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September 23, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Jared (Chicago, IL)

What ever happened to Joique Bell after he was waived by the Saints?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

He cleared waivers and was brought back to Saints' practice squad. All right, we're up and rolling early.

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

Pat, Any chance the Panthers running game gets going anytime soon? I am loving the Cam newton show but I don't think we are going to win many games without some balance on offense.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

I suspect you'll see more of it very soon. Panthers realize they need more balance in their offense. Plus, with the LB situation, they need to be able to sustain some drives and keep the defense off the field. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are too good not to get some carries.

O Wideman (Lithonia,Ga)

Pat are the falcons comfortable with there o-line still at this point (after two horrible outings they had) or are they going to look into free agency if any o-lineman are out there?? Matt getting hit and sacked that many times isn't good and it's showing because in the eagles game he was dancing around a bit when the pressure wasn't there as told by the analyst of the game.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Agree that the O-line has struggled. They might get McClure back soon and that may help. But as far as bringing someone in from outside right now, that's tough. There's not much available this time of year. If Sam Baker continues to struggle, I think you'll see them draft a LT in the early rounds or sign one in free agency in the offseason.

KL (PA)

NFC south is overated!! Houston 42 New orleans 31!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Oh, let's run that one by the Saints' fans.

Jason (Land O Lakes)

Any news on Tanard Jackson?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Nothing yet. Commissioner doesn't have to act right away and we don't know if Jackson met all the conditions of the things he was supposed to do (and not do) during the suspension. Stay tuned.

Sara (Philly)

What nfl player(current or former) do you think cam newton is most like

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Ben Roethlisberger and maybe Josh Freeman.

adam (columbia, sc)

got an under the radar panther we dont know about yet that could do big things this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Think you'll see Brandon LaFell emerge more and more as season goes on.

D. Walker (Atlanta, GA)

Pat - what do you make of the reffing job Sunday night? Seemed like Ryan took at least 2, and probably 3 shots where no roughing calls were made.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

There were at least two I thought should have been called as penalties.

Eric (Paris, Fr.)

Hey Pat, Mason Foster sure seems more of a playmaker than Ruud, right? 1 sack and 1 FF against the Vikes.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

He's off to a good start. But let's give him a little time to see a little more.

KMan94 (Atlanta)

How much should Atlanta be concerned about Matt Ryan's knee?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

I believe it's minor. He's practiced on a limited basis the last two days. I don't think it's an issue.

Mike Williams (One Buc Place)

Am I good enough to consistently beat double teams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Not yet. That's something you've got to work on. That's something the great ones do. Something for you to shoot for.

Adam (Raleigh NC)

Pat, I really enjoyed your thoughts on defenses in the NFC South. You may be biased, but is there another division that is as stacked at QB as the South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

I don't think there's another division that has four franchise QBs. But, like you said, I may be biased.

StShockey (Jackson, MS)

Thoughts on Ingram's slow start?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

I don't think it's been that slow. He's looked good at times. I think they're just working him in and he's sharing a spot in the rotation with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles.

StShockey (Jackson, MS)

pat... auto update is not running correctly.. is it just my comp?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Any suggestions for StShockey?

Nick (Melbourne FL)

Any reason you can think of that the Bucs did not pursue Darren Sproles? Their 3rd down back situation has 200 year old Earnest Graham there with Kreg Lumpkin a relative no name and surely the Bucs could have outbid the Saints. Please don't talk about their youth movement. Us fans are sick of the Glazers penny pinching ways.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

From what I know, the Bucs at least did pursue Sproles (and Reggie Bush) a little bit. But they didn't like the price tag on either.

Terra (Phoenix, Arizona)

Afternoon Pat. Learning about the news that Cedric Benson is going to be suspended for violating the NFL personal conduct rules, is there a chance that Aqib Talib could also face a suspension this late?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

No, not this year anyway. NFL has said Talib will not be suspended this year. They're going to continue to monitor his legal case. Trial is set for next March. If he's convicted, there could be discipline in 2012.

Richard (Ann Arbor, MI)

Do you have a preferred game time: 1 pm/4 pm/night?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Selfishly, I prefer 1 p.m. because it gives me more time to do interviews and get back up to the press box and write. Night games make that very difficult.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Pat, hey in regards to the Panthers lack of a running game...is it struggling because they spent so much time preparing Cam and the passing game? Maybe they just assumed the run game would get installed quickly?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Not sure it's even had a chance to struggle. I think they've gone with what defenses have given them and that's the passing game. But I think coaches realize they need more balance. Plus, having Otah back this week should help.

Ken (Pineville)

Just hit the refresh button on your brower and auto update should turn on

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

For those asking about auto-update. Thanks, Ken.

Adam (Raleigh NC)

Your building a team for the long term and have your choice of the four South QBs who do you take?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Personally, I'd take Freeman if I could pair him with Atlanta's skill-position players.

Robert (Zephyrhills)

Can the Bucs break the curse and beat the Falcons on Sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

It's possible, but their defense is going to have to really step up, especially the D-line.

Julio Jones (ATL)

Do I finally catch that explosive touchdown over the top this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Well, I'm sure you'll be seeing some Cover Two. But you might be able to work some magic on Tampa Bay's safeties.

Ron (NC)

Do you think the Panthers O line is able to stop M J-Drew on sunday? Key to Panthers winning?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Ron followed up to say he meant D-line. It's going to be a challenge. The middle of the D-line has been a problem spot and they're still trying out new guys. But I think Panthers can win this one, if they get ahead early. They've got the DEs to put the heat on Gabbert and make his first start a rough one.

Tim (Alexandria, LA)

Do you think there is a correlation between the lack of training camp, especially for defensive players and coaches, and the seemingly increased offensive production, especially the passing offense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Maybe a little. But I think it's more a case of the NFL tilting the rules in favor of the offense.

JOSHUA (ATLANTA)

Todd Mclure in or out this sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

He's been limited the last two days. We'll find out more about today later this afternoon. I think he's close, but I wouldn't be surprised if Falcons are cautious and sit him for one more week.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Do you believe the win over the eagles is slightly tarnished because Vick didn't play the entire game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

No, they knocked him out of the game, so they earned it.

Free (Pittsburgh)

Hey Pat, this weeks game against the Atlanta Falcons will be an exciting one for the bucs, in which i think the bucs will win. My only concern with the bucs is that i noticed that they dont know how to defend the screen play on defense and on offense it seems like it the only play that they dont use effectively. What are your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Well, you don't have to worry about Falcons throwing too many screens. Catching passes isn't Michael Turner's strength. Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rogers can do that, but Falcons don't throw a lot of screens.

Rodger (Union City, CA)

Will Jon Beason and Thomas Davis bounce back from season ending injuries to be a key part of the Panthers future or will this be a need area for the Panthers in the offseason?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Beason definitely will. Davis won't be back -- at least under his current contract. Panthers will have to release him, but he could end up re-signing with them for a lot less. Tough to expect much from a guy who has had three ACLs. But I'm rooting for Thomas, who is a genuinely good guy.

DaQuan Bowers (Tampa)

Pat do I get my first NFL sack this wknd?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

If you can get lined up on Sam Baker, you'll have a shot.

Joel (NC)

Pat, I agree with you taking Freeman as the long term guy right now, but if Newton continues as he has, it may be up for debate next year don't you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Yeah, but it's only two games for Newton. Two excellent games, but only two.

Jamie (Poland)

When is Freeman getting a new deal?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised if we see something during the season. Bucs keep hinting that some extensions are coming. He's the likely guy to start with.

Clay (Charlotte)

Great article by Person in the Observer about Shula's relationship with Newton, if you haven't caught it yet.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Saw it. Very good. Mike Shula is a very underrated coach. I know he's been criticized as a head coach and coordinator, but I don't think you could ask for a better QB coach.

andy (atl)

After seeing Bosher fail time and time again to execute a decent punt...do you think falcons needs to get another kicker/punter?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I thought something was going to happen early this week. But it didn't. Looks like the Falcons are willing to give their draft pick some more time. But he can't continue going the way he has.

Tim (Alexandria)

Have you heard anything about Jonathon Vilma's availabilty this Sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Should have a better idea when injury report comes out later this after. But he's sat out last two days, which isn't a great sign. But Vilma's one of those guys that doesn't have to practice. If he wakes up Sunday and feels okay, they'll throw him out there.

CC (Atlanta)

Freeman is a fine young player but I think you're overrating him a smidge. He can very inconsistent and not always accurate. He's third in the division behind Brees and Ryan.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Probably so, right now. But I don't think Freeman has nearly the talent around him that Brees and Ryan do and he's still producing pretty well.

Noah (Wimberly)

Any word on Tracey Porter?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Again, we'll get a final injury report in a few hours. But I think there's still a chance with Vilma. With Porter, I'm not as optimistic. My guess is he sits this week.

Brian (Norfolk, VA)

Pat who do you think will win the Talib and White battle this sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Let's just say that Roddy's overdue for a big game. And Roddy usually doesn't stay quiet for long.

Jon (Charlotte)

I heard Gamble tweaked his ankle yesterday in practice. Is it anything to worry about? Will he play on Sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Rivera made it sound yesterday like it was minor.

CC (Atlanta)

If Talib is found guilty, getting suspended by Goodell will be the least of his worries. The Texas Department of Corrections would likely get first dibs.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Probably true. But, in that scenario, a suspension probably would follow.

Joel (NC)

Charles Johnson has at least one sack in the past 9 games. Not that sacks are everything, but they do matter. CJ has also been stout against the run. For people questioning what he got paid, those are certainly numbers indicative of an elite DE.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

That stat actually is incorrect. Johnson had a sack in six straight games last season, but didn't have one in the final week. He's had one each of the first two games this season. But still, that's very good consistency. People used to say Peppers disappeared. Johnson's showing up every week.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Falcons should of never let go of Koenen, even if it meant more money. We were willing to trade up for Julio and pay big for Edwards. Now are season could be jeopardized because of a rookie and a division rival acquired Koenen!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

True, but it was a conscious decision by Dimitroff, who doesn't believe in paying big money to specialists. If you re-signed Koenen, you might not have gotten Edwards. It was a calculated gamble and it's not looking good so far. But Falcons did their homework on Bosher and haven't given up on him yet, so they must have some hope that things can straighten out quickly.

JOSHUA (ATLANTA)

Pat how has Hawley been working out at center. Is he playing well? In terms of what you've heard from the Falcons org. ??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

They've been praising Hawley. Think the real problems have been elsewhere on the O-line.

Josh (co)

Mr. Yasinskas, whos stat line comes out better this week, Newton or Gabbert?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

I'm going to go WAAAAAAY out on a limb and say Newton.

Noah (Wimberly)

What are your thoughts on the Saints Linebackers corp? Seems like Gregg Williams is having fun mixing up formations with those guys.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Think it's better than its been in recent years. Really like the way they're mixing guys in and they've got more speed at LB than they've had in past.

Mike ( NC)

Do Charles and Hardy make up the best two starting DT in the South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

DEs, very possibly. Abraham and Edwards could challenge, but we haven't seen much impact from Edwards yet.

Rodger (Union City, CA)

Pat, you've been covering the NFC South for a while now. Is your favorite team in this division?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

I don't have a favorite NFL team. We're supposed to be impartial. I do my rooting on Saturdays for Penn State.

Joel (NC)

Pat, you're kidding about the Newton/ Gabbert comparison right? I think the game may be closer than people think, but I expect Newton to handily outperform Gabbert

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Yep. Newton's got two very good games under his belt. We have no idea what to expect from Gabbert.

Joel (NC)

Pat, I think everyone thought Steve Smith has lost a little even though most could be written off due to bad QB play. With his massive resurgence (leading NFL in receiving yards after 2 weeks), he has to be mentioned up there with Roddy White and Marquis Colston as the best receiver in NFCS again

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Through two games, there is no question Smith has been the best WR in the NFC South. He's still got plenty left in those legs and he's been recharged by getting a real QB.

Brian (Norfolk, VA)

Pat if Tanard comes back to the bucs in shape ready to play without him violating anything during the year he was out, do you think tampa would be ready to play him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Not right away. They'd probably work him back into football shape for a few weeks. Plus, it's not like Cody Grimm has been struggling.

Nathan (Orange County)

How about Preston Parker! Could be safe to say that Sammie has lost his job. Benn should watch out.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

He's playing very well and could get even more playing time and targets going forward.

CC (Atlanta)

Falcons OL problems have been Baker and Reynolds.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Agreed.

Adam (The OC)

What should we take most out of the Falcons performance against Philly?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

It was far from perfect much of the game. But they stepped up when they needed to and won a very big game against a good team.

Ken (NY)

Has Deanglo Williams broke a tackle this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Don't think he's had a chance.

Jeff (Huntsville)

How many more productive years do you think John Abraham has left in him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

This one and maybe one more, tops.

Ken (NY)

In 2003 Jake Delhomme got his first win in Jacksonville. Whats the chances Cam Newton does the same thing sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Pretty good chance. I don't usually do predictions, but I really like the Panthers in this one. Jacksonville's a team with problems.

Jon (Gears of War 3)

We are always talking about football Pat so I'll give you a change up. Whats your favorite video game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Golden Tee Golf. I'm ranked in the top 700 players in the world.

Brandon (Vancouver)

You're wrong about Talib/White. Talib always shuts down White when they play head to ehad

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

We'll see. I really think Roddy is due for a big game.

Ron (NC)

Suddenly LaFell is looking like a successor to Muhsin M with the Panthers. He had 2 great catches last Sunday. Do you know how his blocking is...or am I still stuck in the Fox mentality and it doesn't matter with Chudzinski?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Blocking doesn't matter quite as much in the new offense. But it's still a plus. LaFell has the size to be a good blocker.

Greg H. (Charlotte, NC)

With Godfrey most likely out on Sunday and Jordan Pugh starting in his place, do you look for Pugh to continue to struggle? Godfrey already struggles in coverage and adding Pugh would just make things worse if his current play continues.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Yeah, it's a little scary because Pugh hasn't looked good when he's played. You could see Sean Considine in there if Pugh gets off to a rough start.

Josh (Chattanooga, TN)

Pat, help the guys out in the cheap seats below....post this so they can read that you DO NOT POST QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION, they go in the little box below the last question answered...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Okay.

Will (Syracuse, NY)

Pat, I'm really impressed with Brandon LaFell this season. Any chance he starts opposite Steve Smith before the end of the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Yes, I think there is a very good chance that happens.

Greg H. (Charlotte, NC)

Do you forsee Talib ever facing repercussions for his violent crime in Texas?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

We won't know until his trial in March.

Matt (Pensacola,Fl)

Do you think there's any chance tne Saints defense shutting down Andre Johnson on sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

That's always a huge challenge. They're going to need some help from the pass rush and it's nice timing that Will Smith is back for this game.

Brandon (Columbus, OH)

Is Mike Williams the next Michael Clayton (one year wonder)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

No, I wouldn't say that. Clayton's problems had to do with him getting out of shape. I don't think that's the case with Williams. I think he's just been drawing a lot of coverage.

Adam (Raleigh NC)

Pat, are there more than 700 people who play golden tee golf?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Most popular video game ever.

AW (Irvine, CA)

Are the Saints the best team in the NFC South at this point?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Right now, I'd have to say yes. Their win over the Bears was impressive in a lot of ways. Bucs and Falcons have had their ups and downs.

Allen (La Place, LA)

Is it just me, or is Jimmy Graham a huge trashtalker? I love it!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Well, he is from The U.

Captain (Obvious)

do you remember when Jerry Richardson threw last year to get cam newton? and it might have actually panned out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Umm, if he was actually "throwing" it for a draft pick, I think Andrew Luck was the guy he had in mind.

Josh (CO)

Lets say by some wave of bad luck, Carolina goes 1-16 and drafts #1 again. Would they pass on Luck? Seems obvious, but hes touted as a once in a generation player...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Carolina's going to win some games. That won't be an issue.

Brian (Norfolk, VA)

Pat do you think that with Mason Foster calling plays the defense will better than it was with black calling them?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Don't know if it will be better immediately. But, in the long run, yes.

Will Rogers (New Port Richey, FL)

What do you think the Bucs need to do to get into rhythm early on in the game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

I'd come out and let Freeman take a few shots downfield. Atlanta's safeties can be beaten.

Eric (Atlanta)

What exactly did DeCoud do to go from up-and-comer to part-time player? I know he dropped a couple of interception chances, but at least he was in position. Don't they say that DB's are just receivers w bad hands?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

More missed tackles and missed assignments.

Paul (Augusta)

You mean, Atlanta's safeties are routenely beaten

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Something like that. Couple more questions before we cut it off.

Donneith Beaufort (Columbia, SC)

Good or bad thing that Ron Rivera is not at the White House with the '85 Chicago Bears?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

I'm sure he'd like to be there. But it's out of his control since he has to work.

Will Rogers (New Port Richey, FL)

Thanks Pat. I hope to see that while I'm at the game Sunday. Where will you be this weekend?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

I will be in Tampa, covering Bucs and Falcons. Thanks to all for stopping by and have a great weekend.