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 questions will be selected.
Thursday, 5 a.m.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh has always been the reasonable brother. But this week he said he’d like the see teams be able to score a point for a kickoff that goes between the goal posts. That sounds kind of arena-ball to me. Do you think it makes sense?
I think John Harbaugh, who was at one time a special teams coach, is going through some type of ex-special teams coach withdrawals. I can’t imagine anyone who would take him seriously.
If he’s trying to find way to score more points, I think Harbaugh should stay focused on improving the Ravens offense and getting his team into playoffs. That will get him a lot of "points" with his owner and his fans!
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I read the other day that Jeff Fisher is now within three losses of the all-time record for losing the most games. Do you think of Fisher as an elite coach in the NFL?
No, I don’t put him in the class of the elite. He is a good coach and early on in his career a very good one. He’s been struggling as of late. His teams have regressed since taking over the Rams job, that’s a fact. You know, we talk about players hitting walls. Well, I can tell you first hand, coaches hit them too. I think Fisher may be in the twilight of a very good career.
Carson Wentz has cooled off mightily since starting the season so fast. Has the league adjusted to him?
I think that teams have adjusted to him to some degree, but I think the injuries the Eagles have incurred on offense has done more to curtail his play than anything else. They have had injuries throughout their offense. You saw it with the Packers and how it effected Aaron Rodgers, so why not Carson Wentz? Wentz is a fine quarterback and will continue to get better and go down as one of the Eagles greats when it's all said and done.
What do you see as Tony Romo’s future? Do you think he retires? Do you think he stays as a backup? Or does he go a new team and start over?
To me, Romo was done two years ago, given his injury history and age. He can’t be counted on to stay healthy and that is one of the primary prerequisites for any NFL player.
The Saints scored 49 points and had 555 yards of offense Sunday. After the game, receiver Brandin Cooks made noise that he’s tired of being a decoy. Is this the stuff that drives general managers crazy? When winning isn’t enough?
Receivers, by their very nature, are selfish players. Don’t ask me why, it may not be a proven fact, but it certainly is their perception. So, I wouldn’t make much of it.
He’s highly competitive and is frustrated, because he’s not getting the ball. Catching the ball is what they do and what makes them. So, I can understand his "non-team attitude" given his post-game statements.
I think when he cools down he’ll say the right things and I also think his coaches will do a better job of getting him in the game plan. He’s one of their special players. A happy Cooks makes for good business and the business of football is to win games and the Saints are a lot better team when he is involved in the game plan.
Rex Ryan says the Bills fans weren’t booing the team Sunday. They were booing him. Can’t a boo be widespread?
A boo is the fans' way of saying "This is not good enough and we’re tired of the same old s---! 'Rex definitely knows that much and knows who is responsible for the fans' frustration.
Yes, a boo is widespread. For the Bills' sake, they had better hope their owner isn’t one of those booing!
How do you judge the first-season coaches? I trust we can leave Chip Kelly and Hue Jackson out, but how do you rate Adam Gase? Dirk Koetter? Doug Pederson? Mike Mularkey? Ben McAdoo?
I would rate the efforts of the coaches you mentioned as good, but still yet to be determined. All of them have improved the overall play of their respective teams. But the season isn’t over. So lets revisit this in another month.
Critics are all over the Seahawks’ offensive line. After allowing six sacks to the Bucs, can you blame them? Will that be the Seahawks’ weak point?
The Seahawks were exposed by the Bucs, particularly their offensive line. Seattle is just average on offense. Their quarterback is not elite and he needs a strong running game and has to be protected. The Seahawks can’t do either with any real consistency. They will struggle to win in the playoffs, because of their anemic offense.
Mathematically, the Bucs are in the playoff race. But do you think, with five games to go, they can get there? What will be their biggest challenge?
Their biggest challenge is their schedule. There isn’t a cupcake on it. It’s uphill for the Bucs, but right now they’re charging and they’re one of the league’s hotter teams.
It's not easy to beat a team that’s playing well and thinks they’re good. Ten wins definitely locks up a playoff spot. Nine wins may be enough too and they are certainly in a good position to do that.
It’s time for our best-of-the-franchise question, which has been a lot of fun. This week, we have the Seattle Seahawks. Is there best-ever player:
a) Masrhawn Lynch
b) Steve Largent
c) Jim Zorn
d) Cortez Kennedy
e) Russell Wilson
Cortez Kenney could take over a game and did when he was in a Hawks uniform.
Tampa Bay at San Diego
The Bucs have found the formula to winning: good defense, solid running game and no turnovers, make for happy press conferences post game.
Giants at Steelers
Steelers all the way. It's a must win for them!
Panthers at Seahawks
Seahawks. Bet the house on it, Not because they’re so great, but they have much more to lose than the hapless Panthers.