It’s a good thing we started Friday’s NFC South chat a little early because we had to end it a little early. That was due to the fact that Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints agreed to a contract about 45 minutes into the chat and I had to jump out to get to work on my column.
But we still were able to cover a lot of ground. Let’s take a look at a team-by-team list of the highlights.
Rick (atlanta): With Atlanta making coaching moves over player moves, it seems to indicate there may have been a morale and trust issue last year? Do you think the new coaching staff have brought a new attitude?
Pat Yasinskas: Yes, that's definitely my sense of it. Right after the season -- after talking to Blank, Smith and Dimitroff in New York after playoff loss -- I thought there would be some major player personnel changes. But they took a little time to cool down and decided that most of their problems were with how players were being coached and the schemes. I think Nolan and Koetter both will have very positive impacts.
Ray (New Orleans): How much do you think that Roddy White has left in the tank? Are his best years behind him?
Pat Yasinskas: I think Roddy still has a 100-catch season (or two) in him.
JT (Stafford, VA): How much of an impact will the screen game have in opening up the Falcons offense?
Pat Yasinskas: It's not going to solve everything. But I think just having the threat of Jacquizz Rodgers catching some passes out of the backfield helps the entire offense.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
StShockey (Canton, MS): Even with Vilma missing the season, because I highly doubt the courts will help him out, I am excited about our new and improved linebacking group for the fist time in a while. Do you see this D breaking into the top 10 this season under Spags?
Pat Yasinskas: Think the D will definitely better. Top 10? Not sure about that. Still want to see how they're going to generate a consistent pass rush.
Hanson (DC): "Conspiracy Alert" the trend toward making TE a focus of the offense is because the price of star TE is currently alot cheaper than a star WR.
Pat Yasinskas: Hmm, I like that one. Makes some sense.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Mark (Sarasota): When do you think the Bucs will ink Barron?
Pat Yasinskas: Think it might take a few more days, just until somebody else in top eight breaks the log jam and sets precedent on offset language.
Brandon (Vero): Any word on what the Bucs plan to do with Eric LeGrand in the future? As nice of a story as it is, he is taking up a roster spot.
Pat Yasinskas: I suspect they'll have to do something before training camp. I'm sure they will do it gracefully and I wouldn't be surprised if Eric continues to have some sort of role with or connection to the Bucs.
Trey (Charlotte, NC): Do you see Stewart in Carolina next season?
Pat Yasinskas: A lot of people think he automatically will be gone. I'm not ready to say that. Let's wait and see what happens this season. Lots of things could happen that would make it critical for them to keep him.
Trey (Charlotte, NC): Do you see Cam in Carolina after his rookie contract?
Pat Yasinskas: Pretty sure Marty Hurney will do everything in his power to make sure Cam never gets close to being a free agent.
Trey (Charlotte, NC): Do you see Lafell or Gettis as the #2 reciever?
Pat Yasinskas: The vibe I got while I was in Charlotte for minicamp was that LaFell has the edge right now.
Here’s the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.