Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on March 17, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

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.

Thursday, 6 a.m.

What do you think of the Bucs’ signings in free agency? Robert Ayers hasn’t been a standout in a lot of his years, Brent Grimes will be 33 before the season, Josh Robinson was hurt and J.R. Sweezy has to switch sides. Doug Martin had a good year this year, but not the two years before that. So are you among the doubters, or do you think Tampa Bay found some help?

I think the Bucs helped themselves, but for the short run. When you sign aging players or ones that weren’t coveted by their own team, that isn’t much to potentially get excited about.

These players will help the Bucs, but they aren’t going to be difference makers. The difference makers are presently on the roster. For the Bucs to contend next year their defense will have to be in the upper half of the league performance wise. Winston needs to play more consistently and to do a better job of taking care of the ball. Evans and McCoy need to play like pro bowlers and not pretenders as they did last year. Martin needs to stay healthy and their offensive line needs to develop and play better as a unit, particularly in protection. For the Bucs to be relevant they need to play much smarter and eliminate the penalties.

They lost games because of poor discipline and/or poise. Part of it is coaching and part of it is players holding themselves more accountable to one another. I didn’t like their swagger and they really never had an identity that you could hang your hat on in any phase of the game. The Bucs need to plug their holes and stop taking on water, before they hoist their sails.

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I see that NFL quarterback Matt Casell earned a bonus of $58.73 from the Bills. Does Buffalo have change coming?

Absolutely, but unfortunately they’re going to get it in wooden nickels. Because that’s what they bought when they signed or traded for him, a cigar store Wooden Indian.

Will Mark Sanchez be a surprising success for the Broncos? Or is the Broncos quarterback still to come?

He’ll be their quarterback, unless they make the trade for Kaepernick. There is no one else out there other than a trade for the ex-49er. You can win with Sanchez if you have a top defense and solid running game. Denver has both. But saying that, they will not be a legitimate contender with him as their quarterback. Denver will challenge for their division, but that’s about it. At the end of the day, Sanchez is a loser and a proven one.

What do  you think of B.J. Raji taking some time away? Do guys in his position ever get the hunger back?

I can’t answer that, because this is new era we are seeing with players who retires prematurely and/or unretires. Players are paid very well today and don’t need to play as long to secure their financial security. They are much more in tune to their bodies and certainly more educated to their overall well being.

Their concern about their down the road well being given all that’s been said and written, particularly about head trauma is a legitimate concern. When you take all these factors into consideration, then it’s logical to understand their thinking.

There seems to be mixed reviews about the NFL future of Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Do you like him?

I think Henry is going to be a star in the league. He reminds me of Eddie George. Big, strong, fast, powerful back.

He’s a great kid. He works hard and is humble. There is no downside to this kid. Whoever gets him is going to get a real gem. He’s the best back to come out of Alabama under Saban’s regime. It wouldn’t surprise me; if New England makes a trade to move up to get him.

Even New England can be criticized. A lot of fans thought they erred in trading away Chandler Jones? You?

No, I like the trade, as it favors the Pats. Jones was going into his last year of his contract and the number they would have to pay to keep him would be staggering.

They get a quality offensive lineman and a second-round pick, which is a good offset. When you consider they have a few young guys they like who can rush the passer, the cupboard isn’t bare. Don’t forget Jones had an issue that was drug related.

I’m sure New England knows the depth of who Jones is and my guess would be they weren’t willing to make a huge investment in a guy they don’t trust for sure.

The worth of Collin Kaepernick is being debated. The Browns have mentioned a third-round pick. The Broncos their fourth. What would you offer for him?

Obviously the teams that offered something must like him. Saying that, when you don’t have a quarterback you feel you can win with, then you pay what it takes to get one, Neither team has any one on their roster better than Kaepernick.

I think a second-round pick by the Broncos given where they are picking in the round is a good one. They have nobody. Kubiak is an excellent developer of quarterbacks. He’ll find what buttons to push with Kaepernick and how to use him.

He gives you a dimension at the position that few have, in terms of his size, speed, toughness and arm strength. At least with Colin you have something to work with. Sanchez, as I said earlier, is no more than a band aid. If I were Kaepernick’s agent I’d tell the Browns; if they traded for him he’d retire, because that’s what he’s going to have to do after a year in Cleveland. They are the Bermuda Triangle of quarterbacks.

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