Thursday morning mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Time for another installment of the mailbag. Thanks for your questions and keep them coming.

Caleb from Louisiana writes: I, like many of the other Saints' faithful, were incredibly befuddled regarding Meachem's inactive status last weekend. From what i saw of the preseason, he gobbled up every ball thrown his way, was a legitimate hr threat (more so than colston), and basically looked like a Devery Henderson who could catch balls thrown under 50 yards. Please give me some insight as to why he was inactive for the first game; where is his downside? I really would like to know.

Pat Yasinskas: I think the Saints were just bringing Robert Meachem along slowly still even though they also were happy with his preseason. They activated two receivers ahead of him because of their abilities on special teams. With the injury to Marques Colston, I think Meachem will be active this week and he'll finally get a chance to show what he can do. He's got good size and physical skills and I think he might be able to turn himself into at least a No. 3 receiver.

Spencer in Charlotte writes: One question. Do you think that now Jake's proved he's 100 percent and that we've forgiven Steve Smith a million times, other people will stop questioning our team and start giving us more respect? Especially since we beat one of the top 5 teams in the league.

Pat Yasinskas: Not sure who was questioning the Panthers. I think the consensus was they would be pretty good with Jake Delhomme back. Now that he's shown he's healthy and the Panthers went out to San Diego and won a huge game, there's really no reason anybody should not respect this team.

Cortney in Dallas writes: Pat, why is the Saints WRs corps reagrded as being "weapons"? Colston is the clear cut threat but the likes of Patten, Henderson, and Meachem does not scare anyone. I think Shockey is decent but the overall team is overrated, obviously.

Pat Yasinskas: This question was submitted before Colston's injury, but it might be even more relevant now. "Weapons'' might be too strong a word for Patten and Henderson. Patten's a dependable receiver. Henderson has big-play ability, but doesn't always hang onto the ball. We'll see what Meachem can do once he gets on the field. Shockey's better than decent and with Colston out for at least a month, Shockey could have more passes thrown his way than ever before. That should keep him happy.

Jesse in Biloxi, MS, writes: Been a die hard Saints fan my whole life and I have to say even though it was pre-season, having M. Leinart and M. Schuab throw almost perfect completetions against us. I still think we should try to get Lynch (Patriots released him).I also heard Ty Law is available and Sheldon Brown is on the trading block. What do you think about us making a run for any (or all three) of these players to help shore up our secondary? Thanks for the time! Who Dat!!!

Pat Yasinskas: I think the Saints' secondary did a pretty solid job showing its improvement in the opener against the Bucs. And that came with Mike McKenzie out. Tracy Porter, the rookie cornerback, already is good and will get better. I think they're fine at corner. With Roman Harper a little banged up right now, I wouldn't mind seeing them add another safety, but I don't know if Lynch would be the right fit.

Rob in Atlanta writes: I read in your blog that Antonio Bryant will be the #2 wideout this year for the bucs. What is keeping Maurice Stovall from producing in Gruden's offense, more bad route running or has he not quite mastered the difficult playbook?

Pat Yasinskas: Stovall's stuck behind Bryant, Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard and I don't see him moving ahead of them anytime soon. Michael Clayton is right there with Stovall in Jon Gruden's eyes. I don't think it's the playbook that's the problem. Stovall's been around long enough to know it. I just think Gruden prefers older guys and it's going to take an injury to get Stovall or Clayton any significant playing time.

Eric in Orlando writes: Could you please provide some information about IR. Is there a limit to the number of players that can be placed on IR ? how does it effect the roster and the salary cap? please provide any other facts about IR that you feel are noteworthy.

Pat Yasinskas: There are no limits to the number of players you can put on the injured reserve list. But, once you put them there, they're out for the season and the injury, on the surface, must be one that's capable of keeping the player out for the rest of the year. When you put a player on the list, he no longer is on the active roster and someone can be signed to fill his spot. But a spot on the injured list doesn't provide any salary cap relief. The team is still on the hook for the same amount if a player is placed on the injured list.