NFC South mailbag

Devin in Monterey, Calif., writes: The Charlotte Observer's own Charles Chandler just announced that he is leaving the paper. He will be missed in Carolina, and I will miss reading his stories and articles. What was your favorite memory working with him?

Pat Yasinskas: Great question and glad you asked it. You made me ponder the nearly nine years I worked with Charles and lots of great memories came to mind. But when this one hit me, I knew it was the correct answer. Charles used to drive a little car that was – and I’m being very polite and generous here -- old, faded and not in great shape. One day at training camp, he showed up and his car was suddenly a very bright red and the interior was sparkling. I looked at the car, looked at Charles and said, “You’ve got a date, don’t you?’’ Indeed he did. It was, I believe, date No. 2 with Susan, who became his wife. I knew right away she was something special, if she could get Charles to go get his car all spruced up in the middle of training camp. Also, happy to say that even though Charles is leaving the business, he’ll remain a friend for life.

Matt in Flowery Branch, Ga. writes: It has come out that Jason Webster had a work out for the Atlanta Falcons. Why would the Falcons have any interest in the former Falcon?

Pat Yasinskas: True, Webster had a workout with the Falcons, but they haven’t signed him and the fact he worked out doesn’t necessarily mean they will sign a guy who’s been out of football for a year. Lots of teams work out lots of guys that don’t end up signing. The Falcons are pretty well set at cornerback. My guess is they were just taking a look at Webster because all teams like to keep an up-to-date list of available players in case they have injuries or emergencies at certain positions.

Cory in Dallas writes: When is Tampa going to leave the NFL and join the Big 12?

Pat Yasinskas: Hey, be nice. Yeah, the Bucs still have plenty of work to do. But, being out at minicamp Tuesday and seeing some of their other offseason workouts, you get a sense that there’s more direction and an actual plan in place this year. The Bucs are young and they might need another offseason to really get their overall talent level in place. But just having quarterback Josh Freeman in place for an entire offseason puts them well ahead of where they were last year.

Alex in Rochester, N.Y., writes: Do you think the Panthers will take a look at acquiring Bobby McCray after he was inexplicably released by the Saints? Being that he's only 28, he could fit into Carolina's "Nobody Over Thirty" strategy.

Pat Yasinskas: I don’t think the Panthers will pounce on McCray right away. If he sits out there for a while and the price tag is reasonable, I think he might be a guy Carolina would consider. But I think the Panthers are pretty intent on giving Everette Brown and Charles Johnson every opportunity to emerge as pass-rushers.

Allon in Phoenix writes: With the announcement that Bobby McCray has been cut by the Saints, wouldn't the Bucs have to consider bringing him in? A month ago they might have had to give up draft picks for someone like him (which we know they HATE to do), but now he's on the open market. I know we're in the midst of a youth movement, but someone with proven experience could only boost the effectiveness of our newly constructed interior D-line and hold us over until we draft and develop some new DE talent. Thoughts? Heard anything about this?

Pat Yasinskas: Have not heard anything about this, but I won’t rule it out. In fact, I think McCray might be a better fit with Tampa Bay than with Carolina. The Panthers have some young pass-rushers with upside. I’m not sure the Bucs have much upside among the defensive ends they already have. McCray could help the Bucs.