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.
After months of searching, the Dolphins finally gave Arian Foster a home. Do you think Foster has anything left?
I’m sure he can offer something, but to what degree we’re going to have to wait and see. The problem with guys like Foster; if they aren’t a major contributor, then it’s hard to dress them on Sunday, because they offer nothing on special teams.
So, if he doesn’t have an integral role on their offense, there’s a good chance he won’t make the team and will be cut during training camp. Players on the downside of their careers have to be special at something in order to justify having a role
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for a team. Most of the time the step they lost is enough for the younger players too pass them.
This week, Ron Rivera said the Panthers considered taking Blaine Gabbert over Cam Newton. Jim Irsay has said the Colts thought a long time before taking Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf. So how close does it get between two guys when you’re in the War Room and making a decision?
Sometimes it’s very close, but most of the time you know who the right guy is for you.
As an organization, you have a lot of time to digest all the information and determine the best fit for you. Certainly there are going to be some doubts or question marks about most players. I learned along time ago, that there are no guarantees, so don’t waste your time looking for them.
Not to discount what Riveria and Irsay said about making those decisions, but in all reality, they were "No-Brainers." I doubt that Bill Polian and Marty Hurney, the GM”s at the time for both organizations, lost much sleep the night before the draft on those decisions.
J.J. Watt is a fine player. So is Luke Kuechley. And Patrick Peterson. But who’s the best defensive player in the NFL?
If you had a draft, I doubt there would be any team who would pass on Watt. A great defensive linemen and/or pass rusher is the most valued player in football after the quarterback.
The next position would be a great middle linebacker. Those are the positions that can impact the play of your team the most. So, my draft board would have Watt, Kuechley and Peterson in that order, but I can tell you one thing, I’d be looking for ways to trade up for any of those guys. All three are special.
Hall of Fame flashback question. You have 10 men on your all-time defense.Do you finish off your defense with Deion Sanders or with Mel Blount?
Depends upon the era. In today’s game you have to go with Sanders. Offenses are throwing the ball more than 50% of the time most Sundays. When Blount played that wasn’t the case. He played the position like a linebacker.
A fierce competitor, he excelled in all phases of the game. But today’s game has become so specialized, particularly the passing game, that corners with rare cover skills and speed, that Sanders brought to the position can’t be oversratedHe could literally take away half the field. He was a defensive coordinator's dream.
Marion Campbell, the old Swamp Fox, died this week at age 87. Any lasting memories of a football lifer?
Marion was an absolutely gem of a person. He had an infectious smile and a real sense of humor. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of Bum Phillips. He didn’t overthink things. He kept things simple and was always razor sharp when it came to coaching and having his players ready to play on Sunday.
As I see coaches today, they could take a lot of what he did as coach and make it part of their mantra. He made football fun, because he didn’t try to reinvent the game, he just made everyone enjoy it.
How would you advise Jimmy Garoppolo in his role as the Patriots’ starter?
Easy. Be who you are, follow the script and if there is any doubt, do one of three things: Run it, Throw it away or take the sack.
Look at yourself as the opening act. Keep the fas entertained, but never forget you’re not the guy they are paying to see. Don’t try and make them forget the headliner, because you're not.
You have a good quarterback and a good defense. Who is the one running back you would want to have to go with them?
I would want a runner. I'd want a guy who could make his living inside the tackle box, who was durable and wasn’t a liability on third down.
When you can play good defense the one thing you want is to make sure you can rest your defense and keep them fresh. The best way to do that is by running the football. The guy I would want would look like a version of Emmitt Smith.
Gerald McCoy: Overrated. In the NFL you paid to play for 16 games, not 8.
Carson Palmer: Underrated. He is the glue to the Cardinals' offense and team.
Tyron Taylor: The verdict is still out
T.Y. Hilton: Overrated. He is not a No. 1. HE's too small and slight to be a quarterback's "Go-To-Guy."
Joe Flacco: Overrated. I like him, but a team can’t win because of him.
A.J. Green: Underrated. Can you imagine what their quarterback would look without him?
Sammy Watkins: Overrated, Right now, he's more flash than substance
Jameis Winston had a slight edge on Marcus Mariota last year. Which of the two do you think will have the better year this year?
Winston, whohas a full year under his belt. He learned more and is better prepared to take that next step. In Mariota’s case he must show he can stay healthy and throw with better accuracy.
Did the retirement of Peanut Tillman bring a smile to your face?
Absolutely. He was as good a corner as there was in football during his time. No one could play to the level he could on all 3 downs. A great competitor, with intelligence and character. He was the total package.
In our weekly rankings of each team’s best-ever players, we are now to America’s team: The Dallas Cowboys. Is their best-ever player:
a) Bob Lilly
b) Roger Staubach
c) Tony Dorsett
e) Emmitt Smith
f) Randy White
Have to go with Roger the Dodger. The Cowboys had all the glitter, until he came along and turned them into gold.