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September 14, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Maen (Orlando)

I hope the Bucs are planning on using Blount more than they did last week. I would hate to see Martin carrying 25-30 times per game. Was Blount just not used as much because of his "injury"?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

They say they were concerned and thought things weren't "adding up" about his condition and that's why they held him out. Still, even when he's healthy, I think you'll see his carries increase only slightly. Martin's going to get the bulk, although I think they'd like to keep him under 25 carries most of the time.

Aren (Omaha)

Great chat every Friday. As far as the Saints offense has looked Week 1, would you be more concerned with the line play, dropped passes, poor route running, lack of a running game, or just an overall lack of "pizzaz". Very concerned with all of the above, should I be concerned? As far as the defense, where to start? Should the "Who Dat Nation" panic?Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

I'd actually start with the defense. RG3 might end up being an all-time great. But it was his first NFL game and it was in the Superdome. Still, the defense couldn't even throw him off track.

Quezzie (MUCK BOWL, FLA)

Hey Pat. Any word on DaQuan? How is he healing up? Any chance we will see him on the field this year??

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Last time I asked Dominik about Bowers, he was quite optimistic that he'll play later this season. Said he's way ahead of schedule.

matt (tupelo) [via mobile]

I still am shocked about the saints on sunday not as much that they lost but how bad they looked all the way around.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Yeah, I was too. But, keep in mind, it was only one game. Now, if they come out and look the same way this week, then it's time to get concerned.

JMoore (atlanta)

Pat, If Matt ice have another game like sunday, do you think finally he will be given some respect around the league on being a elite QB!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

I think this is an important game for him. I'll have a column with more on that topic as the advance for the Monday night game.

Allen H. (Forest City,NC)

Brian Strickland has a point,and I said the the same thing after the game Sunday.Not just last year,Williams and Stewart both seem to start off slow in the first and second games of the season

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Yes, that was an excellent stat that he pointed out.

Gage (Starkvegas, Ms)

Did it look like coach kromer was in over his head? He had no fire in him. When the refs would make a bad call, he would stand there like a gargoyle. It seems like coaching has a huge impact on this saints team. Not only do the saints miss coach Payton, but also wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson. He always had his receivers ready to play. Just wanted to know your thoughts

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I'm not ready to judge Kromer after just one game. I will say he's developed an excellent reputation as an assistant. Just because his demeanor is different than Payton's doesn't mean he's a bad coach.

Mike (Only state that ends in Ware)

are the Panthers really that bad

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Again, it's only one week.

Skilan (Orlando, Florida)

Hey Pat, was wondering what you believe the realistic chances are that the Bucs beat the Giants this Sunday. Call me a "homer" but I think if our defense plays like it did last week, and we get the ground game going, we have a relatively decent shot at beating them.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Well, it's certainly going to be a challenge going into Meadowlands, especially after Giants lost their opener. But Bucs did a lot of good things last week. If they somehow can pull this one off, they'll suddenly have a lot of momentum.

Greg (Charlotte, NC)

Do you think Chud learned his lesson and is finally going to run the ball more this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

I hope so. You have that much talent in the backfield, you should be running the ball a fair amount.

Jon (Falcons Fan) (GA)

Pat, I think the Saints will struggle this year without Sean Payton calling the plays on offense. No one can will call the plays like he would.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Carmichael called the plays for a lot of last season. I don't think play calling was the problem, at least on offense.

Dylan (Tampa)

Whats your thoughts on Ahmad Black being a starter once ronde retires, he looks pretty good i must say, id like to see him play alot this season in sub packages

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Agree. Definitely think he could be a future starter.

Shedrick (Atlanta)

How will Chris Owens do against manning?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

I'm sure we'll find out quickly. I'd imagine the Broncos will go right at him from the start.

Trey (Charlotte)

Who is a better back Williams or stewart?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Personally, I like Williams a little better. But that's a good debate.

Jon (Falcons Fan) (GA)

Didnt he call the plays only when Payton was hurt with the knee injury? It seems like they had some struggles on offense while he was hurt last yr.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

No, he continued calling them the rest of the season.

John (Charlotte NC)

Pat I get it the Panthers are 0-1 but even with the lost. We did see positive thing from the Panthers on Defense.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Yes, after that early drive, the D was pretty good. That's a positive. But the offense was not good and it was expected to be very good.

Bert (Raleigh )

Who do you think is under the most pressure to win Saints* or Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Probably the Saints. If they start 0-2, Kromer's going to start taking a lot of heat.

David W (Atlanta, GA)

I don't want to get too excited after 1 game, but did the Falcons surprise you with their performance? I had thought that Mularkey was holding Ryan back, but even I didn't think we'd see that kind of performance on the road in their first game.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Wasn't really surprised because they did all the things I thought Koetter would do. It was nice to see because I agree about Mularkey holding Ryan back.

Maen (Orlando)

What kind of TV coverage will the NFC South get sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Go back and look at post I had on the blog Wednesday. Has all the details in there.

warren (orlando)

Pat, do you think that if/when Vilma returns combined with a healthy Lofton, Shanle, and Hawthorne that we will have a top 5 LB core finally?(Not even considering Ruud who we just acquired) And I believe that the Saints D WILL get the Spags technique down however I hope its in time...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

Even with Vilma, I don't know that they'd even be a top 10 or 15 LB corps. Like Lofton, but think the others are ordinary and don't know that Vilma will ever be the player he was 2-3 years ago.

Gary (Houston, TX)

Hey Pat Panthers fan here. Actually have two questions. First will the return of Stewart give the offense the spark it needs? Second the Panthers have never been consistent winners their entire existence and in the 10 plus years Hurney has been GM even though there was some success during the Fox era the consistent winning is still not there. I look at a team like Baltimore and what Ozzie Newsome has done finding talent every year. Do you think there should and will be a change at GM for the Panthers as long as JR is the owner?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

As long as Richardson owns the team, the only way you'd see a change at GM is if there's a total collapse. I know there was one in the 2-14 season, but Hurney survived that because the owner respects him so much. It would take another season like that to prompt a move.

John (Charlotte NC)

Pats you are forgetting that Jstewart did not play against the Bucs. And also it's not like the Panthers try to run the ball 50 times.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Umm, I think there are a lot of people, including many on this chat, that have been a lot more critical of Carolina's run game than I've been. Again, it was just one game. But I will say this, I don't know that the absence of Stewart meant that much. I mean, they still had Williams and Tolbert and didn't really use them much.

john (atl)

do you think its time we trade michael turner??? last week he seemed slow and couldnt find the holes...rodgers looked sharp and fits our offense better...it would also free up alot of cap room getting rid of his contract

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Who you going to get to trade for his contract at his age??? Besides, before all is said and done, Turner still will be an important part of this team.

Jon (Falcons Fan) (GA)

Could the Bucs be the surprise team of the NFC south this yr?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

So far, they have been. If they can win next two against Giants and Cowboys, then they become the surprise team of the entire NFL.

Brad Jaeger (Bayshore BLVD)

PY, In regards to the Bucs D: did we look good because carolina couldnt prepare for Schianos system (having necer seen in), or is it because the talent is coming together?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Carolina has a veteran NFL staff that should have been able to adjust even if coaches hadn't seen the new-look Bucs. They didn't successfully do that, so I think you have to give some credit to Bucs.

Gray Hairs (Atlanta)

Will the Panthers try and run the ball? Or is it all about Cam?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

I'm guessing you will see a concerted effort by them to get the ground game going this week. They have too much money invested in that backfield not to use it more.

harry (boise)

You said last week that jaquizz rogers will be the starter week 1 of next week...if michael turner continues to struggle and rogers moves the chains could we see this a lot sooner

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Next YEAR! Like I've been saying, I think Turner still will play an important role this year. They'll continue to work Rodgers in and, if he continues to do good things, he'll be the starter next year. But I think they'll use them in tandem, with Turner as the starter this year.

Gary (Houston, TX)

Pat I realize that the Panthers want to model their franchise after Pittsburgh building through the draft keeping core players but the difference is the Steelers do that and win the Panthers do that and are mediocre at best. As much as this may seem harsh to say because if it wasn;t for JR the Carolinas wouldn't have a franchise butwill the Panthers never be a consistent winner until there is a different owner and front office?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Let's just say that Richardson, when looking at the Fox era, felt the reason there were never back-to-back winning seasons had much more to do with the coaching than with the front office. Not saying I completely agree. Just saying that's how Richardson saw it.

Brad J (Bayshore BLVD)

Which is a bigger concern for the Bucs. Lack of Depth at offensive line, or the lack of depth on the defensive line?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

I was about to say D-line, but I'm going to go with O-line. Dotson could replace Trueblood. But I think an injury to anyone else on that line would be devastating.

harry (boise)

at what point roddy get on his twitter and complain about not getting the ball? he has gotta be mad about julio getting all the touches and touchdowns

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

I will not even try to predict what Roddy might do.

Wilson (Boone)

Pat, I completely agree with Richardson on the reason the Panthers were never consistent winners, trying to build through the draft. In order to win building through the draft, you have to both play and develop young players - Fox refused to do so. Is there something I'm missing - was Fox a better teacher behind the scenes, or was he every bit the veterans' coach he has appeard to be?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

We've got a winner. That's exactly how Richardson saw it.

Joel (Tampa)

Who would you say is the X-factor on sunday for the bucs against the giants? Freeman? McCoy? Martin? Other?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Hmm, I'll go with Freeman. Think he has to have a pretty big game for them to have a chance.

Eliot (New York, NY)

Hey Pat, the Falcons obviously had lots of offensive success Sunday in KC, but perhaps the most interesting part is that the no-huddle, which has been so successful for Matt Ryan and company, was seldom used. With this week's MNF game being billed as the battle of the no-huddle, what's your take on how the Falcons should use the up-tempo strategy? With Peyton Manning being arguably the king of the no-huddle, it seems to me that the best D against him would be to slow the game down and hold on to the ball. Thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Well, I wouldn't want to see Falcons totally abandon no-huddle because I think that's where Ryan is at his best. But I do think you could see more of Turner and the running game Monday night.

Rich (Queen City)

I noticed when the Panthers ran DeAngelo last week of the 6 carries he had 4 or more were all with an FB in there. And history shows that the team always runs better with a FB in there. Do you see that changing this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Think you'll see a lot of things change with Carolina's run game this week. Starting with, I think they'll try to use it a lot more.

CB (Charleston)

To address Harry's above comment - Roddy has already stated in multiple articles that he realizes Julio will be getting most of the work now - and that it is his role to mentor him. Why do people think he will do any different?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

True, Roddy has said that many times this year. But Roddy is Roddy, so things can change at any time.

MSL (NYC)

Hey Pat. Have the Panthers given you any idea, if they're going to put some pressure (particularly from the DL) on Brees, and try to to get turnovers. I expect the offense to bounce back, but the defense really needs to get in Brees face, and look for turnovers when Saints Players have the ball.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

It's not like teams hand out game plans to the media. But, yeah, I think it's safe to assume they're going to try to put pressure on Brees. Saints' o-line had some problems last week and I think Panthers will try to exploit that.

Joshua (Colorado Springs)

Pretty sure Monday night will be a shootout... Will the Falcons have to outscore Peyton Manning on Monday night, or will the Broncos have to try to keep up with Atlanta?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Think we might be surprised. The Broncos might have to keep up with the Falcons, at least based on what I saw last week and saw and heard in preseason.

David W (Atlanta, GA)

Pat - after seeing S. Nicholas' play this past weekend, it seems clearer to me why the Falcons were willing to let Lofton walk. They only played 11 snaps in the base 4-3 the whole game, and Nicholas appears to be a good 3-down LB. Do you think the loss of Lofton is not as bad as originally thought?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Lofton was a nice player for them, but was only going to be a two-down guy in Nolan's system. That's why they wouldn't pay him big money. Still think Lofton will be good for Saints, but he just wasn't going to be a big factor in Nolan's scheme.

brian (college park)

In order for the falcons to win on monday they need to get pressure from their front four. Other than Abe, who on the D-line do you think needs to have a big game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

I'd like to see one of the interior guys step up.

Tim (Athens)

Pat, will you be at the ATL game on Mon?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Yes, I will. I've got an NBA-like road trip coming up. Three games in five days. Carolina/Saints on Sunday, Falcons/Broncos on Monday and Panthers/Giants on Thursday. Should be fun.

Nicolas (Parkland,FL)

Who will start at right tackle: Trueblood or Dotson?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Haven't heard update on Trueblood's injury today. Should know more later this afternoon, maybe even as soon as we finish chat.

Kevin (St Pete)

Pat, after this weekend either NO or Carolina is 0-2. Is it panic time in either city after that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Pretty close to it. Especially in New Orleans, mainly because of all the circumstances of their offseason. But Carolina might not be far behind. Expectations there were pretty high in the offseason. You can't write an 0-2 team off completely. But history has shown it's pretty tough to make playoffs if you start 0-2.

Maen (Orlando)

To answer Nicolas' question about Trueblood. Schiano mentioned in his press conference a couple of minutes ago that Trueblood practiced a bit but not sure if he'll play yet.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Thanks for the update.

Richard (Ann Arbor, MI)

I'd really like to know who was harder on Patrick Robinson, Spags or Brees. Think another Saints defender will get caught casually jog off the field this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

I'm sure he heard about it from many corners. No, I don't think you'll see any more jogging this year!

Jon (Falcons Fan) (GA)

Is it possible that Grimes will leave Atlanta after this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Possible. Don't know that they would franchise him again.

Wilson (Boone)

What did you think about Thomas Davis? He looked like one of the Panthers' best players, I thought, during his limited action. Definitely better than Keuchly, poor kid tried to make every play on the field. Do you think they may move Davis into the starting lineup, and Keuchly out of it?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Agree that Davis looked good and am happy for him. But I think they'll continue to use him as a situational player. Don't think they want to overuse him. Kuechly will be all right.

Wilson (Boone)

If Dimitroff puts a 2nd franchise tag, on an older CB, coming off a serious, serious injury, he should have his head examined...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Yep, that's what I meant.

Homer (Springfield )

Conspiracy theory: could Lamar Holmes have been drafted to take over the RT sport from Clabo? I know he had a pro bowl season 2 years ago, but he?s getting old and not looking great against the pass rush. Wonder if Dimitroff will pull a swtich-er-roo and draft a LT with the first pick next year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

At least possible. Not sure they're counting on a third-round pick to be their franchise LT.

Eliot (New York, NY)

You mentioned that you think Peyton and the Broncos will go right at Chris Owens from the start Monday night. Do you think the Falcons will simply replace Grimes with Owens and run the nickel package just as often? I was thinking Dent would get in on more snaps instead. Maybe a little of both?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Hmm, I think Nolan's pretty serious about having three CBs on the field most of the time.

Eliot (New York, NY)

In conjunction with Jon's question, do you think Grimes' injury actually helps their chances of bringing him back on a long-term deal? Teams won't be as willing to give him a big contract, which might make the Falcons' offer the best on the table.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

I think it certainly could help the Falcons. But, then again, it only takes one team to be willing to pay big money. Grimes is talented enough that some team desperate for a CB might take a chance and overpay him.

Ryan (Shelby NC)

I'm a Panthers fan, and follow your blog daily. I'm curious. The Panthers running game "generated" 10 yards last week, but the Saints generated 32. Yet it seemed like the Panthers took a lot more heat. Do you think either team is likely to have a weak running game during the rest of the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

I think both teams will make it a point to get their running games more involved.

Randy (CT)

Hey Pat...realistically, with the loss of Grimesy, how big of a differential do ya think the Samual/Robinson adjustment will now create. Sammys gettin a little long in the tooth here! And, he's most likely not gonna last the whole season

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Could become a much bigger issue as season goes on, if there's an injury and Owens has to start and Franks, McClain or Terrence Johnson has to become the nickel. Couple more questions before we wrap it up.

Gary (Houston, TX)

Pat if TD can stay healthy all season given what he has been through and to comeback is he a lock for comeback POY or does Peyton take that by default?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Peyton probably gets it because of his position and his name. But Thomas Davis certainly would be a very worthy candidate.

Joshua (Colorado Springs)

Could the Falcons repeat the Julio Jones draft day trade and trade up for a LT or CB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Let's see where Falcons end up in draft. And let's wait until at least January or February to start serious talk about the draft. But, right now, those would be the most logical spots for Falcons to address.

Ryan (Shelby NC)

Pat have a have a safe flight into Charlotte. I think you will see a much better effort from both the Panthers and Saints on Sunday. And I won't be surprised the Panthers winning the game.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Thanks. Just hope it's a fun game to watch. Thanks to all for stopping by. No chat next Friday because I'll be traveling. But will definitely be doing in-game chat Monday night. Think there might also be one on Thursday night, but haven't heard for sure yet. Have a great weekend.