can bulk up to better play the run and wins the job. These two could be a great pair.
I know front office has high hopes for Hardy.
Do you think the Panthers will go after Jonathan Joseph? I see us having a chance since he is from Rock Hill.
Richardson likes to bring local guys home, so I could see that one.
You didn't answer Michael from FL's question > "Any word on Otah, I think he was a BIG reason the Panthers played so poorly on offense last year." I'm interested in the answer too. Thanks!
No, Panthers have been silent on injuries. Think that carries over from the Fox regime!
If you were starting a franchise which quarterback in the NFC South would you want to be your franchise quarterback and why?
Get that question a lot and it depends on the parameters. If you're talking about winning immediately and for the next few years, then it HAS to be Brees. If you're talking over the next 10-12 years, then Freeman and Ryan becomes a big debate.
Do you think the lockout will be resolved before training camp so Newton and Clausen will have a chance to compete for the starting job?
If it's resolved before camp, they won't be competing. Newton's got the big edge. They didn't draft him No. 1 to "compete". They drafted him to get him on the field.
Pat, do you think the Falcon's can (will?) do better than Ray Edwards as a FA DE signing? Not sure what all the hype is on Edwards today.
Not sure there's much better out there. Maybe Babin. Maybe Charles Johnson, but Johnson probably will be RFA and it will be very hard to pry him away from Carolina.
Everyone seems to think Drew Brees and the Saints are "working out for the public" as more of a ploy to get fans on the players side. Why wont people just give em there props for doing what they love doing. Everything I'm seeing seems to lead to the whole NFC South getting ready for the season. Seems to me the whole division wants to play ball.
In various ways, players around the league all are working out. They have to be in shape, especially if training camp is shorter than usual. These guys are pro athletes and know they have to take care of themselves to help prevent injuries.
You think Cam is ready to start (and win) against the hardest schedule in the NFL? Don't think he needs some time to develop 1st? It did wonders for Rodgers in GB!
Yeah, but this isn't Green Bay. Jimmy Clausen is not Brett Favre.
Which team in the NFC South do you see making the biggest splash in Free Agency?
Falcons. They've already shown strong signs they want to do whatever it takes to win big now.
@ Bryant in Virginia , why would you consider having your back-up QB (Josh Johnson) a wildcat formation? and FYI when he was in the game he made the most of it, he had a 87% completion rate.
You don't take the ball out of Josh Freeman's hands.
will saints make a dip into the free agency when it opens? and who would they go after
They usually do some work in free agency, so I'd expect some again this year. May not be anything major, but could see them adding a LB and depth at a few other spots.
The Falcons were offered a hard knocks spot two years ago and dimitroff said recently theat he'd be open to it. With the aggressive moves the falcons have made, they seem to be an ideal fit.
Don't think it's happening this year. Talked to someone with Falcons yesterday who said there have been no discussions about it.
You said "If you are talking about over the next 10-12 years, then Freeman and Ryan become a big debate'. Notice you didn't mention Cam Newton...Does that mean he wouldn't be in the running for your franchise's starting QB role?!
Let's at least let him play a few games before we put Cam into the mix.
Hey Pat! Huge Panthers fan here. It seems to me that this bickering between players & owners is very surreal. In a time where the economy is on a roller coaster, there's no money for state governments, and our education systems are laying off teachers (that we desperately need) by the thousands these people are fighting over a ridiculous amount of money. I understand that there are intricacies involved, but as a fan I find it so disheartening that they are squabbling over amounts of money 90% or more of their fans will never see in their lifetimes. I know there are more factors than money involved here, but realistically everything boils down to money in some shape or form. It just seems that neither side is satisfied with the gobs of cash we fans throw at them. I know it will make things very difficult across the board, but I am kind of rooting for the lockout to go into the season. I think it might actually teach both sides where their cash-flow actually comes from (answer: the fans). We struggle to pay for the opportunity to get to see our favorite teams, and in my case I payed a lot of money to see my team get trounced several times. Maybe a lockout is what both sides need to feel the sting of struggling to scrape by and realize that ultimately this argument is way off course. What are your thoughts on the impact of a lockout staying in place into the season?
I just don't see it lasting into the regular season. I think both sides are posturing right now. I think there will be a greater sense of urgency around July and something will get done.
Outside of J. Jones, who is the next best pick by ATL in this year's draft?
I think Jacquizz Rogers has a chance to have a real impact.
Hey Pat, I disagree with your answer about the Falcons being the most aggressive team in FA. It's gonna be the Saints and here's why: they have the most free agents out of any team in the league. They will be forced to sign more free agents.
But I think a lot of it will be re-signing their own guys.
Once the season starts, will the Panthers have DeAngelo Williams, Jonathon Stewart and Mike Goodson, or is one of those guys' days numbered as trade bait?
Keep them all. DeAngelo and Stewart have had durability issues in the past.
Hey Pat, is it ture that during those ESPN blogger meets--Claytpn hogs da covers?
Clayton didn't attend. It was just the division guys.
RE: Bucs and the Wildcat. I think it was probably put in to compensate for the inexperience at the skill positions. Now that they know what they have, they can install wrinkles to catch defenses off guard without having to take the ball out of Freeman's hands
Any word on Arrelious Benn? I really thought he was coming on strong opposite Mike Williams last year.
Yep, go back and read post on Rudy Carpenter from a couple days ago. Carpenter's been working out with Benn in California and says he's running well. Said they've also been working on helping Benn get a better grasp of the offense.
Do you think the Panther's administration goes down in flames if Cam Newton is in fact a bust?
If you make a move like that and it doesn't work out, that's the kind of thing that tends to cost people jobs.
Pat, I absolutely think Charles Johnson is a option than Edwards. Look at the numbers. Something like 9 sacks with the Williams wall, while Johnson had nearly 12 with no help.
Yeah, but I think Johnson and Panthers have talked long-term deal prior to the lockout and could get something done quickly as soon as lockout ends.
Pat do you think the Panthers will NOT be aggressive in FA? They already broke with tradition and signed Shockey, since they have a fair amount of money under the cap, why not keep going?
Two words: Youth movement. They're sticking with it. I mean, you could see a couple mid-level free agents, but I wouldn't look for anything dramatic.
Pat,EVeryone says that players like Barber and Alstot won't make it into the Hall of Fame because they are either system players or didn't play the position like a "traditional" HB or CB. Isn' that kind of a cop-out. To me Alstot redefined the HB position and was beast to try and bring down with a ton of versiatility. Barber has done things that no other corner has done. How can the media (include you) slight them simply because they excelled the system they were placed in?
I've stated my opinion on both many times and there's no need to do it again because it hasn't changed. But you're more than welcome to disagree with me.
The fact that the Falcons have never won a playoff game under Coach Smith/QB Matt Ryan puts the pressure squarely on the Falcons this year. Agree?
Absolutely. That's why they traded up to get Julio and why they'll almost certainly do something big to get a pass-rusher in free agency.
Shockey was a calculated gamble--they AND da falcons luv signing Saints players. I still REFUSE to see da Field Mouse as a carolina leader. ;)
Think Shockey will be a role player, nothing more.
Any word on if Panthers players are participating in unofficial team workouts currently (like Saints, Falcons, and Bucs)?
Have not heard of anything to the extent of what Falcons and Saints have been doing. But I know some Panthers are working out by themselves and smaller groups.
Pat, I graduated from Binghamton. Been around there much being from Scranton? Goooo bearcats!
Yep, know Bingo pretty well. Actually grew up between Scranton and there. Went to a Binghamton Mets game a few years ago when I was up that way.
Pat do you see Kerry Collins returning for a last hurrah in CAR if Newton isnt ready to start?
Not happening. Kerry has mended fences with important Panther people. But still doesn't make sense to bring back unpleasant memories.
Mike Peterson's leading some workouts for the falcons, but hes not under contract. Do you think he'll be resigned?
Yep, I'm pretty sure he'll be re-signed.
Tedy Bruschi says Derrick Brooks isn't a first ballot hall of famer. What say you?
I say, with all due respect, I disagree strongly with Bruschi.
Gross and Wharton are organizing a Panthers workout.
Good. Greetings to Lake Wylie. Used to take my kayak out there when I lived in CLT.
Pat have you gotten any inside info on Otah's situation? I am concerned he wont be playing again.....
No, they've been very quiet on that one.
Not sure if Brooks makes it 1st time--thought Roaf would have this year--but brushi is ytoo full of himself after winning through NE cheating.. ya know?
Brooks is an unquestioned first-ballot guy in my eyes. I've also talked to multiple HOF voters who agree.
Brett Favre coming back to join the falcons as a backup?
All right, that shows it's time to call it a chat. Not happening. I think Favre really is retired this time. If he does come back, it won't be with the Falcons. Thanks to all for stopping by.