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August 16, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Chris (Las Vegas)

Good afternoon Pat...you're always my first stop, 'preciate your work.How worried should I be about our O-line(Panthers)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Think there's a good chance you'll see them bring in another guy or two once other teams start releasing players.

Daniel (Ruston, La)

Is the Vilma injury getting overblown? Wouldn't Hawthorne have likely started either way?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Think Vilma is nearing the end of the road.

Duncan (Athens, GA )

Do you think that Atlanta potentially hit the jackpot with reserve linebackers through the play of Paur Worrilow and Joplo Bartu?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

They both have looked very good so far. Let's see if it continues.

Charles Rice (Charlotte, NC)

Who should we look forward to starting week 1 for the panthers at strong saftey?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Mike Mitchell seems to be the lead candidate.

Daniel (Ruston, La)

Do you see the Saint's defense getting the better of the Saint's offense in practice as a good sign for the new defensive system or a sign that the highly touted offensive attack is waning?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Good sign for the defense.

Daniel (Ruston, La)

Doesn't it seem strange that the Panthers struggled against the read-option when they practice against Newton every day?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

Yeah, but Panthers offense has run very little read option in camp this year.

Ryan (Pennsylvania)

Who do you think will win the starting corner job in ATL, Trufant or Alford?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

When all is said and done, I think Trufant will end up there. But Alford will have a role.

Amish (White Stone, VA)

For fantasy purposes, who do you think will have a good season for Saints running backs? Sporles or Ingram?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

I'd go with Ingram. CC, if you're with us, I just threw you a waist-high fastball. Swing away!

Folsom Falcon (Sacramento, CA)

What do the Falcons do at RT Tackle? Lamar Holmes doesn't give me any peace of mind that he can pass block. How do you think the coaching staff sees it?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Think they like Ryan Schraeder, but not sure he's ready to play a big role. Might have to bring in a vet that gets cut somewhere else. Either that or hope Holmes grows up in a hurry.

Eddy (GA)

How has Atlanta's defensive front 7 looked to you so far this pre-season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Thought the first-team D looked great last night, except for the one long pass play.

Andrew (Mooresville, NC)

Good afternoon Pat, do you think David Gettis still have a shot at making the panthers roster after having two good outings during pre-season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

He definitely has helped himself with what he's done in those two games. He has a chance.

Chris (Las Vegas)

Haven't seen Ginn in there on special teams...this because he's a lock and we just wanna see what we've got behind him?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Yes and also to give him a little time to focus on playing WR.

Darin (Louisville, Ky)

Hey Pat how much does Freeman play tonight?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Probably into the second quarter. That's pretty much the norm for second week of preseason.

Sean (Vegas)

Preseason is like chinese food, tasty but not really filling.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

No argument here. Wish it was regular season already.

Chris (London) [via mobile]

Drew Davis has looked strong in PS, even K Cone made catches last night. Will someone finally light a fire under Harry Douglas/even best him out for WR3?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

For whatever reason, the coaching staff seems to still be committed to Douglas.

Trent (Orlando)

Should there be way more concern about the Carl Nicks Injury? When you hear a guy say it has changed the way he has to stand and will always give him pain seem pretty scary.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

Especially when you're talking about a guy that large. Yeah, I think it's a concern. Not saying his career is in jeopardy or anything. But makes yo wonder if he'll be the same player as before.

Steve A (Ventura CA)

Pat, do you see Vilma getting released this year? Would that save any cap room? As a Saints fan I have a lot of respect for him, but he can't seem to stay healthy. With all the other recent injuries to our D, we might as well save the money and search for a younger long term solution. Thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

They restructured his contract and he took a big cut in pay already. Don't have numbers in front of me, but I think it would cost them money to cut him.

Darin (Louisville, Ky)

I get the idea that Bowers isnt producing. Is is too early to regret letting Michael Bennett walk?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Yeah, a little to early. Let's see if Schiano's attempt to light a fire under Bowers works.

Daniel Augusta, GA [via mobile]

Hi Pat. So ANY word on what the deal is with FB Bradie Ewing? Last i heard, it was an unspecified injury

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Think that's all I've heard as well. Falcons, like a lot of teams, are very guarded with injury info. They tend to be even more guarded in preseason because they don't HAVE to provide injury info.

Joel (NC)

Pat, not really going to read much into Panthers D vs. Chip Kelly's O w/o much gameplanning, but any Panthers fan has to be concerned about O-line, especially guard play. They can't afford a slow start again and there are little running lanes and no time for Cam to throw. I don't understand not signing someone (i.e. Travelle Wharton) even before cuts

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

I hear you and agree with you. They've got $13.8 million in cap space. They should be doing something at guard.

Michael (St.Pete)

Pat, you and I spoke briefly online about this. But what are your personal thoughts on the Bucs not bringing in a veteran pass rusher? Clayborn was good before getting hurt last year, but Bowers has never really shown his potential at the NFL level, and now Schiano is having to try to push him to get more. Wouldn't adding a vet be a good idea? I trust Schiano, BUT, he keeps stressing competition at every position, yet there is basically no competition at defensive end. Makes no sense to me, no competition and no insurance.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

I definitely think they're taking a leap of faith on Bowers. No real safety net behind him. But, again, maybe Schiano's fire will get Bowers going.

Darin (Louisville, Ky)

Just curious, who is looking to be the Bucs #2 CB? Banks or....?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Think that's still fluid and we'll know more after tonight or maybe next week.

John T (Asheville, NC)

Cam Newton has been horribly inaccurate in camp and in the first two preseason games. His footwork is bad and he locks in on Smith far too much. This and the overall poor performace of the offense, minus DeAngelo Williams, has this long time fan seeing Rivera gone by midseason and no big extention for Newton. Thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Don't read too much into preseason.

Steve A (Ventura, CA)

Pat, I don't know why everyone is so down on Mark Ingram. I can understand him being a 1st round pick that hasn't made a huge impact on the team, but he does everything he's asked to do. The Saints are often predictable with him, which means defenses often load up on him. And the Saints offense in general is very spread out as far as individual stats. If Ingram were on a different team that used him consistently and evenly, he would thrive...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

I agree completely. CC from Atlanta, are you with us today??? This one is right up your alley.

Joel (NC)

Pat, thought you were spot on about the Bucs' option to franchise Freeman after this year. It used to be more prohibitive, but with franchise guys getting $20M and the "franchise tag" actually being around $16M, it makes a lot of sense. A GM has to be totally sold on a guy when you're committing $100M+, and it's tough to sell the fan base on a guy that's never made the playoffs (but has that potential). Gettleman even insinuated that as an option for Newton down the line.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

You could see franchise tag being a legitimate option for Freeman.

Larry M (Athens)

Pat anything on the Roddy ankle injury?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

Saw report that it's low ankle sprain, which is much better than high ankle sprain.

Kenny Stills (New Orleans, LA)

Did my dropped touchdown pass last week place me on the fast track to the waiver wire?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

No, they've got a draft pick invested in you, so you're safe. But hold onto the ball!!!

Trent (Orlando)

Alot of concern about the bucs pass rush this year. but once revis is on the field shutting down a guy one on one isn't the idea that you free yourself up to bring more than 4 guys on almost every down.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Yep, that's another way to look at it.

Tim (Athens)

Pat, how many 1000 yard rushers do you predict will be in the NFC South this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

I'll say 2, Martin and Jackson. Maybe DeAngelo Williams if Stewart can't get healthy.

Donneith (Columbia, SC)

If David Gettis continues to have a productive preseason can you see him challenging Brandon Lafell for the # 2 WR spot? He was very good as a rookie even with Jimmy Claussen playing QB.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Let's not get carried away. I think Gettis is making a nice case to be fourth or fifth receiver. But he's a long way from being a starter.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, GA)

Do you think if Roddy sits out a few games that it would allow Julio to emerge as the no. 1 receiver?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

I think Roddy will be fine. Keep in mind, Roddy's played in 128 straight games. They might rest him for rest of preseason, but I think he'll be ready to go for regular season.

Stevie Poston (Fort Worth, TX)

I'm not one to really worry about pre-season games, but the lack offensive production has been a bit worrisome. If the Panthers struggle badly next week, should I start to lower my excitement for the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Yep, Week 3 of the preseason usually is the best time to gauge things.

Sasha (London) [via mobile]

All the talk about the panthers secondary being the biggest hole but they seem to be steeping up where as the I line seems to be floundering. Fair assessment?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Take what you've seen of the secondary as a good sign. Assuming you mean offensive line is floundering? Yeah, I'd agree with that.

EastEndBoy (DC)

While Bowers has been clearly off so far this offseason - isn't it plausible that when he gets a chance to play with McCoy and Clayborn next to him instead of late round rookies, that some of the O-line attention will go elsewhere and he'll have a better chance to succeed...ala, Michael Bennett?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Possible. By the way, you're the first one to defend Bowers on here today!

Steve A (Ventura, CA)

Do teams recover any money from a players contract when said player gets injured for the rest of the season before the season starts? So basically do Bulter and Coleman collect even though they didn't do anything?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Yep, the players get paid and the team is still on the hook for their salary-cap hit.

haile [via mobile]

Why were the panther recievers having such a hard time getting open last night?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Gettis and Ginn got open a few times.

Luis (Albuquerque)

What did you think of the Starting Offense last night, Specifically RT and Stephen Jackson, and the front 7 on D

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Thought Jackson and front 7 looked good. Think RT is still a work in progress.

Dan (Valdosta GA)

If revis is as good as he was before the injury, will the bucs Have the best secondary in the nfc south and maybe the NfC

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

Probably so. They now have a lot of money and draft picks tied up in secondary, so it should be good.

Steve A (Ventura, CA)

Do you think there's a chance the Saints bring back Henderson? For the right price he would be a smart signing since he knows the system and stretches the field for all our other weapons. This would let the young guys compete for the #4 WR spot, and fill in when our other WRs get injured, which they always do.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Would make some sense and I think they can get Henderson for the veteran minimum.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

True or False, Kroy Bierman registers 10 sacks now that John Abraham is no longer in Atlanta?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

I think Osi will get double-digits. Think Biermann might be good for around 6 or 7.

JM (Charlotte)

Do you think Travelle Wharton gets an offer from the Panthers?

Jeff (Tampa, FL)

Does a healthy Julio Jones takeover the #1 WR spot in Atlanta this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

He might already have had an offer that he didn't like.

David (Atlanta GA)

Re: Bucs secondary, I think the Falcons could give them a run for the money. Two pro-bowl safeties, Asante and promising rookies are nothing to sneeze at either.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Not a bad secondary, but none of those CBs is Revis -- assuming Revis still is Revis.

Daniel (Ruston, La)

I response to Steve A. regarding Henderson, wouldn't any additions at WR be a luxury that the Saint's couldn't afford given there current cap situation?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Like I said, I think they could get Henderson for veteran minimum, which wouldn't even cost them against the top 51, which is all that counts until the regular season starts.

Chris (Las Vegas)

Seriously, if I had 2 awesome WR's, I would simply be satisfied and not care who was labeled 1 and 2. Do you honestly think Julio sees himself as 2 and not 1b?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

They're both No. 1s in that system.

EastEndBoy (DC)

Can the Bucs avoid big salary cap problems by reaching an injury settlement with Nicks (if he can't go any more)?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Don't panic. I don't think the Nicks situation is anywhere near that bad.

Jason (Los Angeles)

What do you think of Deangelo Williams this year? Jonathan Stewart is banged up and Deangelo looked good at the end of the year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Personally, I've always thought DeAngelo was better than Stewart. If I were calling the shots, I'd make DeAngelo the feature back.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

How much of an impact will Star Lotulelei have in Charlotte this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

It hasn't shown up in the preseason games yet, but I think he'll bring a big presence in the middle that will make the DEs and LBs even better.

CC (Atlanta)

Anyone that drafts Ingram in FF will be cryin' in their beer!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Ah, there you are! Running a little late?

Trent (Orlando)

Is Tom Crabtree the guy since Luke Stocker has been injured all camp or will they most likely end up sharing reps all season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Think Crabtree will be used as the pass catcher.

Joel (NC)

Not to be a downer, but 10 wins seems like to me it will win the division this year. Besides how competitive I think the division will be, everyone plays the NFC West and AFC East. I would question anyone who thinks the division is going to produce a 12 or 13 win team. Good news is that whoever wins the division or makes the playoffs will be battle tested.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I tend to agree with you. I think 10 or 11 wins will win the division.

Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA)

Pat you are an enabler with that CC guy. You should be ashamed of yourself. You shouldn't encourage people like him or her.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Relax, just having a little fun.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, GA)

When do we see your predictions for NFCS records?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Believe they run either last week of August or first week of September. I've got to have them in next week. Need to start doing some serious thinking.

Randy (CT)

Pat! I think we got a nice glimpse into just how prolific this ATL offense is tuning up to be. This team is beginning to show flashes of that Rams team a few years back...potentially The Greatest Show on Turf Part II??! Solid showing. Amiright?!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

We already knew the passing game was good. But what Jackson showed last night had to be encouraging for Falcons fans.

Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA)

Pat, which defense gets more sacks this year: Saints or Falcons?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

How about I go outside the box and say Panthers?

Todd (Charlotte, NC)

Pat, Why is Vincent Jackson not getting more offseason pub? Coming off a pro bowl year, another year to establish rapport with his QB. A beat writer for the Patriots said he was easily the most dominant player on the field Tuesday at the joint practices.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Don't know. But you've got a point. One of the days I was out at Bucs, Jackson had a phenomenal day.

Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA)

You can't do that. That's not what the question asked. Its not a division question. Its a question between 2 teams. Now answer the question please.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Falcons.

JM (Charlotte)

Does releasing Hangartner now look like a mistake?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

No, they must have firmly believed he had nothing left if they went ahead and released him.

David (Atlanta)

Though I'm thrilled with the surprise play of Worrilow and Bartu, it saddens me as an NFL fan that Brian Banks probably won't make the final cut now. Thoughts??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Think practice squad could be a possibility.

David (Atlanta)

Speaking of Worrilow, what are the chances this guy not only plays special teams, but competes with Nicholas for the last starting spot

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Worrilow has played well, but not sure it's time to go ahead and anoint him as the starter.

Pockeyway (nola) [via mobile]

Last time saints didnt make the playoffs, they hired a new def coordinator & started 13-0. (& also played afc east teams & won the superbowl.) So why do you keep saying they will start slow? I believe this team will come out aggreasive w/ something to prove!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

I think they'll be aggressive. Just think it might take a while to fully grasp a new system.

Jesse W. (Napa, CA)

There is much talk about Josh Freeman being "wildly inconsistent." As a Bucs fan myself, I've been frustrated with his play from time to time - especially in the 3-13 season of 2011. I believe that was as much on Raheem Morris as Freeman, though. Jay Cutler is commonly regarded as "elite," but a quick stat comparison shows he is no better than Freeman. The same can be said of Cam Newton, for that matter: overrated. Freeman is only 25. Do you believe he gets a raw deal in the media?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

I think Freeman has been better than he gets credit for. But I also think he needs to step it up a notch this year.

Troy ((NOLA))

Any chance the Saints keep both Wallace and McCown to prevent one or the other from a quarterback needy league? (or from the Falcons?)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Think they'll only keep two and maybe Griffin on the practice squad.

Joel (NC)

With all due respect to Jesse W., and I do tend to agree with him about Freeman, Newton has gotten a pretty raw deal from the national media over the last year

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

In regards to Newton, stay tuned for a column on that Monday on the blog.

David (Atlanta)

Read an article on NFL.com the other day that predicted Julio is about to go on a five year stretch "straight out of Terrel Owens' prime". What are your thoughts on how high this guy's ceiling is?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

He could be like T.O. -- but without all the drama.

Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA)

LOL @ the Falcons getting more sacks than the Saints. Did you know that the "worst defense ever" last year in the Saints had more sacks than the Falcons defense last year? If you've paid attention to each teams defensive line play so far you'd see that the Saints have way more potential.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

I think most of Saints sacks will come from the OLBs.

Kirk (Myrtle Beach)

Why do you think Gettleman paused for 7 seconds when he was asked if Cam was the future QB for the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

When and where was that? I didn't catch it.

Joel (NC)

Pat, you think Clausen gets cut? With Gettleman's NYG background and them typically only keeping 2 QB, finding it hard to believe they will keep Clausen after seeing him struggle in the preseason. His arm strength is better, but I just don't ever see him even being a good backup and think they should move on.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Looks like we're having some technical difficulties, so I'm going to wrap it up now. Thanks to all for stopping by and have a great weekend.