We’re less than two days away from the start of the season and that led to a very good NFC South chat session Friday. Let’s take a look at some of the team-by-team highlights:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Derek (DC): Will Freeman be wearing a leg brace for the game?
Pat Yasinskas: Believe so. Schiano requires his QBs to wear the leg brace.
Jeff (NYC): Ronde Barber will soon start his 200th straight game. What will you be looking for in his move to FS, and do you think he can sustain himself over the long run (see: one full season)?
Pat Yasinskas: Yeah, Ronde's always taken great care of himself. Appears to be top shape, so I don't expect any problems there.
John (Texas): If the Bucs continue to not sell. Do you think San Antonio would be a good location to move them? It's still the south, rumor was saints come close to being moved there, and Texas is all about football. They would sell tickets here.
Pat Yasinskas: I don't think it's to that point yet. Bucs seem to be trying everything to make it work in Tampa.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Lance (Lafayette, LA): Do you think its a stretch to believe the saints a 10 win team? I maintain the fact that our on field dynamic hasn't really changed and I feel we upgraded at middle linebacker and defensive tackle. Call me crazy but I think the Saints win the division.
Pat Yasinskas: That's my prediction, so I don't think you're crazy!
Lance (Lafayette, LA): Do you think the Saints give Ingram the ball more often this year, or do they stick to Thomas as the starter and still give him a decent amount of touches?
Pat Yasinskas: I think Ingram will be given every opportunity to be more involved, but he'll have to perform well to keep Pierre off the field.
Rob K. (Norfolk VA): While the Saints certainly have the talent to overcome all their distractions, will they be able to overcome all the coaching challenges. Outside of the creepy "Do your job" poster of Sean Payton and Brees who will step up and be a leader?
Pat Yasinskas: Think they have lots of good leaders. Colston is a quiet, but effective leader. Think Lofton, Harper and Jenkins will be leaders on defensive side.
Walker (NC): Long time reader, first time poster... With most of the salary cap used up for the next few years, the relatively small market we play in, and Cam Newton's huge celebrity, do you see the Panthers being able to sign him to a long-term contract if he keeps playing at or above his rookie level?
Pat Yasinskas: I think Jerry Richardson and Marty Hurney will do everything in their power to make sure Cam sticks around.
Steve (Apex): Is Steve Smith going to have as big a year as he did last season, or will there be a drop?
Pat Yasinskas: I don't see any signs of him slowing down yet.
Ben (Atlanta GA): Pat will Fua see much playing time this year since the addition of D Edwards and the return of R Edwards?
Pat Yasinskas: Yeah, I'm sure they'll use a rotation and he's probably the third guy.
Tim (Bristol, UK): Hi Pat, Greetings from the UK! I'm a huge Falcons fan. I am happy that our offense can do some major damage this year, but this a bit skeptical about the defense. With a more aggressive Coach in charge of the defense, do you think that we will see a major improvement with less points given up, more turnovers etc?
Pat Yasinskas: I think Mike Nolan will bring a much more aggressive defense and that will be a big improvement.
Rob (Norfolk VA): What are the chances the Julio hype if for real??? I've drafted him as high as the second round in fantasy and I don't think I was reaching.
Pat Yasinskas: I think it's very real. I was incredibly impressed when I saw him in training camp and we all saw what he did in the preseason.
Jon (Falcons fan) (GA): What are the chances of Holmes taking over the LT spot in Atlanta?
Pat Yasinskas: Only if Baker really struggles. And it wouldn't be for a while. Holmes missed much of the offseason and part of the preseason. Don't think they want to throw him out there anytime soon.
Here’s the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.