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January 13, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Kevin (Hamilton Ohio)

Hay Pat do u think the saints defense will step up Saturday

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:47 PM)

As I wrote Thursday, I think Saints defense needs to come through in this one. They don't have to shut the Niners down. But need to play like they did in 2009. In other words, come up with a turnover or two. All right, chat is rolling early.

Brian (Tampa Bay)

Listened to an interview Dan Sileo had on WDAE's site the other day with Brian Billick. From listening to him, Billick seems like he wants to coach again, and seems he is intrigued in the Bucs. Have you heard any rumblings about the Bucs giving him an interview?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:47 PM)

I've not heard anything that would indicate Bucs are interested in Billick.

Steve Spagnuolo (On vacation)

Am I or Mike Nolan the leading candidates tot he land the Atlanta DC job?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:48 PM)

Think you both are in the mix.

Georgie T. (New Orleans)

We've heard about the prowess of the 49er's defense but, reasonably speaking, how can any defense of late cover all of the Saint's weapons? As I see it, there aren't enough defensive players at 11 to stop New Orlean's potent offense. If they pass rush Brees will hit any one of his receivers. If they fall back into coverage the Saint's have 3 outstanding running backs. It's very hard to defense all of that.

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:49 PM)

I think it's impossible for any defense to be expected to shut down the Saints. They're going to score points. I think the bigger question is if the Niners can score enough to win.

Frank (New Orleans)

Why did Wade Phillips pull out of Buc's coaching search?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:49 PM)

I think Houston made it really attractive for him to stay.

Jeff Bender (Carrolwood)

Hey Pat, local radio is pushing for Rich Biasaccia to get an interview with the Bucs. Do you A) think he will get an interview? and B) think he is qualified to be a head coach? Thanks, and I will hang up and listen to your answer.

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:51 PM)

I don't think he'll get an interview. But I don't think that's as crazy an idea as some people do. Rich is an excellent special teams coach and had a nice run in Tampa before going to San Diego. I know the general rule is that special teams coaches don't turn into head coaches. But it's worked out pretty well for the guy in Baltimore.

DiMaggio Spencer (Atlant, GA)

Pat, is it safe to say...that the Falcons are back to the rebuilding stage? Which means Mr. Blank & the entire organization aren't realistically; expecting to get to the Super Bowl next season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:53 PM)

No, I don't think that's the case at all. I think he expects them to go to Super Bowl. Still lots of talent there. They just need to make some tweaks with their personnel and hire some new assistant coaches.

Slate (Houston)

I know everyone wants defense in Charlotte, but if Blackmon falls to Carolina in the draft, there is no way they can pass him up, right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:54 PM)

It's early on the draft, but, at this point, I don't think he'll make it to Panthers.

Steve (Indiana)

Brian Billick's name is poping up in ATL's OC search. Any chance a superbowl winning HC takes an OC position?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:55 PM)

I think it's possible. He might need to be a coordinator again before becoming a head coach again. He and Mike Smith are related through marriage.

Gerald (Wyoming)

I think Marty is what the Bucs need. They have a rb to pound it for Marty ball and the guy wins, what do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:56 PM)

He has a track record of winning in regular season. My only question is if, at 68, he might be too old to coach?

John (California)

From a NFC South guy, tell me, do the Saints quietly feel confident about this game, or are they really worried about history and Niners defense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:57 PM)

I think Saints are pretty confident. They've been playing at a very high level for over two months now.

Bijon (Metairie)

After seeing Marshawn Lynch have success vs the 49ers Defense, how do you think Ivory will fare against them seeing that they have similar running styles?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:58 PM)

Think you might see more of Ivory and the running game in general than you're used to tomorrow. And that could be a good thing.

Mort (Rural Hall, NC)

If Chud winds up in Tampa (or somewhere else) do you think Norv Turner would be a good fit as the Panthers OC?

Pat Yasinskas
  (3:59 PM)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Chargers made it clear Norv is staying. If Chud does leave, I think there's a good chance Panthers just promote QB coach Mike Shula.

Sean (Las Vegas)

I think the Saints can rush for at least 80 yards. If Payton continues to run it's inevitable the LB/safety start cheating and that's when Brees hits the PA pass. I just don't see the 49ers being able to shut Saints down. Saints look to be out to prove they can play anywhere at anytime this year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:00 PM)

I'm on the same page. I just don't think Niners can score enough to stay with Saints.

Mind Reader (Hotlanta)

Who do you guess that Atlanta will hire as their OC/DC?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:01 PM)

Just guessing at this point, but I'd say Nolan for DC and Billick for OC.

mike (greensboro)

what are the chances that CHUD goes elsewhere now that the rams job is off the table?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:03 PM)

He's going to interview for Tampa Bay and I think he'll at least have a chance at that.

Paulitik (DC)

Who do you think are the "sacrifical cows" Thomas Dimitroff and Arthur Blank were talking about. I've read that Grimes might not be back, and there is a lot of buzz about trading Roddy. Do you see the Falcons being that drastic?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:04 PM)

I could see some pretty big moves. Blank wasn't happy with the season. They've already had some change on coaching staff. Without a first-round pick, trading Roddy might make some sense, if they can get a first-round pick in return.

Glenn (Dirty Jerz)

Will you be shocked when the 49ers Win?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:05 PM)

No, I wouldn't say that. Niners are definitely a good team and could win this game. I just think Saints will win because I don't think anybody can beat them in a shootout right now.

Robert (Hawaii)

I have read a few columns where Atlanta plans on reducing Michael Turner's load going forward. Do you think they will retain Snelling or look for another back? I think Jacquizz gets alot of snaps going forward but need another bruiser, maybe Lynch?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:06 PM)

I think they'll look for another back, either in draft or free agency.

Sean (Las Vegas)

Any word on Moore? He brings a different dimension to the Saints offense that they missed in the first half against the Lions.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:07 PM)

Not yet. But injury report should be coming any time now. As soon as we get done with chat and I get report, I'll post an update on the blog.

William (California)

I think the Saints are going to lose tomorrow because the D cant stop anyone, and the 49ers D will win the game!

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:08 PM)

It's possible. You're telling me what you think and I told you what I think.

Noah (TN)

Are the Falcons being pretty quiet as far as letting the media know about interviews for coord positions?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:08 PM)

Yep, very quiet. But I expect both searches to go pretty quickly.

Steve (CA)

Moore is out, per Saints Twitter feed.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:09 PM)

Thanks for the update, Steve. That's one less offensive weapon.

John (Charlotte nc)

Pat I don't get why the Panthers allowing any team yet along the BUCS to talk Rob Chudzinski.Losing Chud will be a major blow to the Carolina

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:10 PM)

If a man has a chance to better himself, you have to give him that chance.

Steve (nashville)

Any chance of Hue Jackson coming back to ATL to run the offense, or is that just a pipe dream of mine?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:11 PM)

I wouldn't rule that one out. I think he's at least someone they'd have to consider.

Tim (Charlotte)

You stated that if Chud left, you think Mike Shula would be promoted to OC. Do you think he learned enough from Chud in one season to replicate the Panthers stellar offensive season? He obvioulsy worked closely with Cam Newton, is he the best man for the job? (Other than Chudzinski, obviously)

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:12 PM)

I think so. I think they'd keep the offense exactly the same. Shula's been a coordinator before and has a great relationship with Cam.

DW (Atlanta GA)

Pat, given the playoff debacle this past weekend, do you think a change in coordinators will be enough, or are the Falcons missing several key pieces? Personally, I think most of the OLine needs to be shuffled.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:14 PM)

I agree that O-line definitely needs some work. A few coaching changes won't be enough to solve everything.

Drew (ATL)

Hey Pat, great blog as always. Heres my question: What do the Falcons need to do to shore up our O/L? I think everyone know's it was bad this year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:15 PM)

Get a left tackle and a right guard. Oh, probably a center too. Left tackle is going to be tough without a first-round pick. The crop of free agents right now isn't looking great.

mike (greensboro)

is mike goodson gone after this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:16 PM)

That would be my guess.

Lee (Fl)

Do you think Josh Freeman is still a franchise quarterback after such a dissapointing season

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:17 PM)

I think he has the talent to be one. Just think he needs right coaching and supporting cast.

Marcus (Miami Fl)

Pat do you think Brian Billick will be a better fit here than Dirk Koetter and The Jets former Offensive Coordinator ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:18 PM)

I think Koetter would be a good fit there. And he also has some history with Smith.

Sean (Las Vegas)

You can break it to ATL fans that Ryan is the 3rd ranked QB in the NFCS.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:19 PM)

I'll let you tell them, Sean.

Georgie T. (New Orleans)

Pat, what's the cause of the disparity between 2009 and 2011 give-away/take-away stats for the Saints D? Has Greg Williams changed his philosophy?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:20 PM)

No, I don't think philosophy has changed a bit. Turnovers are still what he wants, but they aren't coming.

Paulitik (DC)

Hue Jackson had a hissyfit when Emmitt Thomas was named interim coach after the Petrino debacle. It is well known in Atlanta that Hue burned any bridge back to Flowery Branch. No way he gets hired.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:20 PM)

Ah, good point. Forgot about that.

Ken (NY)

Cam Newton chances in your opinion of being ROY?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:21 PM)

About 101 percent.

John Abraham (ATL)

Do you think my Birds are going to resign me?? Or are they going to let me walk??

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:22 PM)

It'll be interesting to see. At your age, not sure it's a good idea to tie up a lot of money, especially when they've got a lot tied up in Ray Edwards.

gerald (tallahassee)

Do you think Mike Smith is part of the conservative coaching problem in Atlanta?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:23 PM)

I think he needs to adjust his philosophies a bit. He's a good coach, but needs to figure out what he needs to do differently to get them to the next level.

GrahamReaper (9'ers Locker Room)

I don't think GW will be back next year. (and not because of Fisher)

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:24 PM)

I think you might be exactly right. The GW defense hasn't been all that good since 09.

Kyle Bowen (Peachtree City GA)

Who should the Falcons get this off-season

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:25 PM)

I'd start with a left tackle.

Phillip (Atlanta)

Dan Parr of PFW says his sources tell him Falcons are going to let Brent Grimes walk. Are you hearing that as well? Suprises me as he seems to be a cornerstone.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:26 PM)

Have not heard that. I'd be very surprised if they'd already made decision on that either way. They've only been done for a few days. That's a conversation/debate that's going to take some time.

Alex Smith (San Francisco, CA)

You don't think that my team's defense is good enough to keep the game close so that a "shoot-out" doesn't occur? I know that's what the fans want, but you're not giving the guys enough credit over here. Drew may throw more yards than me tomorrow, but I will outscore him. Thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:27 PM)

I know your defense is very talented. But I have a tough time seeing anyone really shutting down the Saints. Then again, I don't know if they've seen a defense like this.

Jake (GA)

What do you think about Sidbury on Falcons D-Line?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:28 PM)

Emerged a little this year, but probably still just a backup.

Josh (Chattanooga, TN)

Pat, this is week #4 of consecutively asking this question, let's hope it happens.Are we allowed to call out Ron Rivera and his staff for being the WORST staff in the league at second half adjustments? So many times the team came out flat, with horrid play calling after a very VERY strong first half and lost the game.I love the staff and think they'll do great things with this team but this area needs to improve, for sure, agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:29 PM)

I don't think it was so much the admustments as it was that reality would just catch up to Panthers in second half. They had a ton of key injuries on defense and that made it tough to hold onto a lead. Fix the defense and you'll be fine next season.

Noah (TN)

Think Mularkey and the Falcons have the worst second half adjustment award locked down for this season.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:30 PM)

Good point, Noah!

Phillip (Atlanta)

shhhhhh......Here is a dirty little secret about Falcons defense. Jonathan Babineaux has not made a play in two years.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:30 PM)

I'd disagree with that. I think Babs is a pretty solid DT.

John Taylor (Melbourne FL)

Could the Falcons interview Pete Carmichael, Saints, offensive coordinator and would this move be most likely blocked by the Saints?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:31 PM)

Almost certainly would be blocked by Saints because it's lateral move.

Jake (GA)

Mularkey admitted that he is not a good play caller.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:31 PM)

Did you need Mularkey to tell you that?

mike (greensboro)

saw the 2012-13 schedule for the panthers... i def think there are some games that should make prime time! your thoughts

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:32 PM)

I think you'll get at least a couple prime-time games now that the world knows Cam is for real.

robby (mississippi coast)

Pat, are the Saints to a point in the running game now that they could go to Green Bay in the cold and pull it out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:33 PM)

I think that's very possible. They've got a better running game than Green Bay does.

Phillip (Atlanta)

Pat, is Pete Carmichael a lateral move when he is the OC in New Orleans in "name only"?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:34 PM)

He's calling the plays now. Has been since Payton broke his leg. Saints aren't going to do anything to help the Falcons out.

Pat young (Charlotte nc)

Pat I thought that Chud and Ron Rivera are good friends ? So my question is why don't the Panthers go to Chud offered him a pay rise and keep him in Carolina? which would make everyone happy

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:35 PM)

I think he's at an age where you have to let him test the waters. My guess is he'll spend one more year in Carolina before getting a job as a head coach.

Ty (Nashville)

Since last week you said Mr Brees will get Mr Colston back because he wants him...does Mr Brees want Mr Nicks and Mr Meachem back as much as he wants Mr Colston

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:36 PM)

Definitely on Mr. Nicks. I'm sure he wants Meachem too, but that one might depend on if they can fit him under the cap after taking care of all the others.

Jake (GA)

What will happen to Micheal Turner? He seems to be more of a short yardage or goal line RB now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:37 PM)

I think you'll see him stay in Atlanta in a reduced role. They'll probably bring in another power back to pair with him and let Jacquizz Rodgers be the speed guy.

Phillip (Atlanta)

Any chance the Saints let Carl Nicks slip out of town without franchising him? I know the boyz in Flowery Branch would be interested in his services and willing to pay top dollar.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:38 PM)

I think Saints will be sure to keep Nicks. He's the best guard in the league and does a nice job taking care of Mr. Brees.

chris (tampa)

do the panthers try and resign shockey.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:39 PM)

I would think so. He had a decent year for them and didn't seem to have any problems.

Steve (Indiana)

Why all the talk in trading Roddy White? Even if you get a 1st rounder, aren't the Falcons in the same spot they were b/4 drafting Julio? Doesn't make since to me.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:40 PM)

He's 31 or about to turn 31. He's also coming off a year in which he dropped a ridiculous amount of passes.

GurS (Edgware, UK)

Question for you Pat: what's happening with Cody Grimm? Is his rehab going well? He was arguably the only other sound tackler in the Bucs secondary together with Ronde, but I've heard nothing about how he's doing since his injury in week 3...

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:41 PM)

Haven't heard anything on him recently. Will try to check for you.

Buck N Kincade (680 studio)

We sure could use a guy like Nicks on that line. My sources are telling me Sam Baker doesnt even like football and he's pretty much done.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:42 PM)

You're sources are right at least on the "done" in Atlanta part.

robby (mississippi coast)

Pat, It is an embarrasment to me as a Saints fan that we have not signed Brees yet? Isnt the value pretty much set? Cant they agree on a number? The front office will wish they had done the deal before he is a two time SB MVP, right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:44 PM)

I thought it would have been done long ago, but it hasn't been. I know Drew wanted to table it until after season to avoid distractions and I know they also have to structure it carefully for cap purposes. But it's pretty clear that you take the biggest QB contract and top it -- or at very least match it.

Noah (TN)

Julio is WAY faster than Roddy, and Douglas proved he can fill in well as th No. 2

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:45 PM)

And you only need one No. 1 receiver.

Joe (Germany)

Do you think the Glazers actually open up the pocket book this year? Maybe the last chance to bring back the dwindling fan base.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:46 PM)

I think they almost have to do a little in free agency this time around. Their philosophy of building through draft won't change, but they do need to supplement their roster with some free agents.

Jake (GA)

Sometimes I wonder if Roddy White is a good locker room guy. He seems to say and do what Roddy wants to do or not do.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:47 PM)

Roddy pushes the envelope like a lot of good WRs do in that area. But, overall, I wouldn't say he's a bad locker room guy.

MinnWhoDat (St Paul, MN)

Pat, Enjoy your blog. I think one of the circumstances overlooked in all this grass vs turf, home vs road is the amount of turmoil on the Saint's O-Line early in the season. With injuries to Kreutz, Strief and Brown and the retirement of Stincomb (ultimately Kreutz, it was until mid-season that the current line started to jell and the Saint's offense started to perform at a high-level. Would you agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:49 PM)

Yeah, no doubt. And I think it might have even been a little after midseason when Strief came back. The current starting group hasn't been together long, but has come on pretty well lately.

Andrew (Nicaragua)

I've seen you say it's not likely Del Rio will end up in Atlanta. Why is that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:49 PM)

I don't think I've said that. Others have.

Phillip (Atlanta)

Curtis Lofton is a "must" re-sign, right?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:50 PM)

I think so.

Sean (Las Vegas)

Too bad you can't travel to SF. I would hate to think blog fans of the NFCS will have to read Sando and his bias choosing of the 49ers. At least we will get to read all the whining and complaining about the refereeing when the Saints go marching in!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:51 PM)

I'll be blogging and doing the live chat during the game from my bed with the vaporizer running.

Jack (Atlanta)

I think Mularkey deserves a lot of blame for this season. Running Turner up the middle again and again doesn't always work, and he never moved away from it. The next OC has to be willing to turn Ryan loose.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:52 PM)

Agree totally. Next OC should sit down with Matt and have a heart to heart. Let Matt tell him what he likes doing best.

Steve (CA)

MinnWhoDat is a smart one. The turning point of this season was when Kruetz retired and De La Puente took over at center.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:53 PM)

de la Puente's been one of the biggest surprises of the season.

Eric (Nola)

Smitty says he wants 4 more years in Charlotte. Think the Panthers offer to extend his contract this off season? I don't see them not extending him, do you?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:53 PM)

I suspect he'll be taken care of.

Colin (Miami)

Given the fall off Freeman had from last year to this one, do you think its possible that Cam Newton goes through a similar sophomore slump?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:54 PM)

Apples and oranges. Newton's got proven supporting cast.

Larry Smith (Tampa Bay FL)

Pat my high ranking sources who are best friends with the Glazers have told me that if Chud does not get the job.Then the Bucs plan to reach out and interview Don Shula for head coaching job

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:55 PM)

Well, Shula's age would be more in line with some of the other candidates!

John (Anchorage)

Pat , Chidi Ahanotu wrote and article on the pewter report suggesting that the bucs should cuts ties with freeman and go out and draft RG3 , your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:56 PM)

I don't think you can give up on Freeman yet. Lot of money invested in him.

Jamal (Durham, NC)

Pat,Who are some Left Tackles the Falcons could pursue in FA?

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:57 PM)

List could change if some guys are released. But the list I saw at end of season wasn't impressive. Best guy on there was from Bengals. Can't think of his name right now.

StShockey (MS)

Bold Prediction for tomorrow. Sproles to the house on a special team's play.

Pat Yasinskas
  (4:59 PM)

There, we've got you on record. Couple more questions before we wrap up.

Phillip (Atlanta)

Do you think Jacquizz Rodgers could ever be a #1 back in the NFL?

Pat Yasinskas
  (5:00 PM)

Haven't seen nearly enough to convince me of that. But think he can be a nice speed back. Can be sort of what they always hoped Norwood could be.

Otto (CA)

Who is the Saints backup quarterback? I expect to see him tomorrow.

Pat Yasinskas
  (5:00 PM)

Chase Daniel. Why do you expect to see him?

Frank (Jersey)

How could the Saints possibly afford to resign Nicks, Brees, Colston, and Meachem when they barely have any cap room. Atlanta has around 24 mil before they release some guys. I would be surprised not to see Atlanta take a hard hard run at him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (5:01 PM)

Saints can create room by releasing some guys. There are always ways around the cap.

Al (Wausau, WI)

A tweet earlier this week said that "adding Sam Baker in pass protection is like adding Wile E. Coyote to product safety". Thought this might be worth sharing...

Pat Yasinskas
  (5:03 PM)

Pretty funny. We'll end it on that note. You all are invited to join us on Countdown Live chat during the game tomorrow. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.