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July 27, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

SaintsFan (Memphis)

How did Mark Ingram look in camp?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:42 PM)

Let's kick this one off real early. I might have to cut out a few minutes early on the back end. I don't want to read too much into one practice, especially since it was indoors (due to weather) and they weren't in pads. But Ingram said he's 100 percent healthy, which is all you can really hope for at this point.

John (New Orleans)

Between Shanle, Casillas, and Chamberlian who do you think will win the other OLB job at camp?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:43 PM)

I think Shanle is the safe, fall-back option. But I think they're really hoping one of the other two can step up and win the job.

Carl Carlson (Springfield)

Having turned 30 in February, does Michael Turner have one more big year left?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:44 PM)

I think Turner still has something in the tank. That said, I think you'll see them do some different things with their RBs this year. You'll see more of Jacquizz Rodgers and maybe even Jason Snelling. But Turner still will be the main ball carrier.

Brother Love (Pasadena, Texas)

How good is Josh Freeman? With the new offense, will the Bucs be able to stretch the field more?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:46 PM)

I think Freeman will bounce back. He now has a guy that can get open downfield in Vincent Jackson. The Bucs also should be able to at least make use of play-action fakes this year and that should help in throwing the ball deep.

Mookie (Snellville)

Het Pat, being at Saints camp who do you think will take the 4th receiver spot ? I would think it would be Toons job to lose. And I thought the Saints carried 5 wideouts.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:47 PM)

Yeah, they'll carry five, maybe even six. I think Toon and Arrington are the early favorites. But I think Joe Morgan also has a chance to make the roster.

Craig (Fort smith, Arkansas)

Does Joe Adams have a significant chance at becoming a starting receiver this year? and by the end of camp who do think will be the number 2 corner back?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:48 PM)

No, I think they're looking at Adams more as a No. 3, 4 or 5 WR and return man. They're hoping either Josh Norman or Brandon Hogan can win the No. 2 CB job.

Drew (Home of the NOLES!!)

Pat, love the blog! What do you think about Tampas secondary this upcoming year? Bringing in Wright and drafting Barron is a huge boost!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:50 PM)

Think it could be a pretty good secondary. We all know Talib has talent and Ronde should be able to make easy transition to safety. They think Barron is going to be a big-time player.

Nicolas (Parkland, FL)

How does the trade of Brian Price affect the Buccaneers? Do you think that they will use Amobi Okoye or someone younger?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

I think Okoye is the guy they expect to start. But they also think highly of some of the other guys.

Drew (Home of the NOLES!!)

I know it's early, but I think the Buccs can have a top five O-Line this year. Thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:52 PM)

If Penn gets healthy by regular season and Trueblood is adequate on the right side, they've got a chance to be a very good offensive line.

Pete (Maine)

Do you think the court will overturn Goodell's ruling?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

I really don't know. But check out this video on my blog of Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless sharing their thoughts on the matter:http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/37136/video-does-jonathan-vilma-have-a-case

David (Raleigh)

I keep hearing about the Panthers 2nd CB position, but what about the safeties? Will there be much competition at safety at camp this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

They think the guy they signed from Baltimore has a chance to push for a starting job. They also think their safeties will be helped tremendously by a more stable situation at LB.

Max M (Fayettevile NC)

When a team trades a player like Otah do they have at least a suspicion he might not pass their physical. The Panthers can't be surprised if this trade ends up null and void. Is that correct?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Yep, I'm pretty sure they knew this was a possibility. They had more medical info than anyone on Otah.

James (Fort Mill, SC)

Hey Pat, any camp sleepers for the Panthers this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Will let you know when I get to Spartanburg.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Will let you know when I get to Spartanburg.

Joseph (Toluca, Mexico)

Cap #'s for Morstead's extension? Or have they not been made public yet?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Give me a couple days and I'll get them for you.

Nathan (Orange County)

Any clarity you can shed on the draft pick acquired for Price? I have heard "undisclosed" and "conditional". Which one is it?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Probably both -- an undisclosed conditional pick. Wouldn't count on it being much. Probably a late-rounder that could improve a little bit depending on how much Price plays for the Bears.

Joseph (Toluca, Mexico)

How did the pass rush look yesterday in practice? Or was it only 9 vs. 7 LB/DB's with no rush?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

It was indoors and not padded, so I can't read too much into it. I will say Junior Galette and Martez Wilson at least look the part.

Alex (shreveport)

Any hint as to who Loomis will select to replace Joe Vitt's 6 game suspension?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Well, there have been multiple reports that it will be O-line coach Aaron Kromer. But team has not made any official announcement and Vitt has said they're still deciding on that.

Ben ((Florida))

Do you think Darren Sproles will have more or less of an impact than he did last year? Also do you think that Marques Colston can be a fantasy sleeper WR?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Think Sproles can have about the same impact as he did last year. Not sure what kind of league you're in, but think it would be tough to call Colston a "sleeper" under any circumstances. The guy has put up solid numbers year after year and I expect that to continue this year.

Dom (Stone Mountain)

How good can Nolan make the Falcons D this year if everyone stays healthy from this point out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I think they have a lot of talent on defense. Just a matter of Nolan getting everyone on same page and instilling a more aggressive attitude.

Big Dan (Land O Lakes)

Glad that Greg is cleaning out the " problem children " with the Bucs. It's about time the players were held to a higher standard for all the money they make. Bring in or learn to be a REAL pro or get out of tampa! I work my butt off for a living and so should they!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Yep, I think Schiano is making it very clear what is expectations are.

Ken (NY)

Who wins the starting receiver job opposite Steve Smith? Murphy, Gettis or Lafell?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

I say LaFell, but what happens in camp and preseason games will determine the winner.

James (Fort Mill, SC)

Do you think the Panther's defense has the chance to jump into the top 10 this year? Coach Rivera tends to work magic with the D, and we are getting a lot of players back!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Yep, go back and look at column I wrote on Carolina's defense. Believe it ran two weeks ago from yesterday.

michael (brunswick, ga)

any chance that we might see peria jerry reach his full potential any time soon?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Sadly, I'm not sure we'll ever see that. I think the injury was so severe, he may never be more than a role player.

Christian (Charleston, SC)

Steve Smith recently donated $100K to victims' families of the Aurora, CO shooting. Most of us Panthers' fans know Smitty to be a genuinely good, family-man, but most of the country views him as a common thug. What's your take on #89?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Go read blog post I did this morning. I think this was a truly wonderful gesture by Smith.

James (Lincolnton)

Pat how do you feel about kalil predicting a championship season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Although I'm sure some people in the front office and on the coaching staff cringed because they like to stay under the radar, I don't have a problem with it. In fact, I like what Kalil did. I think it shows he's stepping up as a leader of this team. He's seen some good things this offseason and I think he did it to encourage his teammates to keep doing what they've been doing and take the next step.

Taylor (Atlanta, GA)

Hey Pat, when are you making the trip to Spartanburg? I'm going tomorrow!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

I fly to Atlanta tomorrow. Head for Spartanburg, I think, Aug. 5.

bob (colorado)

why dont the mods at espn read whats flagged before banning someone and removing their posts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Don't know. You'd have to ask them. I don't have anything to do with that and don't even know how that process works.

Vinnie (ATL)

You mentioned Nolan instilling a more aggressive attitude in the Falcons D. Is Samuel helping instill this attitude? I heard he was chirping at everyone during OTAs. I think the Falcons need this.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Samuel has a reputation for being vocal and also for being aggressive in pass coverage and I expect all that to continue. But Samuel isn't known as the most physical guy. I think Nolan will look to others to establish a more physical defense.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Can you confirm when you get to Atlanta whether some of the buzz about going to a pass-heavy offense seems to have happened? There's always offseason buzzing that never materialize...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I certainly will be keeping an eye on that.

Hayden (Charlotte, NC)

Who lines up at the MLB for the Panthers Kuechly or Beason?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

We will find out tomorrow when they hit the field for the first time.

James (Fort Mill, SC)

Who do you think will win the Panther's RT job now that Otah is going out the door? Byron Bell showed promise last year, is the job his to lose?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Yep, I think Bell is the leader. But Bruce Campbell and Garry Williams could end up there if Bell doesn't have a great camp and preseason.

Corey (Fantasy land)

Is Tony Gonzo a viable fantasy option this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Yeah, I wouldn't take him super early by any means. But I think he can produce numbers similar to what he did last year.

Tim (Athens)

Penn has never been one to keep himself in tip-top shape and now appears to be sitting out of the first 2 weeks practice. Do you think he is also at risk of being cut or is he too valuable?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Excellent question. Can't imagine them cutting a left tackle, especially if injury is minor. I'd say it's a real long shot. But, then again, Schiano has made it clear that nobody is sacred.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

What do you expect from Jimmy Graham this year? On one hand, he's only played football for like 3 years and has unimaginable upside...on the other hand, there's natural regression from an amazing year and also the ability of defenses to adjust...what do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

With Brees as his QB, I'm not counting on Graham regressing.

Nicolas (Parkland, FL)

Which rookies do you see making an immediate impact in the NFC South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I think the ones that start on opening day are Tampa's Barron, Martin and David, Kuechly in Carolina and Konz in Atlanta.

Drew (Atlanta)

Do yuo think this is a make or break year for Josh Freeman? At some point the Bucs will need to draft a QB if Freeman isn't the answer

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Yep, I think it's pretty obvious this is a critical year for Freeman.

Hans (Charleston)

How concerned should the Falcons be about left tackle? I just dona??t see Baker living up to expectations and Ia??m hearing Holmes is looking subpar.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Holmes just got cleared to practice. Don't expect much from him right away. I'm not sold on Baker by any means, but it sure sounds like the Falcons are planning to stick with him -- for better or worse.

adam (charlotte)

How many wrs do you see the cats keeping on roster? seems like they have a lot

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Five or six. Probably six because Chudzinski likes multiple-receiver sets, plus a few of those guys have return skills.

Nathan (NC)

You don't see Silatolu starting for the Panthers? I'd almost view it as a major upset if he doesn't - with Pollack being his primary competition.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Think he could be starting by midseason, but not right away. I'll let you know if I hear differently when I get to Spartanburg.

James (Fort Mill, SC)

What do you think will happen with Jimmy Clausen? Do the Panther's cut him if they can't trade him, or keep him as a long-term backup?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Think they may keep him. Don't think he has a lot of trade value.

Nathan (NC)

Have we heard if the Otah trade has been finalized? Not that I would hold my breath for him passing a physical.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

As of when I started the chat, no, I hadn't heard any update. But I think there is a seven-day window for him to pass physical.

Rick,tx [via mobile]

South plays afc west right....what division gets modt win

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

This probably won't come as a surprise, but I'll take the NFC South.

Angelo (Anaheim)

Barring no injuries what do you see the Bucs depth chart at WR being week 1? I say Jax, Williams, Benn, Parker

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Sounds about right.

Mookie (Snellville)

Pat, I think the Saints wasted a first rounder on Ingram and could have gotten someone in a later round to play the role he's played, Is he gonna get an extended role ? PT and Sproles will get most of the carries don't you think ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

I tend to agree with you. But let's give Ingram a little time before declaring him as a bust.

Carson (Macon)

Have you seen anything to lead you to believe that the Falcons have moved on from last year's playoff collapse? Is there a reminder of the 2 points!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

I'm pretty sure everyone in the building, even the people that weren't with the team last season, are VERY aware of that and probably will keep hearing reminders throughout the preseason.

Kelly (Tampa Bay)

Have you heard about the new dynamics among the players/coach in Tampa Bay? Are they ready to work hard this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Pretty obvious that the dynamics have changed dramatically. Schiano repeatedly has sent out the message that, if you're not working hard and doing it his way, you're not going to be there. Still could be a couple more messages coming in the preseason.

Nathan (Georgia)

Do you believe that Ryan Kalil superbowl guarantee is spot on true? I sure don't.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

No, but what did he really have to lose by doing that? It might motivate his teammates and it certainly raises excitement for fans. If they don't win the Super Bowl, it's not like Kalil has to go pay $1 million for being wrong.

Laurin (Chatham VA)

There hasn't been too much talk about the Referee lockout. If there isn't an agreement, then can the NFL grab referees out of the college ranks?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Wish I could give you a better answer, but I've been tied up with start of camps and the refs aren't my territory. I think some others on our staff have written about the situation on our main NFL page.

Sean (Vegas)

WHo do you see winning the nickel spot for the Saints?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Johnny Patrick.

Brian (Charleston, SC)

Any idea which other players failed Schiano's conditioning test besides Price & Briscoe? Didn't work out to well for those guys.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

That's all I've heard so far. But let's see if anyone else gets traded, released or placed on PUP.

Sajid [via mobile]

Hey Pat what u think About the new bucs coaching staff? I think no body is safe blount could be next guy cut please sign cedric benson

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

I wouldn't be totally shocked on the Blount part of that. But I don't think Benson is what the Bucs are looking for right now.

James (Lincolnton)

Pat I just wanted to say that I see Gettis beating out Lafell for number 2 wr.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

That could happen. Nothing's guaranteed there. They're going to let Gettis, LaFell and Murphy compete for it. I was just saying I think LaFell starts off as the favorite.

Mookie (Snellville)

Pat , you made a comment about Elbert Mack when you posted Drew Brees as number 1 in the NFC South, Think Mack will win that dime spot and contribute on special teams ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

He's got a shot at that, but there's a sleeper at CB for the Saints as well. Read Monday's Camp Confidential for that one. As for Elbert, I think he's a decent backup and special-teams guy and will be on a roster somewhere this year.

Taylor (NC)

As a Panther fan I love what Kalil did and I love that Rivera and the rest of the team are backing him up. Excitement is sky high this year. Would you say this is the most excited the fans have ever been for a Panthers team?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Hmmm, I know it is high this year. But I'm thinking back to 2004 season, right after the Super Bowl appearance. I was living in Charlotte at the time and seem to recall the excitement level being very high. Same thing in 2006, coming off the NFC Championship Game appearance. But I think this season has a good chance to be better than those two seasons ended up being.

Laurin (Chatham VA)

Will Stewart or Tolbert get more carries in the Redzone?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Just guessing, but I say Stewart.

Yash (Tampa)

I think you have been covering more of the Saints than other NFC South teams. I would like to see more of the Bucs

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Maybe that's because I'm in New Orleans right now because Saints were first team to actually hit the practice field. I'll be making the rounds. Will be in Tampa middle of next week. And will be back there once I complete making the rounds of the NFC South camps. Can't be in four places at once.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

It seems like everyone is focused on what LeGarrette Punch CAN'T do..but there are lots of things he can...like run like he does at 250+ and leap defenders...if he's cut he'll be scooped up immmediately...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

No question he has the ability in the areas you talk about. But there are some other concerns about him. There's a reason why 32 teams didn't draft him and it's not just due to one incident in college.

Nathan (NC)

Yeah Pat, it's not like anything has been going on in New Orleans this offseason..... Oh wait...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Yeah, there is that, too!

Ben (Florida)

What RB in the NFC South would you pick on a fantasy team?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I'm sure some will disagree with me. But, this year, I would say DeAngelo Williams. Just playing a hunch.

Taylor (NC)

What do you think about Rivera being more open with the media and the fans than John Fox was? In the short time Rivera has been here he has told us more than Fox did in his entire tenure.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

As a media member, I'm obviously all for it. Fox was never unpleasant or rude, just very, very guarded. He and I talked about it many times. His philosophy was that he didn't want to give any other teams bulletin-board material. I understand his point, but didn't agree with it. Rivera's candor is much appreciated.

Andy (Durham)

Agree or disagree?Mike Tolbert is a better running back overall than both jstew and Deangelo..

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Got to disagree with that. Tolbert is good and will bring some new things to Panthers. But Stewart and Williams have shown they can run for 1,000 yards in a season.

kyle (northampton, pa)

i was suprised to hear that blount was always late for meetings, practices, etc. and that behavior was allowed under the old regime. it explains alot when you ask how a team can lose 10 straight. how many other players had similar problems.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

I was not surprised.

Nicolas (Parkland,FL)

Do you think the Bucs should keep Trueblood at RT or find a new one (Draft, Free Agency, Trade)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Think they're pretty much locked into him this season. At least at the start of the season. If he starts off really badly, then you could see someone else in there.

Jerry (New Orleans)

Sproles will be the best fantasy pick because of his receiving, run and return yardage

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Not to get too deep into fantasy, but I think a lot depends on the scoring system in your league and if return yardage counts or not.

Mookie (Snellville)

So Pat you're telling me that Johnny Patrick is a lock at nickel for the Saints ? Nobody to compete with him at all ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Not an absolute lock, but definitely starting off as the favorite.

JM (Charlotte)

Will all of the Panthers RBs, do you think they'll try to limit Newton's carries this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Not really, that's a big part of his game. I think they just want Cam to be selective in deciding when to run.

Mitch (Cottage Grove)

Who is the first coach fired this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

I think it's safe to say the winner of that one won't be coming from the NFC South.

Brent (Flowery Branch Ga)

Pat, do you feel that the Falcons not signing a "big name" left tackle will lead to another early exit in the playoffs, or will Matt Ryan make the step into "elite" status this year as a QB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

I certainly have my concerns about the LT situation. But Falcons have decided to play that hand. I do think Ryan has the talent to make the next step and he has great talent at the skill positions. But, if it's all going to click, Baker is going to have to really step up.

Hank (Charlotte)

Do you think deangelo williams will ever be the runningback he once was?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

I still think he's a big-time talent. I just think they have to utilize him a little better this season.

Scott Hammond (Saint Amant La.)

Pat, in other suspensions Goodell has sometimes let players back early for fulfilling certain obligations. Taken with the fact he has asked Payton to speak on bounties to teams do you think there is a chance he lets him back late in the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Haven't heard that Payton has done any of that yet and haven't heard anything official about plans being in place to do that. But, if it does happen, then I think your scenario is possible. Goodell has shown willingness to do that in the past, if people do what he requires them to do.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

All right, I've got some other things to do before heading out to Saints' practice, so we'll end the chat here. Thanks to all for stopping by. Have a great weekend.