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August 26, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

CC (Atlanta)

Ron Rivera needs to be careful about giving the job to Cam given how bad he has looked. The vets want to win and automatically giving the job to Cam from day 1 given how "not ready" he looks might cause some dissension. Secondly, the last thing you want to have happen is to bench Cam in week 2/3 if he performs poorly. Wouldn't Rivera much rather start out with Clausen and have Cam be the savior (hopefully) once Clausen fails?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

See your points. But how happy do you think Steve Smith would be if they hand Jimmy Clausen the starting job? After Clausen's performance last season, starting him now wouldn't exactly be sending a message that you want to win.

ONE (Austin Tx)

Sup Pat!? What do you predict my bucs record to be at the end of the season? I got us at 9-7 missing the playoffs yet again...I also have the Falcons going to the Superbowl. And is Jock Sanders gonna make the roster?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Our predictions will run next Thursday. Can't reveal them until then.

Kasy (Hattiesburg, Mississippi)

When will we hear the commish's judgment on Talib?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

I'm guessing probably early next week. If we don't hear anything in that time frame, then maybe nothing is going to happen. But I think the NFL will do something on this one.

CC (Atlanta)

I realize part of your job is to remain as optimistic as possible about each NFCS team but Pat... the Panthers are horrific. Defense, Cam, everything. Preseason performance isn't important for teams like ATL and NO but it is for Carolina. It's flat out ugly in Charlotte.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Have I said the Panthers are great???

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

Pat, Would you think about using your 2nd round pick & trading for a CB if you were the Panthers or do you rely upon waivers? I have always thought of Gamble as a #2 Cb but his play so far looks like he is a candidate to become a cap casualty.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Thought they should have addressed that one earlier in the offseason. Tough to give up next year's 2nd round pick when you've already given up a No. 3 for Greg Olsen. Might have to rely on waiver wire.

Big Dan (Land O' Lakes)

Hey Pat, do you see any Bucs games not being blacked outthis season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Yes, pretty sure they'll not sell out most games. The two in prime time should be exceptions. But I hear there's a car dealership near the stadium that's figured out a way to broadcast the games for their employees, if they show up for work. Inside joke here, folks.

Wilson (TN)

auto update not working for anybody else?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Anybody know what to tell Wilson? Thanks.

MJC (Georgia)

There was some tweeting and rumors about the Falcons making another move by adding another piece before the end of preseason. Is there any truth to this rumor? What piece do you feel should be added? Any names related to this?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Well, all I know was that tweet came more than a week ago and said the "big move" was coming the next day. Nothing's happened. And, really, what's out there that could happen? I think Falcons have pretty much taken care of their needs.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

What are the chances that Chauncey Davis doesn't make the cut in ATL? They signed him to a relatively sizable deal for a backup and with the Ray Edwards coming in, Biermann still around, the rookie Matthews getting some love from the coaches, I think that leaves Sidbury and Davis as the 5th DE, no way ATL keeps 6 DEs...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Think that's very possible. Chauncey's cap figure is either $3 million or $3.5 million. That's a lot for a backup.

Charles (Winston Salem)

Isit too early to start worrying about Otah or are the panthers just being extremely cautious with him and he will be ready to go Sept 11th?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

I'm not privvy to the medical reports. But I'd be worried since the guy missed all of last year. He's a big man and the normal knee isn't built to carry that much weight.

Chris (Washignton DC)

Why does it always seem like the Saints' Linebackers are always getting run over? Do they need to get some bigger guys in there or is the D line not stopping the run well enough?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Think they need to get more athletic at OLB. I say go with Casillas and turn him loose. I think he can be a quality player.

Wilson (TN)

Up and running now. What's the word on Dunta Robinson's injury? Will he play against the Steelers tomorrow?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Don't think he's playing this week. But I think they're just being cautious on that one.

Clay (Charlotte)

If you were Rivera, do you want Cam's first look to be to Smith for shots downfield or looking for Olsen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Look downfield for Smith. You can always dump off to Olsen.

Dwayne (Who Dat Nation)

Given how well the SAINTS have performed in primetime games in the Payton/Brees era, how well do you think they will fare against the Pack on opening day? I know a defending champ has never lost the first home game since the new format, but they have to lose at some point, right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Obviously, going into Lambeau and winning is never easy. But Saints have won plenty of big games in recent years, including big games on the road. So anything is possible. Plus weather shouldn't be an issue this time of year. I'm looking forward to being at that game.

Vinnie (ATL)

Bradley had a great piece on AJC.com on wondering why there is no buzz about this years' Falcons in the ATL. I have lived here for 10 years and I can tell you ATL feels a lot like Cleveland, my old hometown. Atlanta is in "show me" mode expecting the worse after last year's playoff lose at home. The difference between Browns and Falcons fans though is the Browns fans always showed up.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

I saw the Bradley piece. Atlanta is a unique market. Sort of like Tampa and Charlotte in that there are a lot of transplants from elsewhere. Plus, Falcons were mediocre for so long that I understand the "show me" mode even after three straight winning seasons.

CC (Atlanta)

You haven't said they are great but you've given them huge props on their offseason (which has basically been resigning guys other than Olsen). I don't see them being competitive at all. Don't see how they win a game in division.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Well, they were more active than any other team in the NFC South. They handed out a bunch of huge contracts that were big news. When Falcons signed Edwards, re-signed Clabo and drafted Julio, we also wrote plenty about that.

Jake (Illinois)

Hey Pat! who's going to lead the bucs in receptions this year? Williams? Winslow? Benn??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

My hunch is Winslow. I expect huge year from him.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, my wish for you is that you take some time and enjoy your experience at Lambeau Field. Having been there myself, there's nothing like it!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

It's an amazing place. I've been in this business a long time. Lambeau Field and Fenway Park are the two places I can still walk into and feel excited.

Kyle (NC)

Pat please answer this.. what are the odds the Panthers relocate out of the Carolinas? Not just charlotte. theyre called the CAROLINA Panthers so as long as they stay in the carolinas thats fine. but ive heard rumors about them going to toronto or LA when Richardson resigns. they dont have a replacement for him so im worried and i know alot of fans who are too. what are youre thoughts on them relocating within 50 yrs or so...?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Panthers aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Richardson is very dedicated to Carolinas. His wife also is owner of the team and there is a partnership group, which still includes his two sons and daughter, that is made up almost entirely of people from the Carolinas. I'm sure Richardson has planned ahead. Team president Danny Morrison is running the day-to-day business side of things and I'm sure Richardson has instructed Morrison he wants the team kept in the Carolinas for the long term.

Michael (SC)

Have the Falcons said what type of knee injury Edwards had?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

No, only that it was a "minor" procedure. Like a lot of teams, they're very guarded about injury info. Heck, they never have officially said what Peria Jerry's knee injury was exactly.

Nathan (Orange County)

Anybody else agree with me that the 20k$ fine on Mason Foster was a bit extreme?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

I'll agree with you and I think Chad Ochocinco does too.

Jason (NC)

With the Panthers adding Balmer off waivers do you think he will fit in here in NC and do you see them trying to pick up another veteran DT before the season starts?r

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Balmer was worth a shot. But he was on waivers for a reason. He's not going to solve all your problems.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Could you see Harry Douglas putting up surprising numbers now that he's finally healthy and the offense is going to be more open?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Yep, think you'll see some plays like last week where he basically goes uncovered because teams are so worried about Roddy and Julio.

Jon Beason (Charolette)

Hey Pat as you know I just had a "minor" procedure done this week. Do you think I will be ready when the season starts

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Panthers say they're hopeful. But I don't know. That seems like a quick turnaround until opening day, no matter how minor the procedure was.

Dwayne (Who Dat Nation)

Hey Pat. Realistically, what are your expectations for Jimmy Graham? Most people in SAINTS circles point to the production of the Brees/Gates combo in SD. Should we expect similar production from Brees/Graham?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Might want to give him a year or two to grow into something closer to Gates. But Payton knows what he's doing and he cut Shockey to clear the way for Graham.

Adam (Raleigh)

At what what point does Hurney start taking the fall for all of his poor decisions as a GM?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

If there's no progress this year, then he becomes very much on the hot seat.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Pat, earlier this week you referenced an article that claimed that falcons fans haven't been making a lot of buzz in the preseason. Is that really a fair assessment? I mean, there was the lockout, the braves are doing well, and we left last season with a really low feeling loss against the Packers(I was there)...Are there really a lot of fans of any team that are making a lot of "buzz" right now? Getting Julio and Edwards is great, and I think they'll make us even better this year. But, even as a die-hard fan, I have to admit my trust in my team was shaken a bit last season.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Let's hear what some other Atlanta fans have to say on this. I see Matt's points and I read the Bradley article. Matt and Bradley live in Atlanta, so they've got a feel for what the buzz or lack of buzz is really like in Atlanta.

Mike Trye (myrtle beach)

Is Danny Morrison a good Team President (Panthers)? i feel like he hasnt done much.... i could be very wrong.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Oh, I think he's done a lot more than people realize. He's been a driving force in making them more fan friendly and making the owner and coach more open in the media. Richardson's still involved, don't get me wrong, but Morrison is running the day-to-day business operations and Hurney runs the football side.

Joshua (Atlanta)

Pat will you be at the Falcons and Pitt. game Sat. or watching it for that matter?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

I will be at Tampa Bay's home game with Miami. We don't travel for preseason games. But I will be watching the live feed of Falcons at same time I'm watching Bucs and providing post-game observations on both.

FormerlyStShockey (Jakcson, MS)

What are the Saints going to do with the scary T position? Bushrod was horrendous against the Texans. One play he didn't even touch his man and face-planted. I'm somewhat concerned at this point.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

I think the concern is justified. But, hey, they've won with Bushrod the last two seasons. Strief is still getting used to things, but they wouldn't have let Stinchcomb go if they didn't believe Strief would be an upgrade over the long haul.

Michael (SC)

When you were at Falcons training camp did they really seem more explosive?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

It was hard to tell because they were just starting padded practices and some guys weren't allowed to practice until CBA was ratified. I was there the night it was ratified and those guys were limited when they got on the field. The one thing I definitely saw was a lot more downfield passing.

CC (Atlanta)

Why would our confidence be shaken? 13-3 last year. Sure GB got us in the playoffs. We beat that same in November. The Packers caught fire at the right time. Who cares about "buzz" anyway? All my buddies are fired about about the season but that doesn't mean we go around screaming about it with our windows down.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

I think I like CC's answer best. No need to go around screaming you're great in the preseason.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, I'll chime in on Matt's points, even though I'm a Vikings fan. I see where Matt is coming from, but he has to realize that Green Bay was on an incredible roll during the playoffs, and they were just not going to lose. The Falcons have nothing to be ashamed of! They should be a deep playoff contender in 2011.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Also agree with that. Green Bay was on a roll. They exposed some Atlanta flaws and Falcons addressed those in the offseason.

Mylo (Atlanta)

Have you spoken with Matt Ryan about his off-season workout regarding increasing his arm strength?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Talked with Matt at training camp. Didn't specifically ask about increasing his arm strength. Matt and Falcons always have felt he has reasonably strong arm. I think it's just a matter of them being more willing to let him throw downfield now that they've got more downfield options.

FormerlyStShockey (Jakcson, MS)

Yes, we did win with Bushrod, but he has to have help all of the time with chips from FB, RB, and TE. That takes away many opportunites with your playmakers... Maybe since Brown is finally healthy and getting some snaps, he will push both Strief and Bushrod to quit with their shenanigans.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Yeah, but the reports on Brown haven't exactly been glowing. George Foster may have a better chance of pushing them.

Tommy (Winston Salem NC)

Hello, Derek Anderson?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Not happening. If it were Fox, yeah, he'd go that way. Kind of like he did with Rodney Peete. But Rivera's determined to have a real QB for the long term, even if it means taking lumps in short term.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

13-3 is great and was part of the reason that the the playoff blowout was such a hard blow. I can tell you that during the entire second half of that game the only fans cheering had cheese on their heads. The Packers were on fire but the birds still need to show they can win in the post-season. I do agree that preseason buzz is meaningless however.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Yep, I was in Georgia Dome that day and remember how the way the game played out silenced Atlanta fans.

Dwayne (Who Dat Nation)

I agree with FormerlyStShockey. As a SAINTS fan I'm am really concerned about our tackles. The play of Bushrod/Strief will determine how far the SAINTS go this year. The first pick in next year's draft will almost certainly be a Tackle. Agreed?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Very possibly. But, given the way the Saints do business, they could go out and sign a big-name tackle next year. They're not as committed to building through draft as Bucs and Panthers.

zach (florida)

hey pat, cam looked pretty good running the ball against the bengals, i think the panthers should allow him to do that more often and let him make plays with his feet.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

They're not going to discourage that. But he needs to make a few plays with his arm. Better protection and receivers getting open might help in that area.

Adam (Asheville)

Pat something has annoyed me for a long time about the panthers, it's been obvious they've needed another grade A reciever for at least 5-6 years now (the first time they lost muhammed) and they have yet to address it seriously, I like lafell/gettis/edwards but they're hardly threats out there. They lost the NFC championship in the 2005 season because smith was the only real threat at reciever, and they continue to lose because of it, when are they gonna use a first round pick on one or sign a FA that has more than 500 yards from a past season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Well, they did try to sign Santana Moss this offseason. But he took their offer back to the Redskins and they matched it.

John (Jakcson, MS)

Falcons fans, why in the world are a majority of you so sure that the division is locked up already. Last time I checked, no team has ever repeated as champs before... FACT

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

That is an NFC South fact.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

I want to believe Mularkey is not showing much in the preseason, but the offense seems VERY similar to last season with not much downfield throwing. Your thoughts Pat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

You don't need to show the world your play book in the preseason.

Henry (Chapel Hill)

Who looked worse this preseason for the Panthers? The o-line or the d-line? Also, what's the biggest need for the Panthers at this point?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Flip a coin. If Otah's not going to be ready, they need to do something. I'd also like to see them do something at CB.

Jeff (Rise Up)

Speaking of LT's, is Sam Baker on the hot seat this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah, I think that would be very fair to say.

randall (maine)

why didnt moss sign with the panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

You really think Randy Moss and Steve Smith together would be a good idea?

Joel (NC)

Are there any specifics reasons why the Bucs don't sell out beyond the transplant theory, which applies to all the teams outside of NO? The Panthers are coming off a 2-14 disaster and haven't looked good the past 2 weeks in preseason but I still know a lot of people that are excited just to have football and still hopeful the Panthers are going to show improvement. I really don't understand how a good, young 10-6 team can't sell out

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Economy is definitely a factor. I know it's tough everywhere right now, but Florida has been hit especially hard.

randall (maine)

i meant santana moss not randy moss.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Guess he preferred to stay in Washington.

Rum (N'awlins)

OK Pat, now for a really important question--which stadium pressbox feeds y'all the best? And which place are you looking most to visiting this year? Enquiring minds wanna know? ;)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Ah, the REALLY important question. Tampa Bay and Carolina would be the NFC South leaders in that category. As far as out of division, Green Bay, Seattle, Baltimore, Arizona and Philly would be among the league leaders!

Tim (Athens)

Pat, with $26 million in cap room, why don't the Bucs use that money for bonuses to Freeman, Blount, and Williams if they reach certain statistics this year? All outplayed their contracts last year and should be paid more if they have great stats again this season.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Actually, believe the number is $29.5 -- but check yesterday's blog item. I think they will make an attempt to lock up Freeman before too long. They'll also try to extend some of their other young players and Blount and Williams could be among them.

randall (maine)

and speaking of sell outs.. do you expect the panthers to sell out all of their home games? no blackouts.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

I'll have to check on that one. But they've got a pretty good base to start with because of the PSLs. Couple more questions.

Mike (55129)

What is the likelihood Talib gets suspended and if so how long?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Don't want to speculate on that one. Think we'll hear from the commissioner soon on that one.

randall (maine)

do the panthers normally sell out? it usually seems like the stadium is packed.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Yeah, the last time they didn't sell out was Seifert's last game in 2001.

Rodney (Atlanta)

Is Ingram the real deal in New Orleans?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

I definitely think so.

randall (maine)

wow! 2001? ok, thats a good fan base.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Yeah and even then it was only for last two Seifert home games.

tane (orlando)

are the panthers looking to upgrade or build a new stadium at all?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Never been any talk of that. There have been several major upgrades through the years and Richardson always has prided himself on keeping stadium very up to date. All right, time for me to run. Thanks to all for stopping by. We'll see you next week.