Ask the expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on June 1, 2017 · 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 questions will be selected.

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs is still bitter about his time in San Francisco, and he swears he’s going to get Jim Harbaugh fired at Michigan. Personally, I don’t think Jacobs has the muscle to get that done. What do you think?

Here’s a prime example of how bitterness can jade your thinking. Obviously, Jacobs is very bitter. It's to the point it’s not only clouded his thinking, but it’s poisoned him. I can see being upset and holding a grudge, but at some point you have to move on and let it go.

When Jacobs went to the 49ers he was on the back side of his career. It’s not like  Harbaugh ruined his career.

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Right now, my advice to Jacobs would be to get some type of
counseling, hopefully from his minister, because his soreness is rotting his soul.

Von Miller says he wants to be the best player in the NFL. How close is he?

He’s right there. He’s a franchise player. He proved that two years ago when Denver won the Super Bowl and he was clearly the MVP. He’s got some stiff competition from both sides of the ball, but when he’s on, few are better.

What did you think of the league’s decision to cut back on overtime?

Good question. Clearly it’s about player safety, and I certainly get that and am all for it. You may see a few more ties than in past years, but that is fine. The big picture overrides any side effects that a shorter overtime may bring to minimize a team’s odds of winning the game. I think it was a smart move by the league and it shows the players that they do have their best interest in mind.

Despite all the love for their offense, Football Outsiders, a web site, says the Bucs finish 7-9 this year and miss the playoffs. Do you agree?

The Bucs are going to have to win their division to get into the playoffs. That will not be easy. All three of their divisional opponents got better in the off season.

For the Bucs to win they have to play better overall defense. That’s been their Achilles' heel for a number of years. They got better last year on defense, but they're not there yet. I think they will be a 9-7 team.

Lawrence Taylor? Bruce Smith? Dick Butkus? Ronnie Lott? Deacon Jones? In your mind, who is the best defensive player in NFL history?

Personally it would come down to three players in my opinion: LT, Ray Lewis and Reggie White. My vote would go to LT. No player impacted a defense the way he did -- on any down, week in and week out. He was impossible to block and played with a vengeance.

The loss of Cortez Kennedy at far too young an age reminds me of the greatness the University of Miami had at defensive tackle with Kennedy, Warren Sapp and Russell Maryland?

Hey don’t forget Ruben Carter and Jerome Brown. They were all great and I saw and evaluated most of them.

My vote would go to Sapp. He was totally dominant and could rush the passer. Most inside guys struggle as a pass rusher because they attract so much attention from other offensive players that are in close proximity to the ball. A center and guard most always were assigned to all those players you mentioned, but Sapp managed to outplay any number of players assigned to block him, regardless of down and distance.

In your mind, who was the most underrated player the Bucs have had?

It would have to be Brad Johnson or Simeon Rice. I would go with Rice. He should be in the Hall of Fame, but he won’t be because he beat to his own drum and wasn’t well-liked or respected for doing so. He was also overshadowed by Sapp. But make no mistake, he was a special player at a very valued position. He was the missing link that helped put the Bucs over the top, because the Bucs were all about their defense and Rice was an ace.

They say these might be the best weapons Tom Brady has had in 17 seasons. Can anyone stop the Patriots?

That’s why they play the game, as one person once said. The Pats on paper are the team to beat, but too many things can happen during a course of the season. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m not a fan of signing for one day so you can retire. But why would the Atlanta Falcons want to reopen old wounds by doing it with Michael Vick?

I don’t think there are any hard feelings any more about Vick. The Falcons drafted Matt Ryan. Vick spent time in prison for his wrongs and never was the same player as he was in Atlanta for any other team. I think he paid for his mistakes and it’s time to move on and recognize the great things he did for a franchise that had little to talk about until he came on the scene.

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