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December 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

stephen (chicago)

chris gamble should make the pro bowl. agree or disagree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

He's had a nice season, no doubt. But I think Pro Bowl is a long shot. He's not playing on a winning team and the defense overall hasn't been a bright spot.

Big Dan (Land O Lakes)

Is it too early for the Glazers to think about a replacement for Rah (assuming they stay on this losing streak)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

No, if the losing streak continues, I think it's a real possibility. When you're having trouble selling tickets, you can't go into 2012 on a long losing streak. So, clearly final five games are critical for Raheem.

Jimmy (Atlanta)

What kind of knee surgery does Brent Grimes need and why are they not being more forth coming about the details of the injury. Also how long does Atlanta expect Calvin Hayden to be out with his toe injury?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Because just about all teams are very guarded with injury information. Heck, we still don't know exactly what kind of surgery Peria Jerry had in 2009. Smith said Grimes' surgery is minor and he'll be out a a few weeks. My guess is it's a scope and, at absolute worst, he'll be ready for playoffs -- if Falcons are in playoffs. Could be back a little sooner than that.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What NFC South Teams do you think will have a chance to make the Playoffs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Saints and Falcons. Yeah, I know I'm really going out on a limb with that one.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat will Cam be ROY? I know Dalton has some wins, but CIN is playing a cupcake schedule.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

If you've followed the NFC South blog, you know that I think Cam wins it easily. No offense to Dalton, who is having a nice year. But I think Cam had ROY sewn up after first two games.

Andy (NC)

Wait...there is someone worse than Carolina in run D??? Do you think Cam, DW, and Stewart each run for 100?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

I would not rule that one out.

Orlando (Baton Rouge, La)

Hey Pat, everyone's saying that the Saints have no shot at out throwing Green Bay outdoors in January but Green Bay hasn't done that well throwing outside either hence, relying on their running game to win which I believe New Orleans has their number at. your thoughts

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

An excellent point. Was talking to a scout the other day, who made the point that these aren't the Bart Starr Packers. The current Packers aren't necessarily built for playing in Lambeau in January.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Is Josh Johnson a start worthy replacement for Freeman this weekend?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

My guess at this point is that Freeman plays. If not, Johnson starts and I wouldn't get my hopes too high. Although Carolina defense certainly is capable of making him look good.

Nick (What games are you watching?)

Do you watch all the NFC south games in full? If you did you would know that Blount is playing fairly well and just doesn't get the ball. I love your work but that last article on Tampa and Carolina seemed a but out of line with reality.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Reality is Bucs are on a five-game losing streak. What, objectively, have you seen positive out of them?

Pat (Raleigh, NC)

Isn't the ROy award usually given to the player with the best stats while the MVP is usually given to the best player on the best team?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

In general terms, I'd say that's pretty accurate.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Pat, who has the bigger break this weekend? Falcons for not facing Schaub or Leinart, or the Saints for not facing Suh?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Gotta go with Falcons on that one. They're facing a No. 3 rookie QB.

John (Charlotte nc)

to Nick (What games are you watching .Look at how the panthers have played this year and look at how the Bucs played this year.You would see that the panthers are Not the worst team in the nfc south

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Thank you, sir.

Rob (Tampa)

Pat, I am a Falcons fan living in Tampa. I go to all of the Falcons games at Ray Jay, it is a great stadium and the fans that show up are very passionate. I know you live in Tampa as well. Why do people here just not show up to games?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Agree, one of best stadiums in league and fans that do come are passionate. Biggest reason I hear from those who don't go is the economy. But it also would help if the team was winning.

cj (winston salem)

Do you think the Panthers will use all of their draft picks in next years draft on defense and if so what position do you think they will draft first/the highest? Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

At least most of their draft picks will be on D. At this point, I'd guess DT. But let's see where they end up in draft order and what's available.

Eliot (New York, NY)

Ok Pat, let's assume the Saints win the division. Do you really think they are guaranteed a trip to the NFC Championship? Are you forgetting what happened last season? They'd have to play (in all likelihood) CHI/SF or ATL/SF first.. All of whom are better than 7-9 SEA..

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

I don't think anything is guaranteed. But I'd say this year's Saints are far better than last year's Saints. At least at this point, they haven't had a lot of big injuries.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat do you think CAR dumps Naanee and drafts a #2 WR?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Might dump him, but not sure they draft another WR. LaFell could be that guy and David Gettis will be coming back from injury.

john (new orleans)

TURN ON THE AUTO UPDATE!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Think you have to do it yourself. I can't do it for you. Should be a place to click in upper-right corner.

David (Ak)

Matt Williamson did a piece on best QB to Reciever combos. Brees and Graham nor Colston was on there. Any reason as to why? More Brees oversight?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Didn't see that particular piece, so I don't know for sure. But Brees to Graham certainly looks like one of best combos. And Brees to Colston isn't bad either.

Free (Pittsburgh)

Hey Pat, why are the bucs so content with there underachieving players such as kregg lumpkin and myron lewis, why not give players like mosis madu, anthony gaitor and ed gant a chance to see if they provide a spark.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Bucs coaches see those guys in practice every day. I'm sure if they thought they could provide a spark, then they would play them.

Nick (What games are you watching)

Not arguing the point of who is worse in the division. My point is Blount shouldn't be taking any heat for the Bucs problems, he is their best offensive weapon with fine numbers when given opportunities.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

He's run fairly well. But the fact they don't trust him enough to leave him out there in pass protection very much has hurt entire offense.

Ken (NY)

Who do you have as the 2nd best QB in the NFCS?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

I'd say Ryan right now. He's seemed to get back on track the last month or so.

Matty Ice (Hotlanta)

Why does no one ever seem to talk about us?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Just did.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Just did.

mike (greensboro)

If the saints win the div, will it be the first time in history that a NFC South team repeated?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Umm, Saints didn't win it last year. Falcons did. No one ever has won NFC South in back-to-back years.

CJ (Winston Salem)

Do you think the Panthers will use all of their draft picks in next years draft on defense and if so what position do you think they will draft first/the highest? Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Answered that one a few minutes ago, but I really appreciate the question being posted 40 times.

David W (Atlanta)

Pat - it seems that the Falcons are beginning to hit a stride (third quarter not withstanding) and their remaining schedule seems pretty generous. I know all the talk is about Green Bay and New Orleans, but do you see the Falcons being a playoff sleeper if they continue playing the way they have been?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Yep, certainly possible. Look at roll Packers went on last year. They were No. 6 seed. Am I seeing signs Falcons might be getting hot at the right time? Yes, they've been better lately.

JT (Stafford, VA)

Is Jacquizz Rodgers a better running back than Jason Snelling. I am beginning to think so, and that's no knock on Snelling. Obviously there is no comparision as a stand in fullback...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

They're completely different types of backs. I think each of them can fill roles behind Turner.

Jason (High Point)

How are the Panthers looking Cap wise the next few years and do you see them trying to bring in a decent free agent or 2 on defense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Actually was looking at that last night. Panthers are one of highest cap figures in the NFL for 2012 next year. Pretty sure the number was right around $124 million.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat do you think Tony Gonzalez retires after this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

I think that will be strictly up to Tony. Think Falcons would like him back. I think he's looked much better this year than last and still has something in the tank.

Andy (NC)

Panthers are getting a FA on D next year. Did everyone in Carolina forget Edwards tore a bicept???

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Very good point.

Rum (N'awlins)

Hey Pat, do you think Ingram is finally feeling comfy in the Saints O?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Yep, thought he looked very good on Monday night. Love the way they're mixing their RBs.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Armanti Edwards just hasnt gotten launched this year and it may not be his fault per se, but do you think he gets cut as a result?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Think they'll bring him to training camp and give him one more chance.

G (North Of New Orleans)

Pat, do you think Greg Williams has lost his edge as a D co. or is it as simple as a lack of talent to carry out his plays. seems like the D line has underplayed all year

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

I'd lean more toward putting it on the D-line.

Ken (NY)

Even though the panthers are 3-8 there does seem to be a high level of optimism. Do you think it has any thing to do with how bad they were last year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Sure, they're clearly better than last year. They're exciting on offense and have been in a lot of close games until late. Pencil Beason and Edwards back in for next year and the defense suddenly looks a lot better. Plus, I'm sure they'll be adding some defensive players through the draft and free agency.

CJ (Charlotte nc)

pat Panthers new.LB Omar Gaither (knee) practiced in full & is listed as questionable. WR Kealoha Pilares (quad) did not practice

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Well, they've pretty much said Jordan Senn will get another start in Gaither's place. That's three straight days on Pilares, so it sounds like he's probably out.

CJ (Winston Salem)

Sorry about the repeat question earlier Pat I thought I had pasted my new question in the box. :) Do you think Shockey will be with the Panthers after this year? I personally think he has surprised alot of people this season

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Think there's a decent chance they keep him around. Chudzinski loves having Shockey and Olsen together.

David Lee (University of Illinois)

Pat! I don't think Pierre Thomas gets the credit and love that he deserves. He was the starting tailback for a super bowl winning team and seemingly, Mark Ingram is more involed in the offense than he is and when Reggie Bush was around, he seemingly was favored by Payton more. What gives?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Payton loves to rotate. If you go back and look at Monday night, Pierre was very effective when he was in there. But he's going to remain part of a rotation.

Brandon (Vancouver)

Assuming he stays out of jail, what do you think happens to Talib? He hasn't played nearly as well this year as in the past. Isn't his contract up?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

No, he's under contract through 2012. So I think they'll wait to see what happens with legal system.

Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta, GA)

Shouldn't I be getting more snaps than Kroy Bierman? I am tied for the team lead in sacks with almost no playing time, what do I need to do, get a reality TV show?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Seems like you have been getting more snaps lately. Just keep doing what you're doing.

Randy (CT)

Hey Pat....grerat job as always, missed ya last Friday....What will my birds control better... stopping the potent running game or the substitute corners keeping Houston WR's in check?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Your run D has been very good lately. Think your replacement CBs are catching a break with a rookie, third-string QB.

CJ (Winston Salem)

Pat are you staying in Tampa on Sunday and covering the Panthers at Bucs game? and will you be in Charlotte next week to cover the Falcons at the panthers game.Thanks Pat

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I will be covering Saints' game Sunday night. I will be in Charlotte next week for Panthers/Falcons.

Josh (Deerfield, IL)

Pat, I have been waiting a while for a post. so please answer my question.The Bears WR core is awful, will Jerry Angelo finally realize that and actually sign a big name WR like DeSean Jackson or Reggie Wayne, and will the Bears go after Jermichael Finley just to hurt the Packers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Appreciate your effort, but this is an NFC South chat. I know Jerry pretty well from our time in Tampa, so I'll step out of division for a second and say he'll go get a big-name WR.

Ken (NY)

How surprised were you to hear Jake Delhomme is back in the NFL?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Quite a bit, actually. Thought only place Jake would return would be New Orleans if something had happened to Brees. But I guess Houston isn't too far from home. Wish Jake all the best. He's one of the classiest guys I've ever covered.

Nick (Atlanta)

Pat, Why do you think Grimes is not getting the national attention he deserves. He has a great story, super athletic, exciting replays yet not alot of attention.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Well, he did get to the Pro Bowl last season and I think people nationally have realized that he makes up for the fact he's undersized with his athleticism. But he's hurt now and will be out for a bit, so he probably has no Pro Bowl shot this year.

CJ (Winston Salem)

Seriously how many CJs can there be here in Winston Salem that wasnt me who asked the last question by "CJ"LOL. If Chud does get a head coaching job in the next year or 2 do you think that will have a negative impact on the offense or will they be able to find someone to continue their style of play

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

If it happens, I'd expect they just move Shula up to OC and continue running the same offense. But I also think it might take one more year for Chudzinski to get a head coaching job.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

Biggest impact to the improvement of the Falcons offense, Ryan running the no huddle or cohesiveness along the Oline (Svitek and Hawley starting)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

O-line has definitely improved. But I'm a big fan of the no-huddle. Either that or just have somebody steal the batteries out of Mularkey's headset and let Ryan call all the plays!

Josh (Deerfield, IL)

Ok, I do have an NFC South question for you actually, from what I saw in week 1 do you think the Saints could beat Green Bay, and what's your thought on Drew Brees beating Dan marino's passing yards record, I'm a die hard Bears fan, but I love Drew Brees b/c of what he did for the Saints

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Cool, glad we could convert you into an NFC South fan. Saints played the Pack down to the wire in the opener. Lambeau is not an easy place to win, but I think Saints could at least give them a run in January. As far as Marino's record, I think Brees, Brady and Rodgers all pass it this year.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Since you know Jerry Angelo pretty well can you give some insight into just what the deal is with that guy? Does some weird things, and seems pretty dishonest.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Jerry is not dishonest. Not in the least. He's a good man. But he is an NFL GM and sometimes those jobs require guys to be secretive.

Ken (NY)

Jake is the classiest guy in the NFL that i have ever met. Never has there been a classier release of a player than the way Jake and Fox both handled it.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

No argument here. Have covered some classy guys through the years -- Brooks, Lynch, Warrick Dunn, Jordan Gross, Matt Ryan, Curtis Lofton, Jon Vilma -- to name a few and Jake would be on any list I could come up with of classiest guys.

Clark (Charlotte)

What was the last full Panthers game you watched? You don't seem to know much about the team so you recycle the same stuff over and over.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Umm, that would be Sunday's game. Can only work with what they give me.

CP (Brooklyn, NY)

I definitely do not like Mularkey as a play caller, but the guy is an offensive genius. Yes Ryan's calling the plays at the line, but Mularkey is designing those plays. I just hope he gets a head coaching job next season!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

I think there are a lot of Falcons fans that are hoping for the same thing.

KTV (ATL)

Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon better tandem than Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Maybe not yet, but moving in that direction. Lofton's finally starting to get attention he deserves and Weatherspoon is becoming a star.

Clark (Charlotte)

Work with what they give you? It only took you 12 weeks to realize how good of a season Chris Gamble was having.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

They've won three games. Relax.

redzonejones (New York)

Do you still think Freeman is a good potentially great QB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Absolutely, if he doesn't get ruined in the meantime.

Justin (New Britian, CT)

Falcons have all the pieces in place to make a run, espcially the way they have been peaking as of late. Could Atlanta make a run and compete with the best of the NFC? (Green Bay, New Orleans) - Atlanta was up on both in the games played this regular season.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I've said all along, I think Falcons have the talent to really click it into overdrive at any time. They've shown some positive signs lately, so anything is possible.

David (Ak)

Brees ever win an MVP? Doubt it myself.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Not this year. I mean, he's having a great year. But so is Rodgers and Rodgers plays for the Packers, who are a national team. So that's tough for Drew to overcome.

Sean (Auburn)

Can you expand on your Freeman good/great comment? I love Freeman and I hear all the talk about dropped passes and young team, undisciplined, blah blah. But I've watched quite a few of his games this year and its like Hyde and Jekyll. He just makes some awful decisions and awful throws at times.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Are you the same person posting under different names? How many times do I have to say the same thing. No, Freeman hasn't looked great this year and some of that is on him. But it's too easy to just blame a QB for what's going on. You have to look at what's going on around him. I think his supporting cast has major issues and I question a good bit of the coaching.

Broadmoor Paul (New Orleans)

No response to my question about Garrett Hartley?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Please send it again. Some questions get lost in the shuffle.

Jason (Greensboro)

I know Kalil is relatively new but evetually at what point does Carolina start looking for Gross' replacement. I know still has some years left but eventually he is going to start wearing down and when that happens their O-line is going to take a major hit. Thanks for all your input and hard work

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Think they've got to start looking sooner rather than later. They've finally found their franchise QB, so they've got to make sure he's protected.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat do you think Otah gets cut by the Panthers? He has barely played the last 2 yrs.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

No, doesn't make any financial sense to cut him. He's heading into last year of contract, so bring him back to camp and see if he's healthy. But, also, they should be thinking about what they want to do their if he is not healthy.

CC (Atlanta)

That beating by the Rams will likely cause NO to lose out on the bye. How awful is that loss?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

No doubt it was awful. But their offensive line had a horrible day and got exploited. They've moved on from it.

Frank (Mass)

Is Jimmy Graham the Best Tight End in football?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

He's getting there, but not perfect yet. All right, thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.