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ESPN Chat: Pat Yasinskas, November 20


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Jeff (Charleston, SC)

Hey Pat. Do you think Norwood will play on Sunday? If so, do you think Snelling and him put down a solid performance?

Pat Yasinskas (12:55 PM)

Jeff, I think we'll see some Norwood, but mostly Snelling.

Bruce (Atlanta)

What's Turner's status for this week and the rest of the year? High ankle sprains can be pesky. He's saying all the right things, but how bad is the injury? Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas (12:58 PM)

It's not a severe sprain, but I think he'll miss a game or two.

CP (BROOKLYN, NY)

Pat don't you think it's a combination of play calling, teams having more film, and an extra week in some cases, that is contributing to Matt Ryan not playing very well right now?

Pat Yasinskas (1:04 PM)

Yep, all of the above. Plus, I also think he locks in on Gonzo too much.

abe (chicago)

is this week a true must-win for the falcons?

Pat Yasinskas (1:09 PM)

I think that would be fair to say.

Allen (New York)

Hey Pat, one of the few Fridays I get off from school, so happy to ask a question? You have seen a few Falcons games live what do you think is the case for John Abraham's lack of production?

Pat Yasinskas (1:17 PM)

Age is catching up to him.

Blake (Tempe, Arizona)

Some ATL "fans" (translation: bitter Vick fans) have designated Ryan a bust. What's your take?

Pat Yasinskas (1:19 PM)

I'd call them bitter Vick Fans.

Nathan (NC)

I was completely unaware that bitter Vick fans existed. Are they also bitter Petrino fans?

Pat Yasinskas (1:21 PM)

Let's find out.

Carlton (Brooklyn, NY)

I'm getting no love today Pat, what's up with that??? Just wanted to know what you thought is leading to Matt Ryan's struggles...

Pat Yasinskas (1:24 PM)

My thought?

Michael (SC)

Why do you think Atlanta can't win even though they have all that talent?

Pat Yasinskas (1:25 PM)

The schedule is a big factor.

Allen (New York)

Tough day huh? I would really like to know your take about John Abraham's lack of production

Pat Yasinskas (1:27 PM)

He's aging.

Jeff (Charleston, SC)

Why did Dimitroff let Foxworth walk?

Pat Yasinskas (1:28 PM)

Didn't really let him walk. They wanted to keep him, but Foxworth wanted to go to where he grew up.

Ray (Connecticut)

Do you believe that Mularkey is a big factor on their offense doing a little poorly these past few weeks?

Pat Yasinskas (1:29 PM)

Yes, think he's got to make some adjustments.

Johnathan (Washington, DC)

Biggest issue on the ATL defense, corner or defensive end?

Pat Yasinskas (1:33 PM)

Hmmm, tough one. I'll go DE. If you've got a good pass rush, you can make CBs look better than they are.

Cecil (Acworth Ga.)

Pat, Can the Falcons win on the road in New York Sunday? No one gave them a chance in New Orleans and Falcons played them tough.Also the birds in Atlanta will be in the big game but those birds may just be the Hawks!!

Pat Yasinskas (1:34 PM)

Interesting stat -- the road team in the Falcons-Giants series has won the last 12 times. Pretty amazing.

Allen (New York)

Would you vote for Babineaux to the Pro-Bowl. Maybe I rate him too highly, but I just think he is starting to really shine

Pat Yasinskas (1:36 PM)

Yes, I would. Think he's most underrated player in NFC South. Plus, he's doing it without having Jerry next to him, which would have helped him even more.

James (Temple, GA)

Listen Pat, ALOT of people are hating on Ryan and the DEF right now but the Falcons are one of them most injury riddled teams in the NFL right now. They haven't had Norwood for awhile, Mughelli missed several weeks, Harry Douglas has been gone most of the season and we've lost 3 starters on DEF for the season(Jerry, Williams, and Moore). Can we start being optomistic and say Matt Ryan and Brian Van Gorder have both done a great job even keeping us above .500??

Pat Yasinskas (1:38 PM)

Some good points.

Allen (New York)

Who would you say is a bigger breakout player for the Falcons this year? Kroy Bierrman or Thomas Decoud? I am leaning toward DeCoud more

Pat Yasinskas (1:40 PM)

I'm with you on DeCoud.

Jeff (Charleston, SC)

The Falcons have shown a lot of intensity in a number of games this year. Do you think this game in NY will display the most intensity thus far?

Pat Yasinskas (1:48 PM)

Probably, this game's very important for them.

John (Melbourne FL)

Is Allen from New York the only one you are taking Falcon's questions from? Also would you consider a 9-7 and missing the playoffs still a good season for the Falcons considering they have never had back to back winning seasons and Atlanta was considered a 3-4 Project anyway before last year?

Pat Yasinskas (1:49 PM)

9-7 wouldn't set off any celebrations, but it would be respectable and show that they're close -- with another good offseason.

Michael (Atlanta)

Pat, why didn't Atlanta pick up McAlister with all of their DB problems?

Pat Yasinskas (1:52 PM)

He's only a short-term fix or insurance.

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/29460/nfl-with-pat-yasinskas

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Age is catching up with Abraham. I hate to say it, but with his injury-plagued career and turning 31 in the offseason, it really would not surprise me if he retires after this year. Why do you think we drafted Sidbury? He even looks a little bit like Abe.

Abraham has been hands down my favorite player on the team ever since we got him (spare maybe White), but I think even though he wouldn't be ready to stop playing, his body might be. All we can hope is that he is grooming Biermann and Sidbury.

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i don't think its really his age...I mean age catch up with anyone but i don't think that's Abe problem... I think its just teams are scheming for Abe (a RB or TE chipping here & a double team there)..Abe is getting around the corner and pressuring QBs/ hitting QBs...The sacks are just not there.. It was not realistic for us to think that Abe was going to put up another 16.5 sack season.... I do think that Abe will finish around 9 or 10 sacks tho.

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i don't think its age..... I think its just teams are scheming for Abe (a RB or TE chipping here & a double team there)..Abe is getting around the corner and pressuring QBs/ hitting QBs...The sacks are just not there.. It was not realistic for us to think that Abe was going to put up another 16.5 sack season.... I do think that Abe will finish around 9 or 10 sacks tho.

Nope, he is singled a lot and I mean a lot with no chipping going on. Make a point to watch him and you'll see. Even some of the radio guys have been saying the same thing I have been seeing and saying. Not many double teams this yr for him. And he isn't hitting the QB as many times as you think or make it seem. Delhomme had all day to throw in both games we played this yr. And even after their LT went down and the LG moved over, still no double team and still no pressure from Abe. This is a concern. Could be his healthy but I do know some guys at his age lose it suddenly and by all appearances, that might be the case.

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When i was 31-32 i was in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically. I'm not buying age as THE factor in his decline this year. You just dont go from 16.5 sacks to washed-up because 12 months goes by. There has to be other factors involved. Lingering injuries, wear and tear, desire? But something is definitly not right about Abes play this year. He has been my favorite football player since his Gamecock days, and his career has always had ups and downs...i refuse to believe he is down for the count after the season he had last year.

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When i was 31-32 i was in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically. I'm not buying age as THE factor in his decline this year. You just dont go from 16.5 sacks to washed-up because 12 months goes by. There has to be other factors involved. Lingering injuries, wear and tear, desire? But something is definitly not right about Abes play this year. He has been my favorite football player since his Gamecock days, and his career has always had ups and downs...i refuse to believe he is down for the count after the season he had last year.

Once again, civilians cannot compare themselves to NFL Players. Like the guy yesterday who said nobody can play through a high ankle sprain. If you are 31 in the NFL, you are about 45-50 in the normal civilian world. That's exactly why Favre is a freak of nature, albeit a *****.

Injuries pile on the years and Abe has had a plethora of injuries/surgeries/conditions that will be with him for the rest of his life.

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When i was 31-32 i was in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically. I'm not buying age as THE factor in his decline this year. You just dont go from 16.5 sacks to washed-up because 12 months goes by. There has to be other factors involved. Lingering injuries, wear and tear, desire? But something is definitly not right about Abes play this year. He has been my favorite football player since his Gamecock days, and his career has always had ups and downs...i refuse to believe he is down for the count after the season he had last year.

Yea, they do sometimes. Look at Joey Porter kind of going through the same thing. These guys get beat up daily. How often you get beat up at 31 or 32? See my point. Like the other guy the responded to you, it is much different for an athlete. Especially one that plays a physical sport like football. Look at LT. He just has lost it suddenly. It does happen. The ones that play into their mid to late 30's are few and far in between. BTW, not everyone is in the best shape of their life at 31 and 32. I am 33 and in no way am I even close to the athlete I was in my 20's.

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I do think Age is gaining on him. However, I don't think he is done yet. Also, I do think that the gives great effort, but when you get him really pumped up he still has that extra gear.

If we can stumble into the post season, I think that atmosphere would take 5 years off of 'ole Abe. Think of all the dinosaurs (worse off than Abe) who seem to rediscover their youth when all the marbles are on the line.

I think this week may be the time to see if he still has that special gear to go to. If I'm sure of anything it is that the Falcons will not lack intensity. All pro athletes do have a measure of professional arrogance around them. These guys know that the "respect" they get around the league will either be doubled or cut in half based on tomorrow's outcome. If they win, they finally have a solid road win in a big game. If the lose, they lost to an ailing opponent on a 4 game losing streak.

From a purely playoff position standpoint, the game is more important to the Giants. From they standpoint of confidence, respect and answering questions, it is much bigger for the Falcons.

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Ray (Connecticut)

Do you believe that Mularkey is a big factor on their offense doing a little poorly these past few weeks?

Pat Yasinskas (1:29 PM)

Yes, think he's got to make some adjustments.

This is so obvious, I cannot believe CMS is not telling Mularkey to open things up.

Edited by sdogg
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Age catches up to a lot of guys. Look at Jayson Taylor. He was defensive player of the year, then has been pretty garbage since. I hope there is still some fight in Abe.

5.5 sacks, 2 FF's, and an INT in part time play in Miami this season(10 games) = garbage?

He was garbage in Washington, because, well...

1)Washington IS garbage

2)He got a massive hematoma in his leg, causing compartment syndrome, which set him back big time all season.

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Abraham has been nearly invisible this year! 3 sacks? He was almost leading the league last year. What gets me is...I can't figure out why on a contract year he is playing so poorly, unless he is just trying to stay healthy?!

I say we get rid of Abe at the end of the year. He's not worth what he will want for a new deal. REMEMBER guys: there was talk that he was going to hold out this year. I'm glad we didn't resign him to a huge deal considering his lack of production

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Abraham has been nearly invisible this year! 3 sacks? He was almost leading the league last year. What gets me is...I can't figure out why on a contract year he is playing so poorly, unless he is just trying to stay healthy?!

I say we get rid of Abe at the end of the year. He's not worth what he will want for a new deal. REMEMBER guys: there was talk that he was going to hold out this year. I'm glad we didn't resign him to a huge deal considering his lack of production

Nope this is NOT Abe's contract year. He signed a 6-year, $45 million contract in 2006, which runs through the 2011 season. There were some rumors circulating before training camp that Abe was unhappy with his current contract and might consider holding out. However, Abe's agent said the rumors were untrue about him holding out. I wonder if Abe's lack of production might have something to do with his speculated dissatisfaction with his current contract. An article in AJC as follows:

"Agent: Abraham will be in Falcons camp

By D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When the Falcons take the field to start training camp on Aug. 1, defensive end John Abraham will be right there.

Rich Rosa, Abraham’s agent, disputed a report that Abraham was unhappy with his contract and was considering a holdout. A report surfaced on NFL Network last week that there were “rumblings” of an Abraham holdout.

The Falcons, who don’t comment about player contracts, acknowledged that they had not been approached by Abraham’s agent about re-doing his six-year, $45 million contact.

“It’s a long offseason and they have to stir the pot,” Rosa said. “We don’t know where that is coming from. There won’t be a holdout. He’ll be there when camp opens.”

Abraham was traded to the Falcons in 2006. He’s set to make $5 million in 2009, $6.5 million in 2010 and $8 million in 2011.

The pay scale for defensive linemen has ticked upward since he signed his deal. Minnesota’s Jared Allen signed a six-year, $73.26 million deal in 2008 and Washington’s Albert Haynesworth signed a seven-year deal worth $100 million, with more than $41 million in guaranteed in 2009.

Abraham is the most accomplished player on a defense that has to replace five starters. He set the franchise record with 16.5 sacks and was named second-team All-Pro last season.

“Absolutely, the bottom line is that Arthur Blank brought John Abraham in to do what he’s been doing,” Rosa said. “He’s been leading that defense. To go out and have 16.5 sacks and not make the Pro Bowl was absurd. But here, the guy has been a staple. He’s ready to go. He’s so happy to be on that team.”

Abraham’s lack of full participation in the offseason program fueled some of the speculation over his contract. Several teams let veteran players work at their own pace in the offseason.

“When you get to level that John is at, you let your thoroughbreds rest,” Rosa said. “There is no reason for John Abraham to be running around in those [Organized Training Activities], risking injury. They need John in September when the season starts. That’s the smart thing to do.”

Last season, Abraham was reunited with defensive line coach Ray Hamilton, whom he started his career with the New York Jets. Rosa said Abraham enjoys playing for Hamilton.

“John’s like a machine,” Rosa said. “Like that fine tuned Bentley. You need to put it in the garage for a little bit, then you get it revved up and ready to go later on.”

The Falcons have had talks about extending the contract of Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White. They signed wide receiver White and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux to extensions last season.

Of course, if the Falcons wanted to extend Abraham’s contract or sweeten it a bit, Rosa would be open to that move.

“At the end of the day, John puts up the numbers, you’ve got to run with it,” Rosa said. “That’s something I’m always thinking about. But there will be no hold out. John will be in there ready to go.”

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/agent-abraham-will-be-90268.html

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Abraham has been nearly invisible this year! 3 sacks? He was almost leading the league last year. What gets me is...I can't figure out why on a contract year he is playing so poorly, unless he is just trying to stay healthy?!

I say we get rid of Abe at the end of the year. He's not worth what he will want for a new deal. REMEMBER guys: there was talk that he was going to hold out this year. I'm glad we didn't resign him to a huge deal considering his lack of production

I don't think we need to get rid of him. He is a big part of the team. I don't think a huge contract can be signed either though. An incentive based contract would be nice though, 1 million + 350k for every sack. That will make anyone go balls to the wall. But it just doesn't work like that.

I hope he steps it up and remains a Falcon.

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5.5 sacks, 2 FF's, and an INT in part time play in Miami this season(10 games) = garbage?

He was garbage in Washington, because, well...

1)Washington IS garbage

2)He got a massive hematoma in his leg, causing compartment syndrome, which set him back big time all season.

Oh snap. I was misinformed I guess. I thought he followed up his 13.5 sack DPOTY season with way less than the 11 he got.

Nevermind about JT then. :lol:

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Hard to dispute the lack of production and not attribute the cause to age.

I'm glad we took a wait and see approach to a new contract.

Since Abe's current contract does not expire until after the end of the 2011 season, I think it is now very doubtful that his contract will be renewed or extented.

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I believe that injuries have been a significant factor, and he was on the injury list a few weeks ago.

However, I distinctly recall seeing an article a few years ago, when Hugh Douglas left Philly for Jacksonville. It sought to justify the Eagles' decison to let Douglas go on the basis that a lot of DEs suffer a significant decline in production when the hit 31 yrs of age, and cited several examples . If there is any merit in that argument, his age could be a factor.

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Surprised that no one has commented on the following from the latest Yasinskas chat:

Allen (New York)

Who would you say is a bigger breakout player for the Falcons this year? Kroy Bierrman or Thomas Decoud? I am leaning toward DeCoud more.

Pat Yasinskas (1:40 PM)

I'm with you on DeCoud.

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