NFC South Saturday mailbag

Time for the weekend edition of the NFC South mailbag.

Larry in Gastonia, N.C., writes: What is John Fox smoking? Why in the world is such a hapless offensive team not playing the best FCS football player in history? Fox says that the team has it's schemes and is working on execution and getting better when asked about Armanti Edwards. I'm all for the Panther's execution! The groundswell of support to just DO SOMETHING different is unbelievable and yet Fox does the same thing every week and expects different results.

Pat Yasinskas: Your fellow Carolina fans have been filling up the mailbag with similar questions. I don’t really have an opinion on whether Edwards should be a quarterback or a receiver. But I’ll tell you this much, he’s not going to get to play quarterback while Fox is still coaching the Panthers. Although that probably will be only for a couple more months, Fox is going to go down with the ship doing things his way. Fox never has shown much willingness to change. That’s part of the reason why he had a nice long run in Carolina, but it’s also part of the reason that run is ending.

Dylan in Athens, Ga., writes: What do you think of Gartrell Johnson and do you see him developing into a bigger role player with the Falcons offense?

Pat Yasinskas: Saw Johnson have one very nice run the last time I covered an Atlanta game. That should help his stock a bit. He’s behind Michael Turner and Jason Snelling on the depth chart. But it’s a long season and guys can get banged up. Thomas Dimitroff and the scouting department do an excellent job and Johnson wouldn’t be on the roster if the Falcons didn’t think he could contribute.

Kenneth in Boston writes: Can we talk about a couple young guys on the Saints' thriving defense right now? Patrick Robinson and Sedrick Ellis are/have been playing phenomenal, wouldn't you agree? It doesn't seem like they're getting enough attention right now, though.

Pat Yasinskas: Sure, let’s talk about them. Let’s start with Ellis. I’ve liked him since the Saints drafted him and thought he was pretty good when on the field his first two years. Problem was, he had some injuries and couldn’t stay on the field. He’s been healthy so far this year and is showing why he was a first-round pick. I also agree on Robinson. I don’t think the Saints wanted to play him so much right away. But Randall Gay, Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter got hurt and that got Robinson some heavy playing time. He responded well. Looks like Greer and Porter are healthy or close to it, but Robinson has shown he’s ready to be a very good nickel back right now and a possible starter in the future.

Adam in Milledgeville, Ga., writes: Early in the year (after the first game) I was fairly upset with your harsh words towards the Falcons. Now after seeing the praise you have given them, I can actually set my fandom aside and realize that you truly just write what you see. I know Panthers fans may feel like you are ragging on them, but what else can you really say? They can look at the Falcons after the Steelers game, or the Saints after the Browns game to see the exact same thing. You are one of the most honest analysts in the NFL who shows loyalty to the division, but not a particular team in the division. This is why I love your blog and will continue reading for a long time.

Pat Yasinskas: Thank you for understanding the nature of my job. Some people always look for conspiracy theories. Truth is, if there’s one team in the division that I’d probably be inclined to favor just on human nature, it’s the Carolina Panthers. I spent nine seasons covering them on a daily basis in my newspaper days. There are many people (coaches, players, front-office workers) that work in that building that I have the utmost respect for. I talk to them frequently and there is a part of me that is pained to see them struggling. But my job is to write about what’s going on. When a team is 1-6, that’s not going to include many positives.