Chris in Knoxville, Tenn., writes: I appreciate the Bucs/Panthers rivalry article, it brought back lots of great memories. With Kris Jenkins out for the season and possibly done with his stellar career, could you get a debate going between fans on who really was a better DL, Jenkins or Warren Sapp? My take, Jenkins was the better player but Sapp was more marketable, and they both make the HOF.
Pat Yasinskas: We’ll let readers hash this one out in the comments section below. But here’s my take. Sapp will make the Hall of Fame and Jenkins will not. The reason I say that is because Sapp had relatively high production throughout his career. Jenkins has had his career interrupted by injuries too many times to put together a body of work worthy of the Hall of Fame. The only way he’d have a shot is if he comes back from this injury, has a couple more big years and the Jets win a Super Bowl. I think there’s a chance Jenkins might just decide to retire after his injury. But, for a couple of years, at the height of the Carolina/Tampa Bay rivalry and before the injuries started, Jenkins actually was better than Sapp.
Mookie in Snelville, Ga., writes: Tell me you heard Mike Singletary say,"We will not try to stop Drew Brees, We will stop Drew Brees." ? Do you think that type of talk gets back to Drew, and do you think Singletary is dancing with the Devil making comments like that ?
Pat Yasinskas: I seem to recall hearing something about that. I know how things work in the NFL, and I feel pretty safe in saying that quote just might be taped up somewhere in the New Orleans locker room. Not sure it’s really a good idea to fire up Brees and the rest of his team.
Jessica in Bowie, Md., writes: Is there any chance that the Panthers could trade off for Vincent Jackson? I know it’s been only one game, but I have that vibe that another season will continue with no help for Steve Smith.
Pat Yasinskas: I get this question a lot and I understand where fans are coming from. But the short answer is I don’t see the Panthers doing anything like that. Owner Jerry Richardson and general manager Marty Hurney don’t seem to be looking for any quick fixes these days. Coach John Fox might feel a bit differently, but I don’t know that he’s the most important man in that building right now.
Nick in San Marcos writes: I’m tired of the QB bashing that has been going on for some time in Carolina, first Jake Delhomme now Matt Moore. I watched the Giants game and, yes, Moore made some mistakes but he was put into a situation no undrafted, barely named, starter should ever be in. Why in the world are the Panthers throwing 35 times a game and running 25 if that? That is just stupid, The Panthers were in this game, along with a bunch from last year and the years before ... When is everyone going to realize the REAL problem in Carolina... JEFF DAVIDSON. I feel like people overlook him.
Pat Yasinskas: I question some of the play calls Davidson makes. But before Davidson, a lot of people questioned Dan Henning. I really don’t see much difference between the two. The common thread there is Fox is the head coach, and the offensive coordinator is going to call the game the way the head coach wants.
Andy in Atlanta writes: I can't help but wonder about a young cornerstone player who is no longer with the Bucs -- Arron Sears. 1) Will the complete story of Sears' mysterious departure after the '08 season ever by revealed? 2) What is he doing now? 3) Is there a chance he'll ever return to the NFL?
Pat Yasinskas: The only way the Sears story can come out (legally and ethically) is if he decides to tell his story about what the team would only refer to as a “personal situation’’. I know Sears and the Bucs tried to work together, but the Bucs finally gave up because they saw no chance of things ending well. I honestly don’t know what Sears is doing now. From what I know, the chances of him returning to the NFL are pretty slim.
Ryan in Charlotte writes: Question. What exactly are the blackout rules? Does every team absolutely have to sell out all home games to prevent a local television blackout? That's the impression I keep getting, and if so, seems kind of unreasonable I think.
Pat Yasinskas: In a nutshell, the home team has to sell out 72 hours prior to kickoff. If that doesn’t happen, the game cannot be aired live on local television, which means a 75-mile radius.
Rum in Avondale, La., writes: After reading your Falcons mailbag -- did you catch Inside The NFL (on Showtime) last night? The guys on the show were ripping Matty Ice and the Falcons for their pitiful performance against the Steelers. You might want to let the Falcon fans know about it so they'll see what others are saying about losing to a 3rd-string QB.
Pat Yasinskas: No, I didn’t happen to catch it, but I’m sure the Falcons got their share of criticism throughout the media. I’m also pretty sure Mike Smith and his staff weren’t going around the building this week saying, “You guys were great in Pittsburgh’’. I’m sure the Falcons took a lot of heat from within this week, and it will be interesting to see if they can bounce back with a strong performance against Arizona.
Amit in Atlanta writes: When will Jerious Norwood get the carries he deserves? He seems to be healthy this year and the few touches he got against the Steelers were more positive than the touches Michael Turner got. Is there any chance Norwood will get at least 10 carries a game that he deserves?
Pat Yasinskas: Norwood is healthy at the moment. But the problem is he’s never been able to stay healthy for very long. I’d like to see him get at least a few more carries, too. But I don’t think the Falcons are ready to give up on Michael Turner and suddenly make Norwood a feature back.