Hey Pat, I don't get all the criticism Smith is getting for going for it on 4th down, I think he was right to go for it, the problem for me was that it was a terrible play call. It was inches, just do a QB sneak. What's your opinion?
I'd go for it if I were at the 50 or closer. But not at your own 29. I think you've got to punt there and take your chances with Brees against your defense. Atlanta's defense had played pretty well in the last three or four series before that.
Since the Panthers are out of the playoff race. Do you think we could see more play from players like Armanti Edwards? Rivera talked him up in the pre-season and talked about a wildcat, but do you think we could see that and/or him in at RW any?
Think you might see him get some time at WR. Might as well find out if he can play or not.
Aaron Rodgers is yet to beat TB. FYI
Yep, aware of that. But let's see if that changes Sunday.
Any chance at all that Freeman turns his season around in 2nd half
Only if Blount, Mike Williams and the defense turn it around too.
Can the Falcons have a resurgence like the Packers had last year just heading into the playoffs?
It's possible. There's a lot of talent on that roster. Things haven't clicked so far. But there's enough talent that they could click at any time.
Is Matt Ryan finally making his move into elite QB status ?
Are you joking? No, I don't think you can say Matt's taken a step forward in the first nine games.
Pat,I know we need a better group of line backers but ,In your honest opinion, Do you think Greg Williams defensive play calling is up to par with his reputation as a defensive coordinator? He just seems to be alot of talk and not enough results. Even with the 2009 season,Our defense wasnt great.They just got the ball to bounce their way with take aways.
Yeah, but the thing you've got to remember is a Gregg Williams defense is never going to be a shut-you-down defense. It's about getting turnovers or big plays at the right moment. In 2009, that was the classic Greg Williams defense -- lots of turnovers.
What is the highest possible draft pick you see the Panthers getting in next years draft? And do you think it will be a defensive player?
It better be a defensive player. That's where they need help. They could be in top five. At least top 10.
Pat, loved the column on "best rookie". I think you are right, because as they say, you only have 1 chance to make a fist impression and Cam did so with those first two games! Its hard for anyone to erase those from memory, even if he is cooling off a little. Great article!
Thanks. Although he has cooled off lately, 400 yard games are always going to be a possibility for him.
Pat, stop coddling freeman with your articles. He's playing horrible this year too, not just his teammates.
That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I've already written my opinion.
Pat, do you think Haynesworth is better than McCoy? He had 7 tackles in 1 game while McCoy had only 11 in 6 games.
Let me see Haynesworth for a few more games before making a call on that one.
Hate Pat, after reading many of the blog posts on here--is there ANY doubt that da WHODATS!!! dislike da dirty boids as much--if not more so than the teams hate each other?.I was thinking it was like LSU/bama, but I think it might be closer to bama/Auburn in dislike. lol
Definitely the best rivalary in NFC South right now. Actually one of the better ones in the league right now.
Aaron (Bay Area) is right. Freeman should get alot more heat. You just make excuses for him. Funny... you have no problem blasting Matt Ryan despite a porous OL. And Ryan has been alot better than Josh this season.
Yeah, Ryan has been better than Freeman this year. And I don't think I've blasted Ryan very much. My point on Freeman is this -- have you seen what's around him? A very bad team in a lot of ways.
Pat, can the Falcons do anything to get Roddy White going this season?
Think it's more up to Roddy to get himself going.
Do you see anyone catching New Orleans in the NFC South?
At this point, I'd say doubtful.
is Carmichael gone after this year? Whether it be for another pro or college job!
His name is starting to surface in a lot of different places. Think there's a decent chance he will get some offers.
I just read you post on everyone picking the Bucs and Panthers to lose. What, in your opinion would it take for the Panthers to pull the upset?
Huge day for Cam and the defense actually getting some stops. Maybe even a turnover or two.
I was glad to see the article about the jaguars n mike mularkey possibility. He has got to go for our offense to improve
There are a lot of Atlanta fans who feel the same way.
Falcons won in New Orleans last year so let's not get too excited. ATL had almost 500 yds in that game. NO's schedule gets much tougher while ATL's eases up alot.
True, I was just saying, at this point, Saints are sitting in pretty good shape.
Offensive Coordinator Chudzinski has been great this year for the Panthers, do you think he leaves for a head coaching job next year? And if so, who should the Panthers bring in.
Chud's name is surfacing a bit. But I think he might need one more year as a coordinator before he really gets strong consideration.
Pat, you're not giving the Falcons a chance at catching the Saints? Schaub is injured and that was one of the hardest left on our schedule. Now we just have to get some revenge on the Saints and Bucs (last two games of the season). C'mon man!
I said earlier, Falcons could start clicking at anytime. But they haven't yet, so I can't sit here and definitely say they're going to suddenly catch fire. Although I do think they have the talent to do that.
Can Cody Grimm and Tenard Jackson play together or does Grimm go back to a special teams player next year?
Possible Grimm returns to start. But he's got to get healthy and stay that way. Think they'll go to camp with him, Jones and T-Jack and let things sort themselves out.
Pat, I'm a dedicated follower of your blog, and I respect your opinion greatly, but I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say that your statement in last Sundays Recap of the Falcons-Saints game was wrong. You said that you initially agreed with Smith's decision to go for it, but then after it failed you thought it was a bad decision. Well isn't that just the ultimate luxury for us as critics? You have even since posted facts that show Smith statistically made the right decision. Would you agree that maybe you spoke a little too quickly in this instance? Thanks
Ummm, in case you haven't noticed, it's not always a good idea to take what I write so literally. Sometimes, I use humor and sarcasm. In that Rapid Reaction, I was basically saying, if they get the first down he's a genius and when he doesn't, he's the opposite of a genius.
Sorry, computer froze up for a minute. Think we're good to go again now.
do you have any reasons why Carolina laid an egg on sunday? do you think that happens again, or was that a wake up call?
No, can't really explain last week. I expect better performance this week -- at least from the offense.
Tampa , hire a D coordinator or fire the head coach what happens first ??
Let's let rest of season play out. If they keep going like they have been, I think decision will become obvious.
Pat,As crazy as it seems Drew Brees is having another MVP type season where he is threatening his own completion % record he set in 2009, total yards record by Marino, consecutive TD streak in games, his own consecutive game strteak with 20+ completions and yet he still won't win the MVP beacuse of Roger's season. Crazy huh? Also, Do you think Brees is a lock for Canton? He has been tghe most prolific passer in NFL the last 6 seasons and in addition a top 3 qb in total wins as well. What are your thoughts Pat?
Yeah, I think Rodgers seems to be a lock for MVP. Drew's pretty much set for Canton. Just needs a few more years to really cement his numbers. Another Super Bowl win wouldn't hurt either.
With two teams that this have been chippy (read:dirty), do you see Sunday's game against Suh and the Lion's defense as possibly getting out of hand quickly?
Think Panthers have to be real careful in that area. They've been having too many penalties already. Can't afford to get drawn into a penalty fest with Lions. Panthers don't have enough margin for error to do that.
Do you think the Panthers defensive woes, lie with the DT's and injuries to our LB's. Or is there something else that needs to be done for them to be solid.
No, that's pretty much it. Maybe add a CB next year. But maybe Brandon Hogan is that guy. Too early to tell on him yet. They'll judge him the rest of the season and see where they're at.
I am really concerned about the potential of Jon Beasons injury being something that will follow him the rest of his career. Do you feel the same way and if so do you see the Panthers possibly finding some insurance just incase or do you think Beason will be fine once its healed? Thanks
Beason is a warrior and I'm sure he'll rehab hard. Not ready to count him out. But this year has made it clear Panthers need some strong insurance at LB.
J. Blackmon should be gone once tampa picks but if T. Richardson there do you see the bucs taking him
I really don't get up to speed on the draft until after the season. I'm almost always traveling on Saturdays and don't get to watch a ton of college games. I have seen Richardson several times though and like him and think he could be a good fit.
Grimm at LB? He is a sure tackler, but does he have the speed/ size?
Doesn't have the size. Not even close. He's a safety.
Regardless of what the perception may be, Chris Gamble's play is up there with Brent Grimes and Jabari Greer as the best in the NFCS. Played well the whole year and finally getting back to getting interceptions (2 in the last 2 games)
Gamble is having a nice year. No argument on that.
Is this wknd game against the titans going to be about our defense or offense. Who has to be better?
I say your offense. Establish run game, let the passing game come naturally. Get an early lead and let the dome crowd take over.
If we do get rid of Mularkey(hopefully), who do you think are some possible candidates?
Not sure Mularkey will get head coaching job. Not sure he'd even take some offers that might be there. He had bad experience in Buffalo and would only go to a place where he feels good about the organizational structure. Now, could they fire him? Depends on how season plays out. If they somehow don't make playoffs or get bounced in first round, he might end up as scapegoat. First guy that pops to mind as a possible replacement is Mike Shula.
Who is likely to get released at end of season? Sam Baker, Thomas DeCoud, or both?
Baker definitely. Not so sure on DeCoud.
What would be the bigger Probowl snub ... no Darren Sproles or no Jimmy Graham?
Both deserve to be there. But I can see a scenario where Sproles doesn't get in. There's a guy named Devin Hester who might get more votes as return man. Still, I think Sproles would be one of those guys the coaching staff would add as a "need player" after the voting.
Is Malcom Jenkins having a pro bowl year this year? Do you think Williams lets him roam free like Sharper did? Same amount of trust?
Not really. He hasn't quite taken that next step that I thought was coming. But I do think Williams trusts him. Malcolm's one of the smartest guys in the league and also puts in a lot of time in film room.
For the Saints D scheme they need more athletic Linebackers to pull off the Blitz packages effectively will Wilson pan out and be that guy or do they draft another guy?
Agree they need more athletic LBs. Haven't seen enough of Wilson yet to really form an opinion. Even if they like him, I'd still add another quick, athletic LB in the offseason.
Upset special - Last week seems to of made the nation forget exactly how special Cam Newton has been this year. Lions aren't exactly playing great football after a fast start. A fast start where Detriot actually played very poorly in the first half of most games. I'm picking Carolina in the upset 24-17
All right, we've got it marked down. If you're right, remind us next week. Actually, that reminds me, I'm not certain yet if we'll chat next Friday. I need to check with Bristol. I'll be working, but lot of people in Bristol will be off. I'll post a note next week to let you know for sure.
With all the draft day misses including trades, and enormous extensions to Delhomme and the D-Will one not looking to good. Do you think he is on the hot seat?
You mean Hurney, I assume. No, he hit it big on Cam. Plus, Hurney and the owner are very close and remain on the same page.
Do you think the panthers have a shot at the playoffs next year if they get their D together?
Sure, but there's lots of work to be done on that defense.
Hey Pat. Any word on if Hogan is closer to playing for the Panthers? Captain has a lot of heart and does play well, but seemsd to get burned from time to time.
My guess is they'll try to work him in down the stretch. They need to find out what they've got in him.
I tip my hat to Sean Payton in regards to drafting Jimmy Graham and signing Darren Sproles. Saints D hasn't regained 2009 form, but Payton has made the Saints into a perienally offensive juggernaut by moves like this combined with Drew Brees. Even w/o dominant D, tough to stop the Saints year after year
Tip your hat to Mickey Loomis too. He's a quiet guy and doesn't seek attention. But he's done a very nice job.
What are the chances Andy Dalton beats out Cam Newton for rookie of the year given Dalton has more wins. I personally believe Newton deserves it more atleast Dalton has a strong defense to rely on.
Check NFC South blog for my opinion on that. I wrote a lengthy column on that topic yesterday.
Everyone's on Coach Rah and the Bucs case, they deserve it. Isn't this the type of adversity a team needs to build ? If the team, including Coach Rah and Mark Dom, can come through it a winner, isn't that the bigger statement?
Sure, how they play the rest of the way will say a lot. But they've got to improve quite a bit to be able to make that statement.
where does Jimmy Clausen go next year?
Denver. That way Fox can have two QBs he doesn't think can play in the NFL!!!
Is Ryan not capable of throwing the deep ball? I heard on ESPN Radio that he's second to last in the league in balls thrown 20+ yards
Capable, yes. He has the arm for it. But your stats are correct. He hasn't had much luck at it this year. Some of it is his accuracy and some of it WRs not getting open. Also, offensive line was dismal early on and he didn't have time to throw deep balls.
Is it me or is Freeman's accuracy off this year?
If you look at his stats, not really. Think he's right about 61 percent, pretty much same as last year. But, yeah, there definitely have been some balls that weren't well thrown.
How much of a factor does Tampas record have to do with playing 5 division leaders in the last 6 games or just taking a step back this year?
Well, you could also make the case that 10-6 last year might have been a little inflated. They had NFC West last year. So, if you compare the schedules, I'm not sure it would be right to say they've taken a step back. But they definitely haven't taken a step forward.
T. Davis said the trainer helped talk him into giving it a try "one more time". Do you think this is wise? Love all the Heart TD plays with. IYO, do you see him coming back again?
Thomas is one of those guys who lives for football. I'm sure he'll make every effort to come back. I hope it works out for him. Good guy and was becoming a heckuva player before the injuries started.
Just curious, do you think John Fox is atleast a little jealous of the Panthers offense and wishing he would have had this offense when he was here. LOL Thanks for doing a great job.
Fox wouldn't have let them run this offense. Cam would be sitting on the bench with Clausen and Brian St. Pierre would be giving the ball to Nick Goings on draw plays!!! Couple more questions before we wrap up.
Can you remember the last time Matt Bryant missed a fieled goal before last Sunday's game? I thought he was on a pretty long streak going back to last season
Yeah, it was definitely a streak that went back to last season. Forget the exact number before the miss, but I think it was around 29 or 30.
Will the mailbag posts be returning at any point, or are those gone for the foreseeable future?
I hope to bring them back. Just haven't had time to get to them lately.
Best rookie in Nfc South after Cam? Clayborn? Julio?
I'd probably say Julio.
Being a member of the media, you've had some access to Raheem. Is he really that fun to be around?
Yeah, he's a very gregarious and entertaining guy. A WHOLE lot more open and quotable than most NFL coaches.
Hey Pat, Enjoy TURKEY DAY!!!
All of you have a great Thanksgiving as well. Have a great weekend. Again, I'll post a note on the blog next week to let you know if we're chatting or not next Friday. Thanks to all for participating.