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October 5, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

Pat, Haven't you been the one that is telling people to be patient with Cam Newton? Yesterday's article you wrote calling Cam childish was a little ridiculous in my opinion. The kid is 23 years old and frankly regardless of the position he plays he shouldn't be asked to lead a franchise at this point? I would prefer it if Cam got rid of his mopey, pouting ways too but I think you went out of bounds with that piece. You made it sound like he is a very me first player. The fact of the matter is that he has always owned up to his mistakes and has never pointed the finger at his teammates. To me that is more important than making you press clowns wait until he calms down after a heartbreaking loss to talk to them.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

I think he's wonderfully talented, but after watching him the last two games, I think he really needs to get a grip on his emotion.s.

Jason (Kennesaw)

I know Ray Edwards is not showing up in the sack numbers, but I do think that he doing what we wanted him to do, because I see where he is helping put pressure on the QB's this year. Do you agree or disagree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

He is getting some pressure and playing the run well. Not playing badly at all. But I think they'd like to see a few sacks.

King Ques (Denver CO)

If ticket sales dont get better for the Bucs do you think The Glazers will take a shot at moving the team to LA?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

I don't think they're actively looking yet. They've got a good stadium and a pretty big market in Tampa. They're trying to make it work. If the attendance continues to lag, maybe. But I think there are several teams in line ahead of them for L.A. Plus, the NFL already has shown it doesn't want to leave the Tampa market.

Nicolas (Parkland,FL) [via mobile]

Do you think Trueblood has a chance to start at right guard over Ted Larsen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Sounds like they're going to take a look at that. Don't think it's a bad idea.

Keenan (Atlanta, GA)

Who is more to blame for the Panthers loss to Atlanta? Rivera for not going for it on 4th down, or the safety for not getting deep enough and making a play on the ball?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

I say Nakamura. I might be in the minority, but I think Rivera made he right call in punting. He didd put them at the 1-yard line.

Michael (St.Petersburg)

I have a few Bucs questions. First of all, should we be worried that Greg Shiano is rubbing so many people around the league the wrong way? Second, why has it taken the coaching staff so long to figure out Freemans strength is the deep ball? And with the running game struggling so badly, is Davin Joseph really that big of a loss, that a O-line that was supposed to be so good has been unable to open holes for Doug Martin? I would think it would hurt, but with Carl Nicks and Donald Penn out there, it shouldn't be as hard as its been for us to run the ball!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

It doesn't help that Schiano is rubbing others the wrong way, but the important thing is his team keeps buying into his system. As far as Freeman's arm strength, they should have known that from the beginning. Yeah, I do think the loss of Joseph has really hurt the running game.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

It doesn't help that Schiano is rubbing others the wrong way, but the important thing is his team keeps buying into his system. As far as Freeman's arm strength, they should have known that from the beginning. Yeah, I do think the loss of Joseph has really hurt the running game.

Zach (Atlanta, GA)

Do you think that the Atlanta defense will play better against RG3 than they did against Cam, because they played Cam last weekend?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

I think it helps that they've had some experience with a running QB. But RG III is different challenge than Cam in some ways.

John (Charlotte NC)

Pat can you please explain why is Sean McDermott not on the hot seat right now?. Even with a healthy team on defense the Panthers defense is really bad.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Think he'll be on the hot seat if things don't start to change.

AJ (Oakland, CA)

How would you assess Luke Keukly's play so far?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

He still is a work in progress. But there is a lot of upside there.

Richard (Arden, NC)

Is Josh Norman the answer at corner for Carolina?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

So far, no. But they think he can become that.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do you think the Falcons will be undefeated at the end of October?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Entirely possible if they keep playing the way they have been.

John (Charlotte NC)

FWI Pat and everyone else LB Jon Beason (knee) and CB Chris Gamble (shoulder) did not practice today and are doubtful for Sunday.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Thanks for the update. That's not going to help the Panthers.

AJ (Oakland, CA)

The Panthers had their problems for sure under Fox, but the defense always was solid. Why have they been giving up so many big plays under Rivera? Last week was painful. Is it scheme, lack of talent etc??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Lack of talent in some spots, maybe the scheme, but they were playing a very good offense and they produced seven sacks.

Richard (Ann Arbor, MI)

Can the Saints afford to keep Hartley beyond this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

His salary alone might make that difficult. They're going to have major cap issues next year.

Richard (Arden, NC)

Maybe Beason can work on his tackling while he's out...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Ouch!

AJ (Oakland, CA)

Does the disaster in New Orleans prove that players alone are not responsible for winning and a great head coach is esssential?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

I'm starting to think that's the case. I really thought they could go on all right without Payton. But all the evidence is pointing to the contrary.

Andy (NC)

Pat, along with the majority of the Carolina faithful, I just dont see the upside of continuing to let Nakamura start. I could care less if he shaved his head, he needs to be on the bench. Am I wrong?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

I agree with you totally.

Carter (Atlanta)

Julio burned Kansas City, Tony G was great against San Diego, and Roddy destroyed Carolina, who will shine this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Hmm, for the sake of variety, I'll say Harry Douglas.

Ryan (Charlotte NC)

Pat as a Panthers fan I think the Panthers are the worst team in the NFL today and is not even close. Do you agree with me?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Disappointing team so far, definitely. But, no, there are at least four or five teams I can think of that are clearly worse.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

A journalist is blaming Brees for losing in NO, due to the hold out and franchise tag they were not able to re-sign key players. What is your take on that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

His contract might have prevented them from signing a pass rusher or two, but you can't blame that on Brees. He had to take care of his own business.

Brad (Atlanta)

Would you agree that the Falcons victory over Carolina was a championship type win, in the sense that winning through adversity and finding a way to win when you aren't playing best?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

It was the kind of win that you need if you're going to have a championship season. You're not going to play your best every week, but you've got to win in those circumstances to really get the kind of record that will get you a good playoff seed.

Ryan lee (Charlotte NC)

Pat what is wrong with Beason? even when he was healthy this season he kept missing tackles

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

That's been a tough one to figure out. Maybe he never was back to 100 percent.

Todd (Chattanooga, TN)

Pat, Is there a reason for the past couple of years the Bucs seem to lose such a high number of valuable players to long term injuries? Is this a result of a bad training stuff or program?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

No, I think all NFL training programs are pretty similar. I'd say it's been more bad luck than anything.

AJ (Oakland, CA)

Is it time for Saints fans to get those brown paperbag masks out of the closet or can the season be salvaged?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Let's see what happens Sunday night. I think they've got a chance, playing at home with Brees going for the record.

Brad (Atlanta)

Pat, what are your thoughts on Jason Snelling? I am ok with Turner this season and I love what Rodgers brings, but I think Snelling could be better utilized. Would you agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Snelling's a solid backup and role player. But not sure you want to see too much more of him than you already do.

Sean (Vegas)

Saints finally ran a PA pass with Ingram which resulted in the 80yd TD to Morgan. Ingram is getting labeled a bust, and while he hasn't done anything of note I don't think Saints have put him in position to succeed. Are Saints going to make a move and activate Ivory? Will it matter?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

I don't think Ingram's a bust. Just don't think they use him enough. Not sure why the drafted him in the first place.

Nathan (Orange County)

What's the latest on Bowers. Dominik expressed some optimism about his return this season but that was weeks ago.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Think there's still optimism. We'll find out soon.

Curious in Ga (G)

What is your thoughts on the NFL letting Payton attend the Saints game to watch Brees attempt to break the record? For me, I think a ban is a ban. Does he get to attend other games that my have significance?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

I guess I'd say he's been punished enough. It's not like he'll be on the sideline or with the team. But at least he gets to witness a piece of history he helped create.

Tim (California)

Pat, who do you have as the best team in NFL today?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Houston or Atlanta.

Jason (Birmingham)

Do you think that if Freeman continues to struggle this year will the team will look to move him and start over at the position? With the addition of V-Jax & Nicks, drafting Martin, and the defense playing well he really doesn't have any excuses this year. Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

No doubt it's a critical year for Freeman. He needs to get comfortable in the system and show improvement as season goes on. If he doesn't, then they might have to look for an alternative next year.

ByHenSr (Kenner, LA)

Hi Pat, great job, love the blog. ? Looking at the schedule for the next two weeks, Atlanta: Washington, Oakland or Houston: Jets, Packers. Who loses first Atlanta or Houston?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Not sure either one loses those games.

Joshua (Atlanta)

Pat and Panthers fans I'll tell you whats wrong with Beason. It's the ole achilles injury period. Remember Ed Hartwell LB for Atlanta, now Mr. Beason and Grimes... you have to be extremely lucky to make it back from those types of injuries

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

You might have a valid point.

David (Albany, NY)

Are the Falcons seen nationally as "Dome" team that needs the fast track? Would rain in Washington be a plus for them should they be successful? One more question answered perhaps?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Looked at the forecast before I packed my bags for Washington and it looks like good chance of rain on Sunday. That would be a challenge for Falcons. They've won a couple outdoor games already, but those were in good weather.

Sparky (Plantville)

Say you are an opposing coach. What would you try to do to beat the Falcons?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

A week ago, I would have said go out and sack Matt Ryan seven times. But that didn't work. But, then again, I don't think he can thrive under that type of pressure every game, so that's probably the best bet.

Curious in Ga (G)

Of the bottom 3 NFC South teams, who do you see being able to turn their season around? Who do you think is done?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

I still think Carolina has a chance to turn it around. They've got talent, just need some things to come together.

Nate (Chicago)

In a 12 team league who should I play in my flex, DeAngelo Williams or Randell Cobb?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Play DeAngelo. Check the blog at about 3:30 this afternoon and you'll see why I say that.

Todd (Chattanooga, TN)

Why isn't Lavonte David getting more publicity? You talked up Kuechly a lot during the offseason, but David has been what you said Kuechly would be.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

David has been very good. No argument with that.

Brad (Atlanta)

Sam Baker: Impressed, not impressed, or jury still out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Impressed so far, but he's got to keep doing it all season to get a new contract.

Richard (Ann Arbor, MI)

What's the story on Barrett Ruud, and why he has been such a complete non-factor thus far? Is it simply long-term nagging injury issues?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Sad to say, I don't think he has a lot left physically. Was a nice player in his Tampa Bay days.

Tim (California)

Lets try this a different way, if Houston and Atlanta played on a neutral field today, who would you take to win?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Maybe we'll get the answer to that in February.

Jason (Birmingham)

What are your thoughts on the bucs lack of running game and tight end production? Dallas Clark doesn't seem to be the answer nor is Stocker and that running game stinks on ice right now

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Should have kept Winslow! No, I'm just kidding. Clark isn't what he once was. On running game, I think the Davin Joseph injury hurt and I think they've been pretty predictable with their play calling.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Are the Falcons hiring of new coordinators the best NFL offseason moves that no one is talking about?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Probably so, both are making a big difference so far.

John (TX)

Should the Buccs play calling change? It's very consistant and doesn't work until the 4th qtr when they finally decide to start throwing more.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Absolutely, I think they need to open it up more.

David (Greenville)

Based on Marty's draft history, is he the worst GM in the league?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

He's had some good ones and some bad ones. I think that can be said of every GM.

Charles (Wilmington)

Pat, I appreciated your article on Newton and agree. We need him to be more balanced and less standoffish in order to become a leader. He's young, but there are younger guys in the league that already seem to be a bit more mature. While Cam needs some time to level out, do you think that Coach Rivera is enough of an emotional leader? Our sidelines often resemble a line at a wake.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

I think Rivera is a good coach and a good leader. He's a former player, so he should know what it takes to motivate players.

Brad (Atlanta)

If you had to choose 1 player to build a franchise around, given their play this year only, who do you take and why?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

This year only, easy -- Matt Ryan.

Dana (ATL)

With thenexception of the Panthers game, I love how the Falcon's defense is playing this year. They've been very good with takeaways and I've seen spectacular open field tackles by the corners. The only problem is stopping the run. Do you think if they get their run defense together, they could be a top 10 or maybe even top 5 defense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

They could have Corey Peters back soon and that could help the run defense.

Hank (Charlotte)

Who has been the most impressive rookie for Carolina so far? I'd say Alexander so far.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

I'm with you, but not like any other rookies have really stepped up.

Brad (Atlanta)

My friend said Matt Ryan wouldn't resign with the Falcons. Is he as crazy as I think he is?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

I wouldn't be totally shocked if Ryan does not re-sign with Falcons.

John (TX)

Since T. Underwood did so good with the buccs in preseason, shouldn't they use him even more? V. Jack, and M. Williams are the ones defense conentrate on (for WR). I really believe he has potential.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I'd like to see more of him as well. Liked what I saw out of him in preseason. Think he can bring explosiveness.

CC (Atlanta)

So you think Ryan will leave? What on earth makes you think that??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Assume you're asking that of the person that asked the question. See NO way Ryan leaves. Has great relationship with owner, coach and GM and seems totally happy in Atlanta.

john (mississippi)

alot of people including me thought harry douglas would shine this year but he has not been seen on the field as far as catches. is harry douglas truely the answer for us in the slot or should we look for somebody else to fill the roll?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

I expected HD to shine as well. Hasn't happened. But it might only be because they have so many other targets.

Brad (Atlanta)

Do you think this is really Tony G's last year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

I'd say it's somewhere less than the 95-percent chance Tony said. Looks to me like he easily could go another year or two.

CC (Atlanta)

Pat... you said: "I wouldn't be totally shocked if Ryan does not re-sign with Falcons.". Did you mistype or is my reading at 3rd grade level?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

My bad. I mistyped. Should have been I WOULD be totally shocked ...

Jason (Birmingham)

Every year the Falcons have a good regular season and then get destroyed in the playoffs. They seem to lack a killer instinct, coming up short in their biggest moments. Why is this year going to be any different?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

New coordinators have brought new attitudes on both sides of the ball. Smith knows he has to win a playoff game and players are sick of getting dumped early in postseason.

Ryan lee (Charlotte NC)

Pat which game you are converting this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I'm at Falcons at Redskins.

Brad (Atlanta)

Follow up to Ryan re-signing question: Would you not be shocked cause he wouldn't be offered enough? What would you think would cause him not to re-sign?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

No, as CC helped me clarify, I WOULD BE TOTALLY SHOCKED if Ryan left Falcons. No way I see him leaving. I mistyped my original answer.

TJ (Gulfport, MS )

Pat,Why are you trying to diminish Drew Brees record? We expect this from others that work at ESPN, but you too? ESPN would be crowning Brady, Rodgers or Manning for this acheivement and talking it up every chance they get. Being it is Brees record, it isn't as impressive. Funny thing is why haven't those guys broke the record? Rodgers didn't throw a td 2 weeks ago. It isn't that easy Pat!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

How am I diminishing it??? It's a great record. I've written about it every day this week, I think. And have been writing about it for several weeks. Heck, was even writing about it at times last season.

Brad (Atlanta)

Is there anything going to happen to Turner or Abraham due to their arrests last month?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

At least possible they could face suspensions or fines, but not until legal system plays out.

CC (Atlanta)

Now you got all us Falcons fans in a tizzy!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Yeah, but we got that cleared up quickly, thanks to you!

Sean (Colorado)

Jumping in late but to Eric leading off the chat, absolutely Cam needs to lead the franchise as their starting quarterback. While some veterans like Smith, Kahlil, etc, have tried to get him to level off his emotions, a team's attitude is only as strong as the guy under center. When things go right (like celebrating his TD down 26-7 against the Giants) or wrong (ie- towel on head, moping after his picks), his energy has a huge effect on the rest of the team and he should act like it. Great talent, not there yet. Good stuff Pat.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Yeah, just think he needs to act with a little more balance.

Greg (Austin)

So piggybacking off the other question, if Ryan does continue to play at this level and wins MVP and playoff games, what kind of contract do you see Matt ryan getting?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Something pretty close to what Brees got.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

PY, you haven't realized yet that part of your job is to deal with the complex of NO fans. Trust me you have covered Brees and his record plenty.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Thanks Sharell, I was pretty sure we'd covered it from every angle.

CC (Atlanta)

Pat I want to personally apologize for asking you the same question again and again. It won't happened again. Have a good weekend Pat

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Not a problem at all, CC. Your eagle eyes spotted my mistake right off the bat and we were able to clear it up very quickly. Thanks to all for stopping by. Have a great weekend.