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October 28, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Tom (Tampa, FL)

Pat, do you think there is any interest for the Bucs in Chris Harris?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

Doubt it. They're pretty good with Tanard Jackson and Sean Jones as their starting safeties. Harris isn't young, so I don't think he fits their profile.

Jimmy (Charlotte)

Any chance the Panthers try to pick up Chris Harris after the Bears released him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:50 PM)

That one might be possible. He's got history with Rivera and history with the Panthers.

Robert (Hamilton)

Did you focus a little bit too much on the Bucs loss? They had no running game, their starting center, safety, and middle linebacker all got hurt. That is not a recipe for success. And they still almost won!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

No, I don't think so. You want me to start writing about moral victories? I did that with the Panthers early on, but that was a totally different situation.

Matt (Wilmington, NC)

Steve Smith looks as good as ever. He's often had great seasons cut short by injury. Any indication that he won't stay healthy and productive?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

None at all. He seems very healthy and happy right now.

Kevin (Hamilton Ohio)

Pat is the Sean Payton era is better than Jim mora era in the 80s

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

I think so. He's got a Super Bowl title.

Chris (Iowa)

Pat, how do you feel about Atlanta's playoff chances after the 4-3 start. Could have been a lot worse. I know they play the Saints twice, but they usually seem to split those games. I could honestly see them at 11-5. Is that good enough to at least get a Wild Card? Gotta be, right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Falcons are in a decent spot right now, despite all their early struggles. There've been some signs they're starting to get it together. They could still be a big factor in race for NFC South title.

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

Pat, I know it is way early to think 2012 but if you were Marty Hurney what position do you think needs the biggest talent upgrade on the Panthers in the offseason?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Defensive tackle.

Dan (Scottsdale)

What makes Brees so special? I think it is amazing, how he throws through the lanes because of his height, and is so accurate.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

More than anything, I'd say just his focus, desire and competitiveness. The guy is a machine.

Austin (Tampa)

Pat, with Julio out the Falcons have won two pretty tough games by going back to what we do best...running the football. With Jones back after the bye, will we abandon the run again?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Hope note. Think Falcons should take a lesson from that and build off it. Use the run to open things up for Julio and Roddy, instead of forcing the deep ball.

Becky (Metairie, LA )

Do the Saints have a good enough D to get to the playoffs this year? It seems like they are horrible in all areas of D which is unexplainable with the draft picks and free agents they have brought in over the past 2 years.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

I don't think Saints are set up to be a shut-down defense by any means. Gregg Williams wants an opportunistic defense that produces turnovers. If they can start coming up with more turnovers, the mission will be accomplished.

Matt G (Georgia)

Hey Pat, do you think the Saints D made a turnaround on Sunday night, or was that just of the NCAA Division III Colts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Think you've got to chalk that one up more to the Colts.

Adam (Metry)

Despite missing a couple games already, is this finally the year voters show some love and put Marques Colston in the Pro Bowl? It's a crime he hasn't been named to one yet, just b/c he doesn't run his mouth like Roddy White

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Might be a little difficult because Saints spread the ball around so much. That kind of limits Colston's numbers. But he is an excellent receiver.

Jessica (Gulfport, MS )

Hi Pat!! How come Drew Brees never gets mentioned in the same breath as Rogers or Brady? In past it was the same thing with Manning and Brady. Anyway, Brees has played better than all 3 during the past 6 seasons and he is off to his best start this season. Why is there so little talk about him compared to the other 2?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Not sure where you're getting that perception. In my eyes, Brees is right there with Rodgers and Brady and has been right there with Brady and Manning for several years.

SeenThisB4 (New Orleans)

Pat, What do you think is the hold up with the Brees contract? Obviously the Saints want to sign him, and Brees wants to sign, what is preventing this from getting done?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Don't know because both sides are being quiet. Obviously, all the parties want Brees in New Orleans for the long haul. But it's difficult to structure the kind of contract he's going to get, so I'm guessing the holdup is that they're working their way through all the salary-cap implications.

James (Hickory) [via mobile]

If Hurney/Rivera spend the offseason fixing the D and adding some Oline depth can the Panthers be a serious contender next season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

I don't see any reason why not. Factor in a healthy Jon Beason too.

Pat young (Charlotte NC)

Hi Pat call me crazy if you want to.But I think Panthers fans should thank Andrew Luck for staying in college

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Good point. Back when Luck decided to stay everybody was bummed out.

Mat (Denver)

How about that Falcons D? Think we can ride that on the way to the playoffs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Their defense seems to be coming on. Weatherspoon is really starting to shine. They've got plenty of talent on the defense, just need it to all work together and there have been signs that's starting to happen.

Drew Brees (New Orleans, LA )

Will I win my first MVP this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

You've got my vote. Hey, let me ask you all for your thoughts on MVP for each NFC South team at midseason. We're doing a project on that next week. Obviously, Brees for the Saints and either Cam or Steve Smith for Panthers. But what do you think on Bucs and Falcons? I'm not seeing a clear-cut choice for either of them.

Dan (Sacramento)

Do you think the lack of performance of Josh Freeman is because of the lock out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

No, think it has more to do with his supporting cast than anything.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Pat, before the season started you said that the coaching staff had to take the handcuffs off of Ryan and let him do his thing more. Now that they have opened things up but had very little success with the passing game(at least deep), who is the blame on? Ryan? The coaching staff? White's butterfingers? Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

I put it on the coaches. I think they tried to force the deep passing, instead of just naturally letting it evolve.

Mat (Denver)

Turner for the Falcons. Hands down.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Yeah, I'm leaning that way for them. Suggestions for the Bucs?

Charles (San Francisco)

MVP for the Bucs midseason - Ronde Barber- The team is definitely going through growing pains and the old man has been the glue sharing knowledge and how it was done with the not so "old " Bucs.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Not a bad one. I like that. He's still going strong and he's probably the one guy that's been consistent for them.

James (Hickory) [via mobile]

I assume you read what Kiper wrote about Cam having more "upside" than any QB he has ever seen. What are your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

After watching Cam last week, I would not disagree with that at all. It's scary to think he's already this good and he's only at halfway point of his rookie season.

Ken (NY)

What ever happened to Brad Hoover?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Retired. Believe he's still living in Charlotte. He was a great guy to cover.

CC (Atlanta )

So it's not Freeman's fault that he's awful? Are all his picks due to WRs running the wrong route? Come on Pat... give us all a break and call it like it is.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I'm not saying Freeman is without blame. But his receivers haven't helped him. Also, it doesn't help when you can't put your top RB on the field for passing downs. And I don't think the offensive line has been great either.

Bert (Raleigh)

Pat you mention Shula could be looked at for a Cord Position. Well what are the chances Chud gets looked at for a HC Position and if so you think we promote Shula to O Cord?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Chud's quickly making a name for himself. He already was pretty well respected in coaching circles. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets some interest as a head coach. If that happens, Shula would be a natural replacement.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Best running back in the NFC South right now is?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

On production, Turner. But, if I were starting a team, I'd take DeAngelo Williams.

Dan (Sacramento)

What do you know about the RB the Bucs just added to the roster?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

He was undrafted and on the practice squad. So I wouldn't expect any sudden miracles.

Ross (maui,Hawaii)

do you think cam has a chance to win rookie of the year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

At this point, I'd be shocked if he didn't win it.

Noah (TN)

Van Gorder looked like he finally realized he might be coaching for his job this season against Detroit. Hope he keeps it up.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Yep, BVG needs the D to play like they did against the Lions. Mularkey also will be on hot seat if they miss the playoffs.

Brian (Charlotte)

NFL MVP: Rogers. CAR: Cam, ATL: Turner, NO: Brees, TB: Freeman, I guess (Haven't watched much of them, but doesn't seem like there's much to choose from)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I'd have a tough time going with Freeman right now. Think I'll probably go with Ronde Barber.

Bill (Toronto)

Does any team in the division have any interest in Terrell Owens? Another waepon for Matt Ryan perhaps?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

No, Ryan's got enough weapons. They just need to figure out how to use them. Besides, Roddy and T.O. in same locker room would not be a good idea. Don't see him landing anywhere else in the division.

Jonathan (Spartanburg)

Why hasn't Brandon Lefall seen much playing time this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

I think they've gradually been building up his playing time. Saw a pretty fair amount of him Sunday.

John (Dallas, TX )

Pat, In your opinion who is the most irreplacable player in the NFC South? And who is the best? Thanks for your feedback!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Brees.

Jeff (Huntsville)

What about Corey Peters for MVP for the Falcons? I know he had that one huge mistake in Tampa, but since then he has been been probably our best D-lineman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Not a bad one. He's having a nice season. But I'd go with Turner or Spoon over him for MVP.

Pat young (Charlotte NC)

So Pat are you again coming to Charlotte this week to cover Cam Newton.Or you also on a Bye week?Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

No, I'll be writing off tv on Panthers and Saints. With two teams on bye and the other two not really playing anything close to a marquee game, the bosses decided not to put me on the road this week. I'll be at Bucs/Saints next week and Saints/Falcons the week after that.

Christian (Charleston, SC)

Do you think Greg Hardy has the ability to be a star DE opposite CJ? His skill set reminds me an awful lot of Peppers.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Yeah, he's got very good potential. Panthers think he can be great if he can stay focused on football.

FALCONS = NO CHAMPIONSHIP (New Orleans)

Pat, now that Chris Ivory is off the PUP list how do you think Sean Payton will utilize his suddenly crowded backfield (not saying it's a bad thing)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Imagin he'll work Ivory in slowly. Sproles and Thomas are both playing well. If Ingram's out for a bit, I think Sproles and Thomas each get more carries and Ivory will get a few sprinkled in.

Ken (NY)

Is Cam the most impressive Rookie QB you have ever covered?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Yep, but then again, I'm thinking back on rookie QBs I've covered. Trent Dilfer, Chris Weinke, Stefan LeFors -- it's not a real impressive list. Well, I guess Matt Ryan would be the one highlight. Freeman wasn't real impressive in rookie year.

Jamie (Houma, LA)

A couple of questions ago, you said Turner was the best running back in the South, are you aware rushing and receiving Darren Sproles has one less yard combined than Turner?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Yes, I'm very aware of Sproles. If you didn't see it, I wrote a big column yesterday about how nicely he's fitting in New Orleans.

Nick (Winston-Salem, NC)

How do you think Ron Rivera is doing in his first season as a head coach?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

He's doing fine. Has them pointed in the right direction. Think you'll see some more wins as season goes on.

Allen (Boiling Springs)

Do you know of any upcoming free agents that the panthers might go after to upgrade the cornerback position

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Judging by some of the notes on here, a lot of Tampa Bay fans would like Aqib Talib to become a free agent next year. But I'm not so sure Jerry Richardson would go for that.

Mike (greensboro)

have you talked to Beason? Is he expected to be ready for the start of next season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

I have not. He talked to Charlotte media soon after the injury and said he expected to be ready for next year.

Austin (Tampa)

Why not T.O. to the Bucs. I know they are focused on a "youth movement" but why not add a household name to a roster of full of guys the average football fan has never heard of. Freeman needs all thre help he can get and they may actually be able to sell some tickets.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

First off, you're assuming T.O. has something left. I'm not so sure that's the case. Second, you'd be putting him into a locker room that is still looking for leaders. Not sure he'd be the best influence.

CB (Charleston, SC)

weren't you in favor of the Bucs parting with Talib earlier this year? what changed your mind?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

I don't think I ever changed my mind. I thought they should have gotten rid of him. His play this season hasn't done anything to change my mind. But I don't make the roster moves for the Bucs.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Do you have any idea what will happen with Thomas Davis? I am scared for his long term health if he tries to play again.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

I share the same concerns because I know Thomas and think very highly of him. But he's a competitive guy and I think he will try to return. It may not be with the Panthers. But I wish him all the best.

Ted (ATL)

Ryan and Cam are not comparable - Ryan leaned on his running game and defense - Carolina's run game and D are leaning on Cam. Huge difference

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

No argument here. Was just saying Ryan's only QB I've covered who had a good rookie season before Cam.

Matt G (Warner Robins GA)

Who is your favorite team in the NFCS

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Penn State!

Mike (greensboro)

Really starting to like A. Applewhite. thoughts on him in the few games he has played

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Exactly. I was real impressed with him Sunday. Saw him make several plays and came close on some others.

Ethan (Indy)

Why not Clayborne for MVP for the Bucs? He's playing like a vet as a rookie!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Not a bad one at all, but I'm leaning toward Barber.

scott (tampa)

Mike Williams is not the answer for the bucs. I have no idea what made everybody think he was on the verge of being elite. He is a good receiver but not great and the bucs need an elite receiver. If they had one along with the current receivers and a speed back, they would be great

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Yeah, well you might have to wait for next year's draft to take care of that.

Greg (Charlotte, NC)

Everyone seems to think Applewhite is a god descended from the heavens. I'm happy with his production in this game, but let's get something straight. It was one game against a battered O-line and John Beck. If he can become Mr. Consistency like Charles Johnson, then I will celebrate.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

A valid point.

Christian (Charleston, SC)

Do you think Shockey has a future in Carolina, or is a one year wonder?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Not sure he quite qualifies as a wonder. He's been okay, but Olsen's the guy. Shockey's near the end of the road.

Nick (Durham NC)

Pat do you think next year we will Carolina running a 3-4? They are mixing it in now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

No, I think it will just be a sub package. They'd have to overhaul their roster to get the type of personnel they need to go fully with the 3-4.

Greg (Charlotte, NC)

Any reason why Goodson continues to be inactive? He works hard and has been much better returning kicks than Pilhares. Any chance he sees the field soon?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

I get the impression the coaching staff is down on Goodson. But don't really know the reason for that.

scott (tampa)

Pat do you agree with my question before about the bucs need an elite reciever? someone who will catch every ball, get open, and make plays against good defenses (and not someone who gets hyped up for catching a great pass against an average or below average corner like mike williams) and they need a elusive back yes?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Yes.

Ryan (Indy)

To Greg in Charlotte NC the reason Goodson is not playing because he keep fumbling the ball that why he is inactive

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

That's part of it.

Charles (San Francisco)

Mike Koenen is another MVP candidate for the Bucs!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Actually, not a bad idea. But, for now, I'm still leaning toward Barber.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Following up on Goodson - do you think they trade him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Trade deadline has passed for this year. And it's not like he'll be a hot property in the offseason if he stays on the bench. He might end up just getting cut.

Matthew Reycroft (Sarasota, FL)

With Blount coming back by next week, and with the rest of Tampa being somewhat rested, what are Tampa's chances against the Saints next week? We did quite the job on him in our first encounter.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Yes, Bucs were excellent in that first meeting. But I'm sure the Saints remember that and will be motivated. Looking forward to covering that game.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

On avg how many questions are you getting each minute on here?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Don't know by the minute. But right now, I've got 352 questions since chat started.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Are the falcons going to stick with Bosher in the long-term?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

He seems to have gotten a little better recently. Think they'll see how he does in second half of season. They'll be hesitant to give up on a guy they drafted.

Jonathan (Spartanburg)

Are you going to be covering any more panthers games this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Would imagine so. But I don't know my assignments beyond the two weeks after this one.

Phill (Anderson, SC)

When is Ron Rivera going to realize that Legedu (LA) is no where as talented as LaFell and stop starting him? LaFell needs to start and this would be a good tome to throw Armanti in the slot to see if he can ever be productive at the WR position. And with Gettis coming back next year, Nannae should not be on the field. your thoughts pat??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

I agree. Like I said, LaFell seems to be getting more playing time. Suspect he'll be starting before long.

Seth (Dahlonega, GA)

Who do you side with on the Suh/Roddy debate? Personally, I think they are both idiots and side with Matty Ice: It doesn't matter what was said

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Thought it was pretty silly. But, hey, it definitely brought some high traffic numbers.

Steve k. (Panther Nation (w-s))

Superman wears Cam's jersey under his Superman suit!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Good one. Couple more questions before we end the chat.

Ken (NY)

who was your favorite player to cover?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Probably Derrick Brooks or John Lynch.

Paul (Augusta)

What about B Grimes v. Megatron? Safe to say Grimes becoming one of the best in the league?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Grimes can play. No doubt. Remember, he is from PA. JoePa should have discovered him!!!

Mclonde (Ottawa)

Sure is a lot of love for a quarterbac that has led their team to a 2-5 start. Most quarterbacks would be ostracized by now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

Come on, Panthers were 2-14 last year and really hadn't had any offense the last few seasons. Cam's brought a lot of hope to that franchise. All right, we'll call it a week. Thanks for stopping by. We'll be back at it next week.