Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on January 8, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Friday, 6 a.m.

Jerry Angelo is a former personnel director for the Bucs and former general manager of the Bears. Each week, Angelo answers your questions regarding the NFL. Send your questions to GarySheltonsports@gmail.com with "ask the expert'' in the subject line. The most interesting question will be selected.

Were you surprised by Lovie Smith’s firing, and doesn't it leave the Bucs looking reactionary after having three coaches in five years?

I’m surprised, but not shocked.

What concerned me was how the team finished this season after being 6-6. Their schedule was favorable and things should have been coming together, not just with the rookie quarterback, but with the team offense, defense and special teams. They finished like they finished last year with the arrow going in the wrong direction.

You can look at it one of two ways: If you’re an NFL coach, you needed to

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give him one more year to see if the nucleus he put together was going to come to fruition. After all, you gave him a 5-year contract (four and an option). Or you can look at the 8-24 record in a league that is littered with parity; 15 teams that finished under 500. Their longest streak in 2015 was a losing one (0-4) and the team for whatever reason couldn’t win at home (3-13).

I don’t know. Maybe the Glazers took a coin, flipped it and it landed on tails as in last place again in their division. Coins have a funny way of determining fates. Unfortunately for the coach, his didn’t land in a fountain.

For the 2014 NFL season, Mike Evans caught 12 touchdown passes from two quarterbacks held in low esteem - Mike Glennon and Josh McGown.

For the 2015 NFL season, Mike Evans caught just three touchdown passes from a quarterback held in high esteem.
How do you explain that?

Scott Myers

That’s a very good observation. My guess would be that it’s more to do with Evans not handling success than anything else for a player of his caliber to have the kind of year he had with an upgrade at the quarterback position.

Having the second-leading rusher in football and minus Vincent Jackson for most of the year tells me there is something going on at One Buc Place with Evans. I don’t read tea leaves, but you don’t have to to know when a player is under performing. The majority of his dropped balls were inexcusable. They hit him right in the hands. I think maybe we should check what’s going on at his alma mater, Texas A & M.

There’s a quarterback that Cleveland took out of there the same year in the first round who is struggling badly as well. I saw where both their talented quarterbacks left the program and transferred to other schools. I can’t recall that ever happening before. There must be something in the water in College Station, Texas, that’s has people acting a little loco.

It's hard for coaches to make the Hall of Fame. But do you think Tom Coughlin, released by the Giants, will get in when Jimmie Johnson, Tony Dungy, Marty Schottenheimer, Chuck Knox and Mike Shanahan are waiting?

I think he’s a Hall of Fame coach and, at the worst, certainly worthy of serious consideration. I won’t get into all that he has accomplished. He’s had a long, tough road with peaks and valleys. He’s done an unbelievable job of coaching under adversity and winning two world championships along the way.

Were you surprised that the Colts decided to stick with Chuck Pagano?

Yes, I was. Since the start of the season, he’s been under an inordinate amount of scrutiny on his job performance and he refused to sign an extension at the beginning of the year.

Usually, you’re not making points with ownership when you do that. Then,  for the first time in three years,  they didn’t make the playoffs, regardless of the fact they were playing without star Andrew Luck, although he was having his worse year as a pro. You figure it out.

Both Julio Jones and Antonio Brown had more than 130 catches and more than 1,800 yards receiving. With the new rules favoring the passing game, will we see a 2,000-yard receiver?

The rules have been in effect for some time now. These guys are special, maybe two of the greatest at their positions of all time, when it’s all said and done. They also are the beneficiaries of two pretty good quarterbacks, particularly Brown, who is on the receiving end of a future Hall of Fame quarterback.

No, the rules are immaterial with these guys. They are very versatile and great route runners. They get where they are supposed to be and their quarterbacks trust them immensely.

Now that the season is over, should the Bucs look for a defensive coordinator to call the plays? Or should the new coach keep that as part of his duties?

You know what I think. It should be pretty obvious. The defense was disappointing and maybe it affected his ability to manage and coach the whole team. The Bucs lost down the stretch;  usually improving teams play good down the stretch.

I can’t say for sure, but you don’t normally see a head coach coordinating the defense. You see much more of that with an offensive-minded head coach. The offensive guy normally has two understudies, his offensive coordinator and his quarterback coach.

He counts on them to do the logistical work he doesn’t want to do because it cuts into game planning. I feel he can defer many more things to other coaches on his side of the ball, than his counterpart on defense. I don’t know for sure, just my thoughts, but there is probably a reason why he may have been the only head coach that had the chore of coordinating his defense.

Who has the better job opening? The Giants or the Eagles? How do you rank the openings?

Between those two teams I would probably lean more to the Giants, but it could really be a coin toss. The Lions and the Bucs are the best openings for one reason; they have young quarterbacks!

Now that the playoffs are here, which of the lower seeds would you be most concerned about playing?

Without question Seattle and Kansas City. I would bet one or both of them will win on the road this weekend.

Depending on the defense a new Bucs coach prefers, would you think he would lean toward a defensive end or cornerback in the draft? The success rate is mixed with both of them, right? How much help can the Bucs expect from the No. 9 draft pick?

I would say the pass rusher and yes, they are going to get a very good player who will fill a need. I can guarantee one thing: he’ll be a defensive player or an offensive player who can play defense.

Jerry's picks

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

I’m going with the Steel Curtain. They got Big Ben and he’s going to carry the load. He’s going to come out firing and the Dalton-less Bengals will be running like a three-legged tiger trying to catch the Steelers talented four legged gazelles.

Chiefs at Texans

I like the Chiefs. They have the better quarterback and they have been playing great football the second half of the season. No one has played better, though the Texans have been looking their best in their later games.

Seahawks at Vikings

This is going to be the one to watch. The Seahawks are on fire and the Vikes just find a way. I’m going with the Vikes at home. The Seahawks are due for a let up.

Packers at Redskins

This will be a good game. I’m going with the seasoned Packers, when it comes to playoff experience.

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