Answering the mail

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Thanks very much for filling up the mailbag. Your questions and comments have been great. I'm going to have to divide them up. I'll answer some today and get to the rest either Friday or Saturday. Here we go.

Nate in Wichita writes: Atlanta and Carolina fans have been debating all week whose RBs and WRs are better based on this years stats and last years. Who do you think have the best sets of offensive weapons? Keep in mind that Turner has only produced versus two bad run defenses in the chiefs and lions and his one game versus a good defense he has been held to a little over 40 yards. If you could clear up this debate for us it'd be greatly appreciated.

Pat Yasinskas: I don't think I can clear this one up because it's too early to give a definitive answer. You have to like the running back combinations for both teams. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart give the Panthers a great combination of power and speed and we're only just beginning to see what they can do. Same thing with Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood for Atlanta. As for the receivers, Steve Smith is the best in the division, but he's only played in one game so far. I like Muhsin Muhammad and D.J. Hackett as complements to Smith. Atlanta's Roddy White is an emerging star and Michael Jenkins is solid. I also think Atlanta's Laurent Robinson will develop into a very good receiver. Your question is one that I think will be good to revisit later in the season when we have more evidence to work with.

Ronald in Lynchburg VA writes: I suggested to my cowboys fan friend that felix jones is the same as jerious norwood. he laughed. is this a ridiculous comparison?

Pat Yasinskas: I don't think it's ridiculous. If you want to enhance your argument, tell your friend to picture Norwood running in Dallas' offense. I think he'd be very productive with that team around him.

Jonny in Huntsville, AL writes: Jon Gruden said few weeks back that the QB situation in Tampa Bay has arisen because of an injury to Jeff Garcia in the Saints game. When Gruden named Griese the starter against bears, it was also mentioned that the change is for that game only. Right now, I don't hear any sounds about Garcia being the starter or him being in the injury list. Probably Gruden wants him benched throughout the season. What kind of a future do you see for Jeff Garcia?
Pat Yasinskas: Gruden said Wednesday that Garcia's been practicing well lately. But he also pointed out how well Griese is playing. I don't see any switch coming any time soon. In fact, I don't see a switch coming at all this season. I think the Bucs will stick with Griese, as long as he's healthy. I think Garcia very well might have already taken his last snap for the Bucs. His contract is up at the end of the season and you can bet that he'll end up somewhere else next season.

Sharell in Raleigh, NC writes: Will a win over the Panthers this Sunday will you give the Falcons a little more respect and bring yourself to admit that the Panthers are an OK team?

Pat Yasinskas: I'm assuming you mean "admit that the Falcons are an OK team'' because I know you're a big Atlanta fan. First, I don't think I've not respected the Falcons. I've just been honest and said they're a work in progress, but I like what they're doing so far. Sure, a win against the Panthers would be huge for the Falcons. But the bigger test for them is to show improvement each week in the first year for coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan.

SaintsFanIn_Iraq by way of Anacoco, LA writes: Ok Pat, this is getting ridiculous. I have been sick for a week, but I still ended up waking at 1am and watching the last few minutes of the first half, and the entire second half of the game. When is Randall Gay coming back? Jason David will not do. I saw missed tackles, bad coverage, and sloppy reads. McKenzie did ok, but I could tell he was still rusty. Hopefully he will be back in top form this week. What about Scott Fujita? When will we see him? Denver ran all over us last week. We need some stability in the middle. Any word on Colston Yet? Does our injury roster exceed our actitive roster yet? It sure seems that way since Shockey and Brown just went down.

Pat Yasinskas: Yep, I'm not even sure where to start on the Saints' injuries (and Jamar Nesbit's suspension). They held eight players out of practice Wednesday and five more players were limited. The most positive news I can give you is that defensive tackle Antwan Lake and linebacker Scott Fujita were back at practice. But the flip side is that cornerbacks Randall Gay and Aaron Glenn were out. As far as Colston, he's still at least a couple weeks away from returning. I keep hearing that the Oct. 26 game in London is the target for his return. Even with the injuries, the Saints are facing a must-win situation against San Francisco on Sunday. They have to find a way to keep their heads above water until they get some of the injured players back.