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

Nicolas (Parkland, FL) [via mobile]

Does Doug Martin have a chance to be the Offensive Rookie of the year since he is second in the league in rushing yards and touchdowns?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Probably difficult for him to win due to the QBs. But no doubt he's had an excellent rookie season.

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

Do you know how much the cap hit would be if the Panthers release certain players? I know that Gamble, Gross, Beason, Thomas Davis, DeAngelo Williams & others may be released but the cap hit for some of these guys might make it worth more to keep them than cut them. Also do you think any of these guys would be willing to restructure to stay with the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

I'll do a post on cap implications for all those guys (and probably some others) after the season ends.

Thomas (Dalton, Ga.)

Vilma and others have claimed to be vindicated by the decision of Tagliuebue. But the truth is he said they were guilty of what Goodell claimed but their coaches used every trick to protect and cover for them. I can't see how that comes out as vindication unless it was all about the money and not their integrity from the beginning.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Agree. There was no vindication. Basically, it's like the players were pulled over for speeding and the radar gun said they were way over the speed limit. But they ended up just getting a warning.

Ken (ny) [via mobile]

Is Steve Smith a hall of famer?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Maybe, still has to get the numbers up higher. And wouldn't hurt if he added a few more winning seasons.

Will (Davie County, NC)

In Rivera's presser early this week, he referred to Cam Newton and Luke Kuechley in glowing terms "we have the QBs of our offense and defense" - strongest words yet to indicate Luke is a lock to keep the MLB spot. So what do you think happens w/ Beason this offseason.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

I suspect Beason, like a lot of Carolina veterans, will either have to restructure his contract or be released.

Thomas (Dalton, Ga.)

I like Matt Ryan but why does he not want to throw to anyone except the big three or a running back? Are the rest of the receivers that bad or does he just lack confidence in them?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Don't think the rest of the receivers are all that good.

CAPT-ATL (Atlanta)

Yesterday you posted a story that stated the Saints are currently obligated for $137.5MM toward the 2013 CAP. Since they have 19 players on their roster that will be 2013 Free agents, then just how many players under contract make up this $137.5MM figure? Plus your list yesterday was comprised of mostly players that signed new deals last year with CAP Friendly base salaries and 2013 base salaries that are fully guaranteed. Cutting those players create dead money in base and signing bonus acceleration so that is not a viable option in most cases. Restructuring kicks the can. How far can Loomis kick the can down the road before he runs out of road? I see this as a major issue for the Saints and another reason for Payton to entertain other opportunity.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Off the top of my head, I think Saints have about 48 or 49 players under contract for next year.

John (Lafayette)

I disagree. I think Tagliabue found the allegations were without merit, i.e., the evidence wasn't there; however, Tabliabue said what he said in hopes of providing defamation defense since his law firm is providing Goodell's defense in that case as well.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Did you read what Tagliabue said? He said he found all the facts to be correct, except for Fujuita's involvement.

andy (hickory, nc)

pat, should the bucs have taken luke kuechely instead of mark barron? they still would have gotten doug martin.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

You can't have everything. Barron's fine. Foster's developed well in the middle.

Nate (Boston)

Will Doug Martin become a top five, elite rb for years to come? or is he just having a rookie fluke?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Looks to me like he's for real.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Does Kuechly have a shot at NFC rookie of the yr?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Defensive Rookie of the Year, yes. It probably comes down to him and Seattle's Bobby Wagner.

JM (Charlotte)

True or False: The emergence of Kuechly means Beason is expendable.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Sad to say, but probably true.

Nathan (Orange County)

Is Bill Sheridan in danger of losing his job? Someone needs to be held accountable for the questionable play calling on the defense. Sending the blitz when you really shouldn't has cost this team dearly during the 2 minute defense.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Don't know for sure, but would imagine Schiano had some role in that as well.

Capt-ATL (Atlanta)

Hey Pat, They have 53 players on their roster, 19 of those are free agents in 2013 meaning they are not under contract. Do the math and take another crack at it!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

No, there are injured reserve guys on there as well.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat do you think Nakamura will be with the Panthers next year? He has been just awful this year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Seriously doubt it.

Jeff (ABQ)

My question: Does Tampa need to wrap their heads around the fact that Josh Freeman probably isn't a high percentage guy when he's at his best? Will they extend him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Yes, they'll extend him. They already realize he's not going to be a high percentage guy. They're offense isn't conducive to having a high percentage passer.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat any inside word on candidates for CAR GM?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Might be something that's not going to be all that exciting.

Jeff (Charlotte)

Pat, let's say you got the Carolina GM gig. Given the coaches in the booth/studio, in the market, and current coach, who are you taking?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

I actually might consider keeping Rivera.

andrew (bucs country)

if the bucs wont play lagarrette blount why give him a roster spot/ put someone on the team who can get on the field.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Because they need a backup to Martin. If something happened to Martin, D.J. Ware can't be the guy to go out and handle 20 carries. Blount could.

Ted (South Florida)

Hello Pat, in your humble opinion, who is the best CB currently on the Bucs depth chart? Eric Wright is suspended so lets not consider him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

There really isn't much to choose from there. Guess I'd say Biggers, simply because he's most experienced.

Bill (GA)

will Jaquizz be #1 back with Atl next year? he's proven to be effective when given tghe oppurtutnity.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

I think you might see Jacquizz in tandem with a new back that's brought in either through draft or free agency.

andy (hickory, nc)

will the bucs get primetime games next year?at home? maybe mnf?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Maybe. Would help if they finish season with a little positive surge.

kyle (northampton, pa)

how did cam turn it around so quickly. the last 3 or 4 games have been amazing for him & the O. yet the team still doesn't win.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

They won last week, because the defense gave Cam some help.

CB (Charleston, SC)

thoughts on Reggie Bush coming back to the NFC South? He might be a fit in Atlanta.....

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Nah, I think Falcons would prefer a younger RB.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

A little speculative here, but given the needs at WR and S, and also given that we have a draft weak in those areas, do you think CAR will test the FA market to fill those positions (after they cut some contract guys loose)? I could see Delmas from DET being a target if DET doesnt tag him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

They're going to have to cut loose a lot of guys to have any cap room to sign free agents. I had post about Saints being No. 2 in money committed to next year's cap with $137.5 million. Panthers are No. 5 at $135 million.

JT (Stafford, VA)

If you have a chance, please let Mike Smith know he doesn't have to wait until he's down 3 scores to let Matt Ryan go into the no huddle.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I'm with you on that. They should run no-huddle all the time.

andrew (nfl question)

why is the commissioner tryinng to change so much in football at once? expansion, maybe a team in la? a team in the united kingdom and expanded playoffs? seems like alot at once.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Yep, seems like he's trying to fix things that aren't broken.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

Pat more a comment than a question - Cam also had a lot of good play from his Oline last week (not to take anything away from the D as they did a great job). The Oline, until last week, has been pretty wretched.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Yep, let's give the o-line some credit. Good point.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Yep, they drafted him for that very reason. He should be healthy and get his chance next season.

Jeff (Charlotte)

@Andrew all of those efforts are to increase revenue.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Yep, Jeff might have cut straight to the heart of it all.

JM (Charlotte)

Even if Carolina finishes on the upswing, do you think Rivera deserves to keep his job? We all know how bad the Panthers have looked for most of this year...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Think it's a tough call. They've had some tough breaks and lost a lot of close games. Think the owner likes Rivera. Also think they may hesitate a little to change coaching staffs because Cam would have to start over with a new offense. But they've got to play well in next three for Rivera to have a chance.

andy (saints,)

s it possible drew brees is falling off a clliff? three games in a row and this many turnovers maybe hes falling apart, and everyones giving him the benefit of the doubt because hes been great for so long, but maybe hes losing it?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

He hasn't been good, no doubt. But I think it might have as much to do with what's around him than it does with him.

Shawn (Boston)

Pat, any clue why Sidbury is not getting any snaps? He had 4 sacks last year with limited playing time.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

All I can say is they must not be impressed with what they've seen out of him in practice. Not a good sign when they're jumping the kid over a guy that's been there for a few years and should have developed by now.

Ted (South Florida)

Pat, do you think Freeman warrants an extension this year? Or does his inconsistencies and sometimes bipolar play on the field cause Dominick to wait one more year to further evaluate Freeman on the long term?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Schiano and Dominik have to sit down and talk about if they fully believe Freeman is their guy. If so, extend him in the offseason. Kind of dangerous to let him go into a lame-duck season.

Fred (NO)

How long will it take the saints to become the superpower of the south again?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Could happen quickly. But it's going to take some offseason work. They've got some major needs and no cap room.

Matt (Roswell, GA)

Pat, there are many of us here in Atlanta who believe Mike Smith is simply Marty Schottenheimer 2.0. He refuses to be anything but a play-not-to-lose coach on offense and meddles & interferes with what Koetter really wants to do. We don't believe, like Marty, he can ever get it done. Atlanta needs a coach who is WILLING to use the players we have. Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

He's running that risk, no doubt. Reminds me of the later Dungy years in Tampa. That's why this season's playoffs will be huge for Smith.

andy (bucs country)

when is gerald mccoys contract up? yes hes been a monster this year but its the first time hes been healthy al year ( so far ) do they extend him with guarantees?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

I'd have to look it up, but pretty sure he's signed through 2014.

Rufus (Acworth,Ga)

Do you think the falcons will make a splash in free agency this offseason?If so who do you think they'll go after

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

They might have a bit of cap room to work with, although that depends on if they re-sign Grimes and Baker. But I wouldn't count on them going nuts in free agency. The Ray Edwards saga was definitely a cautionary tale.

Ben (Orlando)

Am I the only one who remembers that like 3 or 4 weeks ago we were talking about how Josh Freeman was an upcoming superstar? Are people's memories REALLY that short?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Yes, they are.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, do you think there's any way that Sean Payton does not come back as coach of the Saints in 2013?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

I think anything is possible on that one. Shocked that it still is hanging out there.

CB (Charleston, SC)

fans comparing Smith to Schotty and calling for his job need to look at San Diego right now. Ridiculous to even CONSIDER firing the winningest coach in Franchise history after 5 winning seasons in a row!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Valid point.

Matt (Spokane, WA)

If Steve Smith is a hall of famer, isn't Roddy White? And if Chris Carter and Tim Brown aren't hall of famers, how could Steve Smith be one?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

I didn't say he was a HOFer. I said he's got to get the numbers up higher and probably needs some more winning seasons.

Andrew (Vancouver)

Think Cam Newton ever be an elite QB or is he destined to flame out like vince young

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

I think he can be very successful.

andy (bucs )

does ronde barber come back next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

I think that's going to be totally up to Ronde.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Andy, appreciate your diligence and I'm answering your questions. But do the other folks a favor and don't bomb me with re-sending same question 10 times. You're burying questions from others. Give them a turn.

JT (Stafford, VA)

I have another take on Mike Smith. Do you think he's too much of a players coach? I get his point about winning in the locker room but for a defense that tackles as inconsistently as the Falcons why not use all of your padded practices? Think the O-Line could have used them too...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Smitty's tougher than a lot of people think. He's not a total players coach.

kyle (northampton, pa)

is tampas weak pass D a side effect of 3 years of R. Morris coaching considering he was the CB coach before taking the HC job?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Not sure you can really say that. I think it's a product of their personnel at CB. They're having to play backups and, in some cases, guys that weren't even on the roster at the start of the season.

andy (bucs country)

were you surprised how well the bucs reunion went? keyshawn, gruden? all together and happy?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Amazing how 10 years can allow differences to fade away.

Matt (Roswell, GA)

In response to CB: it is simply criminal to continue to force Turner into the offense, which is what Smith is doing. He doesn't allow Ryan to run the no-huddle, which is when the offense MOVES. They've used it less this year than since Ryan's rookie year. Smith is an "almost" coach. He refuses to learn from mistakes. This team has the offensive talent to score 30 a game and Smith is the one holding them back from doing so. Would ANY Super Bowl winning coach do that? ON PURPOSE? THAT is insanity.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

All good points, especially on the no-huddle offense. Every time they use it, it seems to work.

Zach (Atlanta)

Have you heard anything more on Roddy's knee, and whether or not you think he'll play Sunday?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

My best guess is they're just resting him and he'll play. I was at Roddy's locker Sunday. He came out with ice on his knee and ankle. Then he took the ice packs off and didn't seem to be in any major discomfort.

scott (tampa, fl)

any chance you could see larry fitzgerald in the nfc south next year? im dreaming of him playing with vincent jackson and that would be lights out!!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

Intriguing, but not sure you're going to see the Bucs be big players in free agency this time around. They don't have as much cap room as they did last year, especially if they re-sign Bennett and extend Freeman.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, thanks for the reminder on chat discipline. Anyway, if Ron Rivera loses his job as head coach of the Panthers, do you think he will likely appear on another team as a defensive coordinator in 2013?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Yes, Rivera's viewed as a good DC. Could see him landing a DC job pretty easily.

paul (nfc south)

which team is the best about being kind to reporters? i.e. player access? coaches honestly talking to you? just curious.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

They're all more or less the same. It's pretty well structured the same way throughout the league.

Ben (Orlando)

Wouldn't an extension for Freeman most likely include a smaller CAP hit for next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Depends on how they structure it. Bucs sometimes structure deals to take the biggest hits up front.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

It's a unique situation. Owner spent a ton of money coming out of lockout. Expectations were very high for this year and they haven't met them. Owner's patience is wearing very thin.

andy (hickory, nc)

thanks for the chats pat. its ok to smack me down, lol. i deserve it. thanks for the answers. i enjoy your insight. go bucs!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

No, you're fine. All good questions, but it was just getting to a point where your questions were the only ones I was even seeing.

Rich (Philly)

Pat is Jimmy Graham still ailing? He doesn't seem like the same player as last year

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

No, he doesn't. Vitt mentioned something the other day about a wrist injury that's been bothering him.

DAvid,tampa fl, [via mobile]

What happen to tampas defences of old

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Well, at least they've got the run defense part of it down pretty well.

Ben (Atlanta GA)

@Nathan - playcalling has been terrible (not going for it multiple times on 4th and 1 in close games -ATL for example. Also not trying to kick in CHI - list goes on). Also the coaching is clearly not motivating the players - they are relying on motivation from within. Finally the staff is not adjusting at halftime, nor are they managing the clock well. These are some of the main reasons people are calling for Rivera to be fired.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Just sharing Ben's thoughts.

CB (Charleston, SC)

With Bradshaw being ruled out, will David Wilson be even more of a threat to the Falcons?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I would think so. Mike Nolan is probably preparing his guys for Wilson right now.

Michael (SC)

Why cant the Falcons put together a complete game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

If I knew the answer to that one, I'd tell Mike Smith. But I can't figure that one out.

Nathan (NC)

In regards to Richardson's patience - I completely understand he wants to win, asap. He's getting up there, and has invested a ton in this team. But it seems like firing Rivera would push the team farther back - it would involve (yet another) adjustment period, of learning new systems on offense and defense, to a new managerial style, etc. Plus, are they just going to pick another guy who has to learn how to be a HC, and let Rivera apply the experience he gained here, at Carolina's expense, elsewhere? It just makes no sense to me.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Points taken and that goes with what I said about keeping continuity for Cam's sake. Still, I think Rivera needs to finish these three games with some more positive signs.

confused fan (nfc south)

i dont think its fair if a receiver is pushed out of bounds in the end zone and reestablishes himself he cant catchthe ball, if he foes out on the sidelines he can come back in, will that rule change? its happened twice this year, the bucs against the saints and the panthers this last week.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Yep, I remember both plays well. Maybe Rich McKay and Competition Committee will look at that rule.

Marty (Atlanta)

What are the chances the falcons let Grimes go next year? With McClain stepping up does that make grimes expendable?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I think there's a chance Grimes leaves. I think Falcons will determine a number that they won't go above and Grimes will see if he can get more somewhere else.

andy (hickory, nc)

the bucs lowered some season ticket prices for next year, and kept most at the same cost, i was surprised they announced it so early, seasons not over. how desperate are they to fill the stadium? winning helps of course, and there doing it.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Think there might have been a little creative marketing going on there -- the announcement came just in time for Christmas. I think that was intentional.

Michael (SC)

Who you got the Giants or the Falcons this weekend?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

I got them both. I don't do predictions, but I will be covering that game.

Rufus (Acworth,Ga)

Who do you think the Falcons first round draft pick will be

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Let's wait until we see exactly where they're picking and if they re-sign Grimes and Baker.

JT (Stafford, VA)

What's your take on the Falcons 3 DT look? It seems to have cooled off the last few weeks...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Thought it was nice at first, but a thing like that isn't going to work over the long haul. Other teams adjust for it.

Sorry I'm late! (Just got here)

Is it my imagination, or has Koetter back off of the screen play?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Yeah, it does seem like they've backed off it a bit. Was looking at stats package last night. Falcons have five TDs off screens. I don't think any other team had more than two. Might be time to throw more screens.

JT (Stafford, VA)

I'm superstitious. Seems like every time Moose and Goose call the falcons game they play horrible. Except for the 45-10 game in San Fran in 2009.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Sounds like you are very superstitious. But, hey, you might have a point.

Nathan (Orange County)

You recently wrote about some NFC South Defensive Rookies and said that Lavonte David should be included in the discussion of being the best this season but he "didn't blow you away". I think any fan, not just NFC South fans, would disagree with you. The kid has done special things in his first season.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Relax. David has been very, very good. No doubt about that. But he might not even be the best LB on his own team. Foster's had a nice year. Also, Kuechly and Wagner and Seattle probably finish ahead of him because they're in the middle and have more responsibilities.

Gyros on the internet look better then in real life (Menu item 7

Asante Samuel.......How bad is his injury? Why does he keep playing with the post season ahead?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

He says he's over it now. But I agree with you. A veteran like that, I'd sit him the rest of the regular season and make absolutely certain he's ready for the playoffs.

Sorry I'm late! (Just got here)

Do you have any info on what the cost and how many PSLs will be at the new Atlanta stadium?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

No, I don't. I don't think they're that far along in the process yet.

andy (hickory, nc)

merry xmas pat

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Same to all of you. Thanks for stopping by today. Keep an eye on the blog to see about next week's chat. We may have to move it a bit earlier or make it shorter because I will be traveling to Detroit next Friday afternoon for the Saturday night game. I'll let you know.