Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

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

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

All right, we're up and running with this chat. Fire away.

Sean (Vegas)

Can we just get this out of the way and agree Graham is certainly a top 100 player and due to Gronk's current injury, the clear cut best TE in the NFL?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

I think he's easily a top 100 player. He'll be ranked highly in my NFC South top 25, which will kick off Monday.

Bobby G (Agawam, Mass)

I expected after Clabo's official June 1st exit that Atlanta would have made one last move, has Ryan's contract moved to a higher priority from three weesk ago ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Still think you could see something with Richard Seymour.

EastEndBoy (DC)

Hi Pat - I know it's early but why aren't the Bucs getting more love in preseason analysis? Looking at what they did - take their weakest part (secondary) from worst to near first - versus what other teams did to their weakest parts, shouldn't the Bucs be viewed more highly - like a playoff team?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

I agree with you. They fixed their weakest area. And they're good in a lot of other areas. I see them as a team with a shot at the playoffs.

Chris P (ATL)

When will you be visiting Flowery Branch(just for you conch)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Training camp.

Ayodele Alakija (Manchester, England)

Pat, so much talk of Armanti Edwards doing well at OTA's has me interested about our WR's. Do you see the Panthers taking 5 or 6 WR's into the season? Who do you honestly think gets cut??

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Can easily see them keeping six. They're going to have some tough choices. Ginn and Edwards looked good in minicamp. But they also have Adams, Gettis and Pilares besides the two starters.

Nathan (Orange County)

I know that it's standard procedure to sugar coat the injury status of your marquee player but Revis actually looks like he is in a great position to play week 1. What have you seen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

All indications are he'll be ready for Week 1.

Brad (Fayetteville)

Recently there has been additional talk about Steve Smith going into the Hall of Fame. Reality or does he still have a lot to prove?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Probably needs to put up big numbers for a few more years. With Marvin Harrison coming eligible for HOF next year, that's going to raise the bar for WR numbers.

Sean (Vegas)

Speaking of training camps, are you going to be circling back and observe all the NFCS teams?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

That's usually what we do.

Saints Fan Up North (new jersey)

Will the Saints try to get someone in F.A. to take Butlers place or go with what they have?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

I think they'll give Martez Wilson a long look in the preseason. If he's ready, they'll go with him. If not, you could see them pick somebody up.

Marcus (Asheville, NC)

What is your assessment of Armanti Edwards' mini camp performance? It seems like each year we hear rumblings of how good of a camp he is having.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Not to over-hype it, but I was there and it was very noticeable that he was having a very good minicamp.

JM (Charlotte)

Hey Pat. Adam Schefter doesn't think that Ted Ginn Jr. can contribute beyond return specialist. Do you agree with him? If so, who will step up in the WR group?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I saw two plays where Ginn simply outran the DBs and Cam laid the ball out there as far as he could and they connected. I think he can contribute as a WR.

Ayodele Alakija (Manchester, England)

I have it at at 6 with Smith, LaFell, Ginn, Hixon, Edwards and Gettis bieng kept. Only keeping Gettis based on former seasons, but feel he has to show and prove. Not sold on Pilares and Adams.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Training camp could change things, but I think the window might already have closed for Gettis.

Michael (Hickory NC)

I have heard the talk about the Panthers WR's and CB's but what about the TE position. I know we have Greg Olsen who is solid but there is buzz about Gary Barnidge. I didnt see anything to impressive last year. So what is different and did you see anything in minicamp??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Not sure I'm buying it, but Rivera talked a lot about how Ben Hartsock can be effective as an underneath receiver.

Nathan (Orange County)

Is the Jeff Demps experiment dead or just on hold til TC?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Believe it's just on hold.

Peter (SC)

You think the Falcons will sign a veteran backup QB?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

My personal opinion is that they should. But I don't know if they agree with that or not.

Nick (Charlotte, NC)

Hey Pat, when do you think the Panthers are going to step it up in the FREE AGENCY GAME? We haven't signed any huge names in a while now and it is making me wonder.... are the panthers cheap?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

They're not cheap. They were in a salary cap nightmare for their sins of the past and didn't have any cap room. They're just starting to work their way out of that hole.

Josh (the burg)

Do you see Dakota Watson winning SLB spot?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

He's definitely in the mix and has a shot.

Nick (Charlotte, NC)

Hey Pat, what are your season projections for the NFC South teams (record-wise)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Let's save that for late August or early September.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Pat,Hey, with Jason Kidd going straight to head coaching after his retirement. That has me thinking. What current player(s) for the Panthers could do the same when they retire? Other players in NFC South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

NBA and NFL are so different that I don't think a player could go from being a player to being a head coach. Would need time as an assistant.

eric (arcata ca) [via mobile]

any word on whether the falcons are close to signing their rookies, a free agent like seymour, or extending matty ice's contract?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Think any and all of those scenarios could play out relatively soon.

Francisco Moraes (Cary, NC)

Pat, what's the kicker situation at the Panthers? Seems like we could have kept Kasay a little longer.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Looks like Graham Gano.

RockKnuteney (Slidell, LA)

Do you know if Benjamin Watson has one of these no practice clauses, like Tony Gonzales? Did not see him all of the OTAs or minicamp? Would like him to be part of a two-headed monster at TE for the Saints.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

He was there, but not participating in workouts. Was working with trainers on the side. Think he's recovering from some sort of injury, but can't remember right now what it was. Didn't seem like they were too worried about it though.

big blue (smynra, ga) [via mobile]

While not being politically correct who would you take first roddy or Julio

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Probably Julio, especially if your parameters are for a few years down the road. But Roddy is still a very good receiver.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Just curious hwo Cam looked in drills? I think he's poised for a huge season...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

He looked pretty sharp. And, as I've said before, I think he's ready for a big season.

Josh (the burg)

Do you really think that Luke Stocker will step up this season for the Bucs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I think he'll be a role player. Crabtree might catch more passes.

Joe_Tess (Smratest man in the worl)

I still thing the Flacons cuold of had of sighed Teabow 4 cheep and he could of had helpe the team

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

How exactly would Tebow have helped them?

Phillip (Villa Rica, GA)

Did you ever get any feedback from your peer(Matt Williamson) on the "C-" rating he gave the Falcons offseason? I just found that rating unbelievable.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Yep, heard plenty on that and fans of Bucs and Panthers also weren't thrilled with Matt's grades.

Domo (G-Vegas)

I'm hearing a lot of talk about UDFA Robert Lester out of Panthers camp. What did you see out of him while you were there?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

You should be hearing a lot of talk about him. He was getting some first-team work. They seem really high on him.

Kevin (Slidell)

Pat, over the past few years, the Saints have always had someone come out of nowhere to make the team and/or provide quality minutes. Who would you handpick for that distinction this time around if you had to pick today?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Rufus Johnson was the guy that really stood out to me when I was there for minicamp.

Jason (Orange County)

With RB Doug Martin possibly getting less carries this season to keep him fresh what other back in Tampa do you picture getting a good amount of snaps? Leanard, Smith, Demps, Brown, or James?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Probably James. But still not ruling out the possibility of them bringing in one more RB.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

I like how the 'smartest man in the world' had at least 9 grammatical errors in his post...I heard that Ingram is not getting first-team snaps..could they actually be planning on giving Pierre 15 caries a game? Frenchy is their best all-around RB by far...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

They were alternating first-team reps when I was there. Saw Ingram, Pierre and Sproles all get some time with the first team.

Phillip (Villa Rica, GA)

any chance Drew Davis could take over #3 WR position from Harry Douglas - who has done nothing special.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Suppose that's possible. I agree that HD hasn't really stepped up nearly as much as they expected.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

TB possibly kick the tires on Willis McGahee?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Have not heard anything definitive on that. But I started to wonder about that the moment he was released.

Kevin (Slidell)

Pat, with all the hoopla going on at Saints camp there are a couple of players who have flown under the radar. One guy I was looking forward to hearing about was Akiem Hicks. How did he look in camp?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Hard to tell on linemen in minicamps because there's no hitting. But he was getting some first-team work at DE. Think they have high hopes for him.

Jason L (San Diego)

Do you see the falcons dabbling with the read option with Dominique Davis ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Why would you take the ball out of Matt Ryan's hands????

Phillip (Villa Rica, GA)

If Falcons don't sign Richard Seymour, will they sign someone else or just roll w/ same old, same ol'?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Think they have to get one more DT and I think Seymour still remains a good possibility.

Tim (Winston Salem NC)

For the question about Gary Barnidge he is now with the Browns. Pat do you have a guess at who will be the Panthers starting corners?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

No, they were rolling in four or five guys with the first team when I was there. None of them really stood out. Think training camp will be the real test for that one.

big blue (smynra, ga) [via mobile]

How come people say H.D. not performing how do you find a slot receiver when you have julio, tony g , and roddy and on top one of them are always open

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Yeah, but should a guy with his speed and all those other guys taking up defensive attention make a big play at least once in a while?

Phillip (Villa Rica, GA)

All indications now are that the Falcons' Mike Johnson is rolling w/ the first team in practice reps and Lamar Holmes with 2nd team at right tackle. Do you think this is significant or not?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Not necessarily. Again, with linemen, you can't read too much into offseason program. Have to wait until training camp when they're actually hitting.

bob (colorado)

pat, with the injury to butler, do you think the league will look into contact during saints otas? or was it just a fluke accident?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Think that was just a fluke. Just two guys accidentally bumping into each other.

Austin (Tampa)

With Matt Ryan continuing to improve season after season how high is his celing? What are expectations for this coming season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Think a lot of people expect him to lead his team to the Super Bowl.

Domo (G-Vegas)

With Jonathan Stewart recent injury issues, what chance do you give Barner of making an impact in the run game? Tauren Poole?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Barner looked very good at minicamp. Definitely has explosiveness. Think he'll have some sort of role. Poole might have trouble sticking on the roster.

Chris P (ATL)

Everyone, non-falcons fans, and even other teams are/were SO SO worried about SJax's age. Do you think this is over exaggerated? SJax is coming into a great system where he can use ALL of his talents, not just being a physical runner.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

He's still younger and faster than Turner, so that's a good thing.

Matt (Atlanta, GA) [via mobile]

Pat, who do you see starting at left defensive end for the falcons? Goodman, Matthews, Massaquoi, Maponga? Assuming Kroy moves to a more hybrid LB position

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

I think Massaquoi is the one they think can step up.

Joel (NC)

It needs to be reiterated for the thousandth time, yes Jonathan Stewart misses practice almost all the time, but he really has not missed that many games due to injury

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Some truth to that.

D (Chicago)

I think Lorig plays as a good FB for Tampa but why wouldn't Schiano not want Vonta Leach? We have money and I think this is a perfect fit for the smash mouth football he wants to play.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Think they're pretty content with Lorig.

Ken (Pineville, NC)

Getting concerned about stewart and his nagging ankles ... did you get a sense he will be ready for training camp (or any informal word from any of the coaches)??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Let's just say Rivera wouldn't go as far as saying Stewart definitely will be ready for training camp.

My name (my location)

Uh ohh....Technical issues

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Seems to be working fine on my end. Anyone else out there having technical issues?

sherwin (alexandria)

i know it's early, but i see jenkins, jordan & hicks as our starting d-line. Agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Very possible, I think.

Chris P (ATL)

Do the Falcons really think they are set at LB? Nichols shouldnt be starting for any team. Any decent FA LBs available?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Only some old guys hanging out there at the moment. Could see them making a move when some guys get released elsewhere in the preseason.

bob (colorado)

pat, when freeman goes out and has a great year and makes the playoffs, how much more, in you opinion, does he receive than he would have if tampa extended him this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Probably a pretty good chunk. But I still think they made the right move by waiting to make certain he's their guy.

RockKnuteney (Slidell, LA)

Do you think the Falcons O-line or D-line are really that solid? A lot of flux took place this year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Still have some questions on both. Will depend on if young guys step up.

Tyrone (Nashville)

Come on Pat, my first comment had more substance than the majority of whats been answered. Proof is in the stats. Falcons offense hasnt got any better with the addition of Jones or Koetter. Its all on Ryan and so far he hasnt got it done.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

I think Ryan is an elite QB. He just needs some more postseason wins.

Shane (Atlanta)

I hope you got a chance to read Ashely Fox's article on Matt Ryan the other day. Who do you think is the better quarterback? Ryan or Flacco?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Yep, I saw it. Personally, I would take Ryan.

David (Raleigh)

While at Panthers camp recently did you notice much read-option practice or mostly running from under center?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

I only saw a handful of read option plays.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, GA)

Hey Pat, out of all the NFCS teams, it would seem to me that TB might have the best chance to pick up Turner for the veteran experience, as you pointed out earlier. Do you agree?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Could see them adding a vet like Turner or McGahee as insurance behind Martin.

RockKnuteney (Slidell, LA)

Also, Falcons are gambling big on both rookie CBs to show up and Asante not to be in decline, or else the D-Backfield could be a real problem.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Valid point. But they do have two Pro Bowl safeties. If they get help from the pass rush, they'll be fine.

Jason (NJC)

Pat, I have posted 10 comments in different names and haven't seen not one, what gives?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Try posting again under your name and I'll try to watch for it. I've got 218 questions sitting on here right now and I can't possibly see them all.

bob (colorado)

I really don't see tampa going after turner

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I'd say McGahee before Turner.

Andy (Durham)

Pat, How'd David Gettis look? I think his time is about up in carolina. Also what happened to Edmund Kugbila's leg/Knee?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Again, I think the ship might already have sailed on Gettis. Rivera was vague on Kugbilia's knee. But Kugbilia was out there at times with first team when they were installing stuff. I thought that was pretty telling.

Shane (Atlanta)

What kind of changes can we expect from the new Rob Ryan Saints offense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Don't think he'll have much impact on offense! But I think he'll bring a much more aggressive defense.

Joel (NC)

Why do think Gettis is not an option? Showed well as a rookie with bad QB play and is now completely healthy.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

That's just the word I've gotten out of Carolina.

Clay (Charlotte)

Is the plan basically assemble a top 5 front 7 and pray that the makeshift secondary will take advantage in Charlotte?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

It sure seems that way. But I also think they're hoping some of the DBs can step up.

Patrick (Charlotte)

Even though Jackson is younger than Turner shouldn't there be some concern that in terms of carries Jackson has a lot less tread on the tires (Jackson 2395 to Turners 1639).

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Just look back to last season. Turner obviously ran out of gas. Jackson looked like he still had something left.

Clayton (Atlanta)

How much will a new center affect Ryan?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Don't think it will be a big deal. Think Konz can be a very good center.

Domo (G-Vegas)

How did TE Nelson Rosario look in Panthers Camp? What shot does he have at making the roster?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I honestly didn't notice anything out of him.

Joel (NC)

Saints fans should hope for mediocrity on defense. And I mean that in the most sincere way. If Rob Ryan can even get them back to that level after last year, they've got good shot with that offense, especially with Payton back

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

I agree.

Ayodele Alakija (Manchester, England)

Do you see Cam settling down into more of a pocket passer this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Yep, I think that's their plan.

Tyrone (Nashville)

In regards to Ryan being elite: Regular season numbers only take you so far, especially if you can't get it done in the playoffs. Look at guys like Montana or Kelly or Aikman or even Elway. Didn't really put up huge number but they always had their teams playing the best they could in the playoffs. Ryan shouldn"t even be close to being called elite until he improves his postseason play.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Agree, he needs to win more postseason games. But postseason losses haven't been entirely his fault.

Clayton (Atlanta)

How much of an impact do you think Revis will have in the early season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I think he'll be ready for start of season and will be highly motivated for opener against the Jets.

Jay (Iowa)

Is this Richard Seymour signing not done yet because of a vet maybe not wanting to hit all the training he already knows or is it a financial crux to the future M. Ryan contract? Or is it a waiting game to see how low of a price a vet will drop later on?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

I think they're just waiting to drop Seymour's price as low as possible.

JM (Charlotte)

True or False: If the Panthers finish 7-9 again, Rivera is out.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

True. He needs to win.

Shannon (Simpson)

How's the Saints #3 WR position going? Still Morgan or someone else stepping up?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Morgan seemed to be the leader when I was there last week.

Sharell (NCFalconFan,)

Tyrone, not understanding the Ryan hate. There are only few QBs I will take over Ryan. Ryan has carried the Falcons since his rookie year. Kapernick, Wilson and Flacco always had a stout DEFENSE, one that Ryan dreams about.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Sharell's always a voice of reason!

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, GA)

Thanks PY, see ya next week!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Not next week. I'll be taking a few weeks off starting Monday. Will return July 8. So we'll go ahead and go an extra five minutes on this chat. Keep them coming.

Clayton (Atlanta)

How much of an emotional impact will Payton returning to the Saints have on the Falcons-Saints opening game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Obviously, should be a huge emotional impact for Saints.

Joel (NC)

FYI Pat, flew into Scranton airport a couple of weeks back. Not exactly Charlotte/Atlanta/Tampa/NO...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

No, not even close. But at least you don't have to fight through crowds!

Ken (Pineville, NC)

Sharell & Pat ... Since the arrival of Julio ... no excuse ... look at what Brees has done with sub par defense

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

I'll give one more "excuse". No running game last year.

Kevin (Slidell)

Okay, Pat, pick one rookie stud for each team in the NFCS this upcoming season

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Vaccaro for Saints. Maybe Jenkins too. Alford for Falcons. Banks for Bucs and both DTs for Carolina.

John la [via mobile]

should Saints bringin John Abraham

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Might be worth a look. Price tag should be pretty reasonable.

Marcus (Wilmington, DE)

Somewhere (here or another media outlet) I read about the 2014 contract decisions at DT for the Falcons (Babs, P. Jerry, C. Peters0. How much of an eye does Dimitroff have on that, and what effect will it have this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:02 PM)

Think Babs and Jerry will be gone after this season. Peters can earn himself a nice extension with a good season.

JM (Charlotte)

Do you think either Star or Kawann will replace D Edwards in the starting lineup?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

I think Star and Edwards will open up season as starters. But Short will be in the rotation and could move ahead of Edwards as season goes on.

Nique [via mobile]

What are the chances the Falcons bring in a cut OLB from another roster to compete with Nicholas?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

Would not rule that out at all.

Josh (The burg)

Do you think Carimi will be the starting RT, or will Dotson keep the job for at least this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:04 PM)

Think Dotson goes in with the edge. But if he struggles at all and Carimi is healthy we could see a switch.

Ayodele Alakija (Manchester, England)

Thanks Pat, been good to enjoy the chat from England!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:05 PM)

Thanks to all for stopping by. Again, we'll be skipping chats the next few weeks. I'll be back July 8, but keep an eye on the blob because NFC South Top 25 will begin rolling out Monday. Have a great weekend.