Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on May 12, 2016 · 0 comments

in general

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 with "ask the expert'' in the subject line. The most interesting question will be selected.

Thursday, 6 a.m.

There has been some talk lately of introducing the draft lottery to the NFL. Does the idea have merit to you, or do you like the team with the worst record having the first pick, even if it had to tank some games along the way?

I like the lottery system much better, because of what you said, particularly when there is a high-profile player at the quarterback position.

I believe you shouldn’t put teams in that type of situation, where they may be thinking it. I would incorporate a five-team lottery. In

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some cases, it would work better for the team at the top or bottom depending how you look at it.

There are many drafts where there isn’t a consensus overall number one pick. As an example, consider the year when Kansas City took Eric Fisher, the offensive tackle from Central Michigan. I have to believe they could have gotten him later in the round. So, in some case,s the team with the worst record would like to opt out of the pick.

It’s hard to make the Hall of Fame as a running back. Do you think Marshawn Lynch deserves to go in quickly even though Fred Taylor, Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, Ricky Watters, Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones, Tiki Barber, Eddie George, Ottis Anderson, Rick Williams, Clinton Portis and Shaun Alexander all have more yards?

I don’t see Lynch being better than most of the backs you mentioned. Players like Eddie George, Shaun Alexander, Jamal Lewis, Tiki Barber, had much better careers that he did.

Lynch had a few good years on a very good and talented team. He was a piece, not the whole to their offense. Consider the fact he was practically a bust in Buffalo and I don’t know how you can make a case for him. Remember Fred Jackson beat him out during his tenure with the Bills. Jackson, if memory serves me right, was a college free agent. No college free agent beat out any of those other backs you mentioned.

Which team would you consider the best of all-time?

I’d have to go with one of the Steelers' elite teams when Terry Bradshaw was their quarterback. That’s a tough question, but that’s the way I’d be leaning. Those Cowboys team with Troy Aikman and the Montana years in San Francisco would have to be in this conversation.

The Bucs feel as if they got better during the draft with cornerback Vernon Hargreaves and defensive end Noah Spence. Which position is the harder to play as a rookie, however.

The harder would be at the corner position. There is much more to do and think about than a pure pass rusher.

At corner you have much more going on in front and around you. You have to have your head on a swivel at all times. Whereas, at defensive end, you have one guy to beat and the guy you're trying to get to is right in front of you. If you asked me what is harder physically of the two positions to do, I’d say the pass rusher. It takes a certain type of athlete with a unique mentality. They are rare and much harder to predict and find.

We throw the word “leadership” around a lot. But of all the teams you’ve been around, who were the top three leaders?

John Lynch, Derrick Brooks, Olin Kreue\tz. There are others, but those would be the ones that would get my vote.

Being a leader at the NFL level is very difficult. It’s hard to challenge your teammates or call someone out at the NFL level, where all the players are paid well and have some type of unique skill set. They're all professionals who are paid to win. They are no longer on scholarship.

To me, the definition of leadership is paying the price and it ends the minute you quit paying it. Players by and large have to take care of their business and hold themselves accountable. If they need a lot of motivating or coaching to get it right, that guy will not be around long enough to be led.

Did Sam Bradford come to his senses? Or did his agent wake him up?

No, I believe he came to his senses. He quit the pity party he had going for himself because he was the only one at it.

Of the Bucs’ vets, which veteran is most in danger of losing his job? Alterraun Verner or Austin Saferian-Jenkins?

If they take care of their business, stay healthy and play to their potential, both of them should be fine.

Verner would be the one I’d be concerned with the most, because he doesn’t have elite talent. He relies on his instincts and mental toughness to get him through. Part of his success is contingent on having a good pass rush, which the Bucs have struggled with. He’ll go as they go.

In Jenkins' case, eat your Wheaties, drink your milk, take your vitamins and stay healthy.

Between Mark Barron and Trent Richardson, not all Alabama players have panned out in the NFL. Why do you think that is with the coaching and big game experience those guys get?

They were lazy-minded players who didn’t take care of their business. They got away with that mind set in college, because they were so much better than their peers from a talent standpoint, as well as playing alongside other elite players on their team. So their lack of passion got masked; that flaw shows up very quickly at the next level where things are much more relative.

You get exposed at the professional level when you have a character flaw, as they did. They are no longer the big fish in a small pond. They are now a fish in a big pond and it’s too hard for them to swim when they had to go upstream. I will say from a talent standpoint that people, including myself, missed on Richardson. He lacked the athletism needed for the position.

Another season, and former Buc coach Jon Gruden is still on TV. Do you think he ever comes back to the sideline? Is it a good thing if he doesn’t?

Outside of you, does anybody really care? He was a good coach who eventually got fired. How many were like him? A good handful. I think he’s got a pretty good thing going on; if he wants to coach again, I’m sure there will be a taker.

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