If Vilma gets his suspension overturned, I guess the Saints would put him on the PUP list. If so, does that mean his salary CAP hit would have to be adjusted down for the games he misses while on the PUP? Speaking of which, how long could he stay on the PUP List during the season?
If it's overturned and he goes on PUP, his cap figure would still count. If you go on PUP, you're eligible to start practicing after sixth game and they have a three-week window to decide if they would activate him or put him on IR.
Pat, how do you feel about Schainos trades and cuts, he seems to be 3 for 3, also what are your opinions on Tiquan Underwood, I think he is much better than Stroughter and Parker
I like almost all of what he's done, but didn't like the Underwood move. Thought he had great camp and preseason. But Stroughter and Parker can play in the return game and I guess that's what it came down to.
Will Freeman be wearing a leg brace for the game?
Believe so. Schiano requires his QBs to wear the leg brace.
Hi Pat - I read your column this week in which you say that Derrick Brooks was the best all time NFC South player (I happen to agree) - that is a reversal from what you said a few months back when picking Drew Brees as the current and all time best NFC South Player. Has anything come to light in your analysis in the past few months, or is it just a change of opinion in a close race?
Nothing's changed. For years, I've said Brooks is best player in NFC South history. When doing NFC South top 25 this summer, I said Brees has passed him by. At very least, Brees is well on his way to passing him by. Derrick's still one of the all-time greats and will be in the HOF. But Brees has been in NFC South for a long time now and has accomplished a lot.
Hi Pat, Greetings from the UK! I'm a huge Falcons fan. I am happy that our offense can do some major damage this year, but this a bit skeptical about the defense. With a more aggressive Coach in charge of the defense, do you think that we will see a major improvement with less points given up, more turnovers etc?
I think Mike Nolan will bring a much more aggressive defense and that will be a big improvement.
With Mike Williams flying under VJax's wing will he have a better season? more like his rookie one?
I think so and that seems to be the expectation from the Bucs.
Ronde Barber will soon start his 200th straight game. What will you be looking for in his move to FS, and do you think he can sustain himself over the long run (see: one full season)?
Yeah, Ronde's always taken great care of himself. Appears to be top shape, so I don't expect any problems there.
Pat, will you be at the PANTHERS v. Bucs game on sunday?
No, I'll be at Saints/Redskins.
Hey Pat, first timer here.. I am curious how much time Josh Norman is going to get this weekend is he starting over Captain? Also is Thomas Davis going to start or do you think they will bring him along slowly?
Great question on Norman. I'm as curious as you are. Panthers haven't tipped their hand, so we won't know until Sunday. On Davis, I don't think he'll start, but will be used as a situational player.
Hey Pat. With Will Smith presumably being out for the Redskins game I'm assuming that Turk McBride will probably start at DE. But I'm really hoping to see a lot of Martez Wilson. How many snaps do you see Wilson getting on Sunday?
McBride will start, but I think you'll see a lot of Wilson and Galette on passing downs.
Any word yet on Stewart?
No, should know more about 4 p.m.
Pat do you think Louis Murphy has won the #3 WR spot for the Panthers? I thought he was solid and consistent through out the preseason.
All indications are he will be third WR.
Long time reader, first time poster... With most of the salary cap used up for the next few years, the relatively small market we play in, and Cam Newton's huge celebrity, do you see the Panthers being able to sign him to a long-term contract if he keeps playing at or above his rookie level?
I think Jerry Richardson and Marty Hurney will do everything in their power to make sure Cam sticks around.
Hey Pat, great blog love your work, my questions is why hasn't Mr. Barr come out and say he got it wrong with the Mickey Loomis Allegations? That kind of reporting is dangerous and irresponsible and has no place in the business, let alone a giant at ESPN.
Believe Mr. Barr said on Outside The Lines a few weeks ago that he stood by his story.
Hey Pat, according to a September 3rd article on Josh Norman in the Charlotte Observer, Josh says the Panthers will use him in 2nd & 3rd down situations in the nickle package.
Think that's possible, but also wouldn't be surprised if he starts. We'll find out for sure Sunday.
Hey Pat, love the blog it my everyday must read. As for the question, there are some saying that the panthers are thin at Wide out. Do you think Lafell will prove them wrong or will they have to look elsewhere?
Actually, I think they're pretty deep there. Murphy and Pilares can play and Joe Adams has potential. If LaFell can be a solid No. 2, then they could have a really good WR corps.
If the Buccs continue to not sell. Do you think San Antonio would be a good location to move them? It's still the south, rumor was saints come close to being moved there, and Texas is all about football. They would sell tickets here.
I don't think it's to that point yet. Bucs seem to be trying everything to make it work in Tampa.
Is this the year that we get to really see Harry Douglas or will he never get a chance?
My guess is he has a good year because so much coverage will be devoted to Roddy and Julio.
Hey Pat, do you think the Glazers should buy the rest of the remaining tickets for each home game, if not sold out, to show the fans that they actually care about a fan base who has stuck in there through more troubling times?
If it was only 1,000 or 1,500 tickets, yes. But it's a lot more than that.
With the Saints keeping all 5 RB, would you say they have the best debth at the position in the NFC south?
Sure, just their number of RBs pretty much guarantees that.
Thanks for the answer! I agree they will do everything in their power, but if we don't have consistent playoff production, he may want to Take his Talents to... Dallas? They will need a new QB by then and Jerry loves a personality! Assuming we Franchise tag him the maximum two times he could be the biggest free agent in history in 2017! That's a long time though, I hope we can win a Super Bowl or two before we have to worry.
Don't underestimate the fact that Richardson and Cam have developed a very strong relationship.
Do you think the panthers coaching staff as looked at the Rugters-WVU game from last year to see how Schiano dealt with and contained a mobile QB (G. Smith -6 yds rushing)???
Pretty sure they have. Rivera said they've watched Rutgers film.
What are the chances the Julio hype if for real??? I've drafted him as high as the second round in fantasy and I don't think I was reaching.
I think it's very real. I was incredibly impressed when I saw him in training camp and we all saw what he did in the preseason.
What are the off field statuses of Wright and Talib?
Charges were dropped on both.
Is the secretiveness in Atlanta about injuries, starters, etc., frustrating to you? I've been a season ticket holder for 15 years and understand fully that you dont want to give your opponents an advantage. But this is ridiculous! Or is it just me?
Sure, it's frustrating. But Falcons aren't alone in that area. Most teams are very guarded about injuries.
Do you think Carolina will use the 3-4 defense more often this season. I know they dabbled in it a little last season. I would love to see the 3-4 as the primary defense and use their talent and depth at LB to their advantage.
I think they'll dabble with it again. But 4-3 will still be their base defense.
Will Drew Brees ever get the respect he deserves? Playing with virtually no defense the past 2 season all he did was win win 24 regular season games and should have another Super Bowl to his name if his D could stop Alex Smith. I am convinced he could go 14-2 this year with no coach and still not win the MVP because talking heads would rather give it to Manning, Brady or Rodgers. Its ashame I tell you Pat!!
You're preaching to the choir. I would have voted for him as MVP last year.
What are the chances of Holmes taking over the LT spot in Atlanta?
Only if Baker really struggles. And it wouldn't be for a while. Holmes missed much of the offseason and part of the preseason. Don't think they want to throw him out there anytime soon.
I did not realize they had such a close relationship, that is great! I certainly hope our man Jerry outlives Cams contract. I'm worried about his medical situation and change of ownership structure with the team. Is their even an ownership succession plan that we know about? Could be catastrophic for the team and the city, not just the fans, if the "first"? player/ owner has more health complications that limit his ability to keep active with the team.
I think a local paper will have more on that relationship very soon. Mr. Richardson is doing fine these days. He's also a very smart man. I'm sure there are plans for the long term already in place.
Sorry if I am a little nervous....First time and all.......I am concerned about the LB depth for the Falcons.....Should I be worried or will things be OK?
I think they'll be okay. Spoon and Nicholas will be three-down LBs and Dent will be a two-down LB. Peterson is very experienced and can fill in at any position.
Deciphering through all the coach talk...is Doug Martin the unquestioned starter in TB? 3 down back and Blount gives him a breather every so often?
Yep, I think that is pretty much the plan.
With the Panthers only having 4 CB's on the roster, do you think they will have Sherrod Martin come in to play CB at some points. Or do you see them possibly signing one through free agency?
I think you could see them adding someone.
Do you think this is Turners last year in Atlanta due to wear and tear and salary? If so do the Falcons take a running back in the draft are do they think Jaquizz Rodgers can handle the role of being the featured back?
I think they'd like Rodgers to be that guy. But this year will determine if he has what it takes to be that guy.
Pat, I would have liked to have seen the players on the Bucs buy out the remaining 9k tickets to ensure Ronde got his game on TV for the local market. Asking too much?
Hmm, never thought of that. Again, don't know exactly how many tickets are left, but we could be talking about a lot of tickets and a lot of money.
While I'll acknowledge Lofton is a very good linebacker, is Akeem Dent that much of a downgrade? Lofton never really wowed just quietly did his job and racked up tackles, Dent filled the same roll at UGA and I don't see our defense suffering too much.
I don't think there will be that much of a drop off, especially with Falcons planning to use Dent as a two-down guy.
Who would you say the best owner in the NFC south is?
I'd say Richardson or Blank.
Do you think its a stretch to believe the saints a 10 win team? I maintain the fact that our on field dynamic hasn't really changed and I feel we upgraded at middle linebacker and defensive tackle. Call me crazy but I think the Saints win the division.
That's my prediction, so I don't think you're crazy!
Pat, it's sad that your bosses don't have you in Tampa week one. Last I checked, the Redskins don't play in the NFC South.
Yes, but Saints are kind of big story right now because of all that's happened this offseason and it will be the first game without Sean Payton. I think that's why they decided to send me there.
Any word on why Terrell McClain was on such a short leash in Carolina?
Don't know for sure, but I suspect something was going on behind the scenes.
J. Rodgers will be the starter by week _____.
1 of next season. I think Turner remains the starter this year.
Do you think the Saints give Ingram the ball more often this year, or do they stick to Thomas as the starter and still give him a decent amount of touches?
I think Ingram will be given every opportunity to be more involved, but he'll have to perform well to keep Pierre off the field.
Turner looks slow. Isn't he more of a North and South runner rather than a east, west runner?
Yep, always has been.
While the Saints certainly have the talent to overcome all their distractions, will they be able to overcome all the coaching challenges. Outside of the creepy "Do your job" poster of Sean Payton and Brees who will step up and be a leader?
Think they have lots of good leaders. Colston is a quiet, but effective leader. Think Lofton, Harper and Jenkins will be leaders on defensive side.
Is Steve Smith going to have as big a year as he did last season, or will there be a drop?
I don't see any signs of him slowing down yet.
What are the expectations out of Cam Jordan this year? He has shown promise in stopping the run but we desperately need an improved pass rush.
I think he'll improve under Spagnuolo's guidance.
Pat will Fua see much playing time this year since the addition of D Edwards and the return of R Edwards?
Yeah, I'm sure they'll use a rotation and he's probably the third guy.
Confused about Dominique Franks. He gets released on a rookie contract. Then Tim Toone gets hurt or something like that. They bring back Franks. Was this just about him being the 54th best man on the team or trying to give him a wake up call?
Don't think it was a wake-up call. No way they could have known for sure that they'd be able to bring him back because someone else could have picked him up when they released him.
What are the chances Bowers sees the field this year?
Bucs are pretty optimistic he'll be back for second half of season.
How do you think the Tampa V. Carolina game play will be oriented? A battle of defenses or offense or mix of both. What is going to be the deciding factor in your opinion on who comes out on top?
Think the key is Tampa Bay's defense. Lot of unknowns on that side of the ball. Can they slow Carolina's offense?
Couldnt the Falcons have traded Redman?
Would have been tough. At best, they might have been able to get a seventh-round pick. They probably tried and weren't able to.
Could Thomas Keiser end up supplanting G Hardy at DE this year for CAR?
If Hardy doesn't step up, I think that's possible.
Pat, being that the CB situation is still somewhat unsettled for CAR with regards to the position across from Gamble, do you think CAR will wait until the draft to address it, and if so do you think it is their top need for the 2013 draft?
We'll see. If Josh Norman is the player they think he can be, they might be all right.
PY, do you think the Saints field a 1,000 yard RB this year? If anyone, has to be Ingram.
I suspect the carries will be so divided that no individual will have a shot at 1,000 yards.
How huge an impact do the we expect for Edwards (Dwan and Ron), Kuechly, and Beason to have on the defense over last years squad of scrubs?
Should be huge. They should be able to stop running games, or at least slow them considerably.
why is chris owens still on our roster everytime he is put in the game he instantly gets picked on and gets a touchdown thrown against him??? and whats up with the release/resign franks thing
On Owens, you'd have to ask Mike Smith. But I think they believe he's more physical than Franks.
With David Gettis losing out on the top 3wr positions for another year do you think the panthers are getting frustrated with his lack of durability or are content to wait for him to produce?
Seems like they have plenty of other options at WR now.
Curious why you think Pierre Thomas is prime trade material, when he fits the Saints' offense better than anyone but Sproles.
I'm not saying Saints SHOULD trade him. He's a valuable part of that offense. But, if they're going to trade a RB, he'd be the logical one because there's no way they'd trade Sproles, doubt they're ready to trade Ingram because they invested a first-round pick on him and Ivory probably wouldn't bring much in return. Pierre would have decent trade value.
Have we seen the last of Jeremy Shockey?
Probably. But you might see someone sign him next week. Sometimes with a guy like that, teams wait because his salary becomes guaranteed if he's on the roster in Week 1.
If Reynolds is strong at Guard, do you see Konz making a push to start at center before the years is over seeing that McClure's pretty much done after this year?
I think you might see Hawley at center before Konz. Think they really want Konz at guard. He's a little too tall to be a center, by NFL standards.
I disagree with your recent post about Matt Ryan's status as an elite QB. I know he's won a lot of regular season games, but hasn't won any postseason games. I think he's overrated. Manning had the same issue, but he put up huge numbers before finally winning the ring.
You're more than welcome to disagree. That comes with the territory.
With Ownes speed, why do they not use him to return kicks?
Don't know. Maybe he can't catch the ball?
Please tell me the Bucs will not be moving out of Tampa any time soon(like ever)
I don't think that's even a thought right now. However, if the attendance issues continue for the long haul, then it could become a possibility.
Will we see Will Smith on Sunday?
Don't know. We may find out later this afternoon.
If Owens can't catch the ball then why use him as a DB? Lol.
Well, that's probably why he's a DB and not a WR.
One more re: Franks. Did they save money in the transaction?
I'll have to look it up, but it was probably minimal.
Why did the Falcons cut Meiers if they were so high on him? I heard he had great hands.
He was hurt and wasn't going to be healthy for a while. Not long enough to put him on IR for season. They were high on him since day they drafted him, but he never really produced.
Would you risk Harry Douglass by letting him return punts seeing as though he's a little fragile?
Personally, I'd use Franks as the punt returner.
How does Gettis fit into Panthers gameplan this week?
He doesn't. He's hurt.
Last question. Do you have an escape route planned in advance for if the Saints lose to Washington? It will be mass panic in the NOLA!
Haven't thought that far ahead. But I do need to start packing my bags for trip to New Orleans, so we'll end the chat here. Thanks to all for stopping by. Have a great weekend.