Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on February 26, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Thursday, 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.

The NFL combines are this week. As a former GM, how important where the combines when you consider all the work that teams do on players?

The combine is the culmination of work for the scouts and the beginning of draft-eligible player evaluations for the teams position coaches. The scouts must have verified measurables before they can finalize their grades on players.

The combine serves as the official clearing house for all teams in terms of ascertaining those measurables. It also is the first

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time we get to meet and see the players physically. The combine sets the stage for the needed information for what teams will need to set their official draft board.

Remember all the draft eligible juniors will be there performing as well. The gathering at Indy has many purposes and none can be under-rated.

Why aren’t general managers — and reporters — required to take the Wonderlic Test?

Probably not a bad idea. I know I made some decisions that had people wondering and questioning my sanity. As far as reporters, I think it should be mandatory. They use the eraser as much as they do the lead in their pencils. In fact I would go so far as to say they should be writing with crayons! Not all, but most.

Seriously, I know you think there are a lot of things NFL teams can learn from a Wonderlic Test,but have you ever looked at a question and thought,”Why are we asking him that?”

I was never a fan of the test and yes, I often wondered about some of the questions. Understand this is an IQ test created by academics many years ago. Some NFL executive way back when thought it was a good idea and it was during a certain time frame. For whatever reasons it stuck and is still around.

I don’t question the intent, I question the weight given this particular test. I personally would abolish the test, because you couldn’t get two club executives to explain and agree on its effectiveness or relevance. I also feel when the results get out to the public, it can be very damning personally to players, which is wrong and can’t be stopped. I feel that is very unfair and prejudicial in some cases.

To me, the cons outweigh the pros, particularly now that teams are using psychological tests to determine the same factors and are much more secured in terms of protecting very sensitive information.

Speaking of the Combine, why does the NFL time players in shorts instead of pads?

I don’t feel it’s that big a deal. Can it tell you something?Maybe, but it’s not worth all the time and energy it’s going take to implement it.

Every player is on a very tight schedule and it is a very hectic week running so many players through a very tight schedule. Logistically, it would take a lot more time and coordination to get players in pads and out of them as they move on to other drills. The bottom line all the times are relative and that’s the most important factor in terms of comparing the data now and in the future.

Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, who lives in Tampa, is entering the Hall of Fame. How hard is it for an owner to get into Canton?

I think anyone who was associated with winning as many Super Bowls as the Niners did and hiring arguably the greatest coach to ever coach, as well as drafting or trading for some of the greatest players to ever play their respective position is pretty special to me. So I feel he does belong in Ohio’s greatest shrine.

During your time with the Bears, you got a scouting report on Aaron Hernandez. What did it say?

We had concerns. But that could be said about a lot of players. Each team has to do their own research and make their own decisions on players' character, talents, medical issues, etc.

It's not easy projecting those factors. Ultimately the question that needs to answered is: are the risks worth the rewards? No one is perfect, mistakes are made and sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. It’s part of doing business.

In Hernandez’s case he was a very talented player still sitting on the draft board in the forth round. He had to be very appealing at that point to a team with a need at his position. There is no such thing as a fourth-round bust. So you pull the trigger and hope you got a steal.

It depends on the player, of course, but in general, what’s better in NFL free agency? Do you buy one of the 2-3 stars, or do you spend less money on 2-3 average players?

To me, you always go with the star player; if he is still in his prime and healthy. The star players are the difference makers on Sunday. They mask other players' flaws and turn negatives into positives when things break down.

The teams with the most star players usually win on Sundays. An average player fills a need, but rarely makes a difference.

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