Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

May 3, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Nicolas (Parkland, FL)

Do you think Jonathan Banks has a chance to start in the first regular season game alongside Darrelle Revis?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

Yes, probably. At worst, Banks will be third in the rotation with Eric Wright sliding inside in nickel situations.

Mark (NC)

Without any real talent in the secondary aren't the Panthers settng themselves up to have to air it out also to keep up on points?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Yep, they're not looking too strong in secondary right now. I'd like to think Gettleman has something up his sleeve. But not sure where help is going to come from at this point.

Bobby (Atlanta, GA )

I'm a big Falcons fan, but I do worry about our front seven on defense. What are the odds that we see a veteran player like Richard Seymour being brought in (which I'm reading a lot of these days)? How would that affect the cap? Thank you!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

At the moment, they're only about $2 million under the cap and they need more than that to pay their rookies. Ryan extension could free up some cap room.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, GA)

Hey Pat, A lot of people are expecting Ryan's extension to be finished soon. You seem to think he should get Flacco and Rodgers money, but others point to his 1 playoff win and not winning a SB. Would you expect Ryan's agent to aim for $21+ Million per year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Yep, his agent wouldn't be doing his job if he aimed for less.

JM (Charlotte)

Hey Pat. The Panthers are saying that the secondary is not a liability... you buying it?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

I sure don't see it as a strength.

Trae (Charlotte, NC)

A lot of people seems to speculate that DeAngelo Williams is going to traded or released. Can you explain their logic in that? He is still a great player

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

He's taking up a lot of cap space, not only this year but in the future. And they've got cap issues now and in the future. It's not about his ability. It's about the cap.

Trae (Charlotte, NC)

Pat I have a couple fun facts for you....In the past Ten years, every team in the Division Sans the Buccaneers has played in Two NFC Championship games.....every team in the Division Sans the Falcons have played in One Super Bowl. Knowing these two things is it plausible to say that Our Division is the toughest in Football? Numbers don't lie

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

I always say it's the best division, but I'm probably partial!!!

Mike (GA )

Will falcons sign any of the top free agents left?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Again, they don't have much cap room.

David (Atlanta)

What are the chances that John Abraham resigns with the Falcons at the vet minimum? Do the Falcons have a chance at Freeney if they restructure Ryan's contract now?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Knew it was only a matter of time before we got the Abraham question. Bottom line there, is if he can get decent money elsewhere, he'll take it. If nobody's offering more than minimum, then maybe he comes back to Falcons.

Nicolas (Parkland, FL)

Do the Buccaneers have one of the leagues best secondary's with the addition of Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, and Jonathan Banks?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Potentially, yes. And don't forget Mark Barron. I think he could be ready for a big year.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Any chance we could see Koetter start to work in Toilolo over the season as a starting TE, similar to what they did with Jacquizz and Turner? Or is Tony the starter indefinitely?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Think Tony starts as long as he's still playing. They'll work Toilolo in some as a role player, but Tony will stay as the main guy.

Josh (Charlotte, NC)

Pat, how do you see the Panthers return game shaping up? I know they signed Ted Ginn to boost the return game, and they also have Joe Adams waiting in the wings as a dynamic return man, but Kenjon Barner could definitely provide some competition as well. Thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Panthers have a bunch of guys with return ability. In an ideal world, though, I think they'd like Ginn to handle both punt and kickoff returns. That frees up a roster spot for somewhere else.

AP (Not Adrian Perterson) (Louisiana)

Hey Pat, Out of all the undrafted free agents who has the best chance of starting

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Hmmm,tough one. But I'll say Chase Thomas with the Saints at least has a good chance at some playing time.

Brackin (Pensacola, FL)

I thought the Falcons retired #21 jersey?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

No, they didn't retire it. Ring of Honor doesn't mean automatic retired number.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

Where does Robert Mcclain fit in the current CB depth?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Think he'll be competing with Alford for the No. 3 spot.

Eric (Arcata, CA)

If the falcons had a decision to sign Richard Seymour or Karlos Dansby who would you want them to sign?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

I'd like to see Seymour. Think he still has some good football in him.

Bill (Dale)

Given that Johnthan Banks won the Jim Thorpe Award, how come he was still available when the Bucs picked in the second round? He wasn't even the first cb drafted on his team!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

He ran a slow 40-time at the combine.

Joe (Austintown)

What could we expect to get in return for Deangelo Williams. I fully expect him to get traded.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Probably just a draft pick for next year and that's not going to help this year. But it would help the cap situation.

Domo (NC)

The Panthers finished with the best secondary (statistically speaking) of the NFC South last season and were ranked in the top half of the league as far as passing yards given up. While the Panthers may not have any big names, they still have have the same corners that helped end the season on a positive note. Why do you think the Panthers should bring in more competition than they already have brought in?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

To be totally honest, I think their CBs are all No. 2 or No. 3 guys.

Bill (Dale)

A slow 40 at the combine negates/mitigates the Jim Thorpe?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

In the eyes of some personnel people, I guess.

Tuck Bucs Fan (Philly)

Im worried about the leadership Tampa would lose in the locker room if Ronde doesnt come back. Assuming he does, who do you see being able to step up and fill that void best?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Think Goldson and Revis can bring some leadership.

Anthony (New Jersey)

To sign their rookies will the falcons have to cut anyone with such little cap space?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Not necessarily, if they want until after June 1, they'll get a cap bump for Clabo.

Bill (Dale)

Do you know what Banks ran on his pro day?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Know it was better than his combine time. Dominik said it on draft night. I'd have to go back to my tape recorder, but think he said it was 4.55 on pro day.

Jeff (Huntsville)

Pat, you looking forward to the first game in the new Falcon's stadium that is talked about having impact seating where you can feel the impact in your seat of the hits on the field?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Yep, but I guess I'll have to add some padding to my computer!!!

Peter King-(No SI) (NYC)

Pat I understand the concern about the talent level in the secondary for the panthers.....but seeing as that they were Ranked Top Ten in Sacks last year do you think our Superior Pass Rush can offset that?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

The pass rush can certainly help the secondary. And Carolina has the ingredients for a very good pass rush.

Geoff (brooklyn, new york)

Mike Johnson or Holmes? Who starts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Flip a coin at this point. Falcons are going to let them compete for it in training camp. Whoever steps up wins.

Brackin (Pensacola, FL)

I was surprised the Falcons didn't draft a linebacker. I know they signed Banks, but is that enough?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

If Banks gives them anything, it's a bonus. I think they still could bring in a linebacker that gets released elsewhere.

Devin (Atlanta)

Bradie Ewing makes his "return" this year....which is basically his introduction to the Falcons. What does a healthy Ewing bring to the Falcons offense that we didn't see last year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

In theory, he should give them solid all-around play at fullback. They think he can be a very good one.

Jeff (Huntsville)

I believe you already answered this question, but I want to make sure I understood, so the 2 million under the cap currently does not take into consideration Clabo's release since it is considered a June 1st release?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I don't have the numbers in front of me right now. But go back and find the post I did when Clabo was released. That has all the details. But short answer is they're carrying Clabo's full cap figure until June 1. After that, it gets divided between this year and next.

SJ (Alexandria)

How is Akiem Hicks progressing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

They haven't even hit the field yet. But Loomis has talked about how they have high hopes for him.

Greg (Tampa)

Tampa's greater need....OLB or TE?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Given the fact that TE doesn't appear to be a huge part of the passing game in this offense, I'd say OLB. But Casillas may be able to fill that role.

jack (clt)

carolina's success this season depends on Mike Shula's play calls. offense did well last year in 2nd half when they did not un read option as much, will shula learn from chud's mistake??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

I would think so. Rivera pretty much said so at the owners meeting.

CC (Atlanta)

Main reason CAR had good #s in pass D is that they were so easy to run against. Teams got ahead and pounded them.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Very true.

Darin (Louisville, Ky)

With the return of Joseph and Nicks, does Doug Martin avoid the sophmore slump??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

I think so. Having two Pro Bowl guards for a full season should only help.

Ryan (Atlanta)

Will Matt Ryan take a pay cut to give the Falcons cap space?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Seriously? He's not going to take a pay cut. He's going to get one of the biggest deals in NFL history. However, it will probably be structured in a way that frees up some cap space for this year.

Mark (Rochester)

Do you think Schiano can turn William Gholston into a solid contributor?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Schiano's style and personality might be just what Gholston needs.

Ron (High Point NC)

Do you hear anything about whether Cam is content in Charlotte vs. seeing how much he's worth on the "open market"? New contract will be up for discussion soon.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

No, haven't heard anything on that. But think this year could go a long way in determining his long-term future.

Steven (Houston)

In your opinion, who has the best defense in the South now that things have settled?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

That is a great question. I'll have to ponder it a bit because that requires more thought than I can give it in a chat. Carolina has very good front seven, TB has ingredients to be a very good overall defense, Atlanta could improve and New Orleans is an unknown at this point.

T Scott (Grand Saline TX)

Hey Pat, I saw that some ranked the Saints Undrafted Free agent class as 3rd best. Personally I am pumped about their draft picks this season, especially about the pickup of Chase Thomas. Given their current roster, what do you think about Chase breaking into the starting lineup this year or at least in the rotation?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Think he'll have a chance to compete with Butler, Wilson and Galette. Have heard a lot of good things about Thomas.

Sean (Vegas)

Getting a fourth for Ivory was good value resulting in Saints packaging that to get Jenkins. How do you see Bunkley, Jenkins and possibly Hicks working out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Think you could see Hicks getting some time at DE and the other two sharing time in the middle.

Jonathan Ward (ATL) [via mobile]

Is there any truth to the rumor C. Peters could be let go for cap room?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Seriously doubt it. He's not making that much and they wouldn't be freeing up much cap room. Besides, they kind of need him. Babineaux is getting older and Jerry isn't anything special.

Jake (LA)

Of all the players currently playing in the NFC South, who are guaranteed NFL Hall of Famers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Brees and Gonzalez. Plus, some younger guys that could eventually work their way into the argument.

Bill (Dale)

Do the Bucs anticipate Jeff Demps will be on the roster come September?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Think the Bucs would be thrilled if it works out that way. But it's really just an experiment.

CC (Atlanta)

The Saints D is an unknown at this point? I know... they still stink.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

That's what I like about CC. He's never PC!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Hang on a minute. I'm taking a phone call. Keep firing with the questions. I'll be back shortly.

Eric (Arcata, CA)

Who is on the phone pat ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Someone with Falcons. Nothing really on the football front. Just some administrative stuff. Will be done in about a minute.

Eric (Arcata, CA)

darn!! getting my hopes up

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

No, just trying to get a feel for training camp dates, etc.

brian (illinois)

this is a yawn fest have fun people no real questions getting answered

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

I'm wrapping up phone call right now. Send some questions.

Adam (Atlanta)

When a team has cap space coming free on June 1, like the Falcons, is there any mechanism to commit a player to contract now that would take effect when the space comes due?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

I don't believe so.

STeve (DC)

WHy does everybody have Casillas signed in as our OLB opposite of Lavonte? Hayward and Watson have been big time contributors when they have had the chance...i see Hawyard starting on opening day

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Could be. Casillas isn't anything special.

Nicolas (Parkland, FL)

Does Mike Glennon have a chance of taking the starting job from Josh Freeman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

It would require Freeman faltering.

Tebow (currently on the road to nowhere)

Hey Pat i want to come home to Florida where i'm loved any chance the Bucs want me (i can fill the seats and sell lots of jerseys)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Try the Tampa Bay Storm, perhaps?

StShockey (Mississippi)

I don't think the pick of Vacarro automatically dooms Jenkins or Harper, but it's obvious that Loomis and Co. believe he is the future. Your thoughts on moving Jenkins to SS, finally, Vacarro to FS, and Haprer as a Joker/Blitzer?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Could be something like that or maybe Jenkins sliding inside for nickel situations?

Ken (NY)

Should Steve Smith be considered in the Hall of Fame conversation?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Needs to get the numbers up a bit more.

Bill (Dale)

Apparently there is at least one store selling Barron jersey's with the #23 on them; does this mean he's made the change?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Haven't heard anything official on that, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Ken (NY)

Steve Smith right now has better numbers then Michael Irvin (who is in the HOF). While the majority of his throws came from Delhomme where Irvin had Aikman (HOF QB)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah, but it's a sliding scale with receivers because the numbers have changed so much. Marvin Harrison becomes eligible next year and that's going to take the numbers to a whole new level. That's why it was important for Cris Carter to get in this year. And it's not good news for Andre Reed.

Darin (Louisville, Ky)

Who do you see the Bucs #2 running back being?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Probably James, the kid they just drafted.

Brad (NC)

Any word on Jon Beason's recovery? Will he be ready for training camp or at least the start of the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

He's said several times he'll be ready for camp.

John (N.O.)

I love how the Saints have upgraded their secondary, but do you think they'll be able to get enough pressure on the qb to help the secondary with the current personnel?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

That's the big unknown -- if they'll have much of a pass rush. They're counting on guys like Wilson, Galette and Butler. There's some potential there, but who knows if they'll get it done?

Austin (Chapel Hill)

Aside from Star, which Panther draft pick is likely to have the biggest impact next season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

I think Short will play a lot right away and eventually will replace Dwan Edwards.

Tony (Daytona)

Pat why all the hate for Tebow what can it hurt to bring in tebow and give him a chance. I mean god forbid he unseats mike glennon for backup i mean what would the bucs possibly do if that "great" pick didnt mean anything.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Look, Tebow's a great guy and I respect him. But let's be real honest, he can't throw a football. That's kind of important for an NFL QB.

Andy [via mobile]

Any word on how ticket sales are going for the Bucs? Sell outs possible?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Haven't heard much. Think the prime-time games have a good chance of selling out. Others will depend on if they're winning.

John (Charlotte,NC)

Who on the Panthers roster do you see possibly having a breakout year? James Dockery, Lamont Bryant, Jared Green, Etc..?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

How about Frank Alexander?

Andy [via mobile]

Have u seen the 2 ideas for the falcons stadium? Wow. Amazing

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

No, but I will take a look after we finish the chat.

Jon (Falcon Fan #2) (GA)

Pat. Shouldn't the Falcons be looking for someone to push Nicholas?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

I think so. But I'm not sure they think so.

James (Asheville NC)

Any news if Gettis will be able to compete for a spot in a crowded panthers receiving corp this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

I wouldn't get your hopes to high on that one.

Jack (Charlottte)

Ur feelings about newly aquired SS Mike Mitchell Panthers picked up? Starter or Special Teams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Think he has a real chance to start ahead of Nakamura.

Andy [via mobile]

Thanks pat have a great weekend!!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Thanks to all of you for stopping by. Have a great weekend.