Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on May 19, 2016 · 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 with "ask the expert'' in the subject line. The most interesting question will be selected.

Thursday, 6 a.m.

This is one of my favorite games. Remember how Gil Brandt made his fame finding NFL players in other sports? Which players of other sports would you love to give a tryout? Usain Bolt? Victor Hedman? Mike Trout? LeBron James? Anyone?

All those athletes mentioned are truly special talents.

Usain Bolt has my fascination. He has incredible size with electrifying speed. Speed is the biggest separator when the best play the best when it comes to football. Speed can turn an average play into a big play at any time.

Bolt’s size and speed would paralyze secondary coaches in terms of

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how they’re going to play him. Can you imagine the matchup problems he’d give coordinators the minute he steps on the field. His hands would be my biggest concern, but how would a defensive coordinator know when he was going to drop it or not. He’d always have to be accounted for in almost every situation. Bolt should bolt for the NFL. The money he’d make there would have him living like a czar in his home country of Jamaica.

Before they drafted Marcus Mariota, the Titans were raving about Zach Mettenberger. Now he’s been cut (and picked up by San Diego). Is he worth a flyer for another team?

I would look at him, but obviously he is missing something. He was never a very accurate and that’s critical trait for any QB.

There are a lot of quarterbacks that look the part but simply can’t play for whatever reason. Mettenberger showed enough in arm talent and has the size you like at the position. He’s still worth bringing in and developing. In time and in the same system that relies more on it’s running game he could develop into a quality back up.

If you were the Tampa Bay Bucs, wouldn’t you be looking for a wide receiver with a little more speed?

No, not necessarily. You already have two big receivers who can get downfield and make plays on the ball.

Going deep and getting faster receivers isn’t the problem with the Bucs pass offense. It’s their protection that is most concerning at this point. In order to get the ball downfield, you have to have time; if they give Winston the needed time big plays down field will be plentiful.

Most of us are hard on those in the NFL who seem to try not to fit in. But there are some great humans, too. Mark Sanchez took 100 children to his hospital prom. The Browns’ Cameron Erving took a disabled girl whose boyfriend had died. Some players can be kind of neat, can’t they?

You are 100% right. There are many more good guys than bad ones in the NFL.

The majority of players I was fortunate to be around were very good people. They were always polite and respectful to our fans. They would go out of their way if there was a need and they could help in the community. You just mentioned two great stories about those types of players, but trust me, there were and will continue to be many more.

How big a concern is it if the Bucs play Vernon Hargreaves at nickel back and Noah Spence as a situational pass rusher?

What’s the concern? If that’s where they help the quickest and impact their defense, then that’s where they should line up.

The nickel position is a very difficult and important position to any defense. He is playing a goodly amount of the downs on defense and when they really count. If you win on third down, your chances of winning are far greater. The nickel corner has to be a special athlete with ball skills. Hargreaves fits the definition perfectly.

A situational rusher speaks for itself. Given the Bucs have failed to produce the kind of rush you need on passing downs, Spence can have a very impactful role for the Bucs.

We’ve talked about this before, but how dependent are rookies on the organization that drafts them. For instance: Would Tom Brady have been a success if he had been picked up the Browns? Might Johnny Manziel had had a better chance if he was picked up by the Patriots? Eventually, it’s up to the player, but don’t circumstances help?

You are right on when you make that statement. Like no two players are alike, no two organizations are alike either.

To develop players you have to recognize what they can and can’t do. It’s not just about them fitting into your scheme. All players are flawed in some capacity. The good organizations figure out pretty quickly what a player can and can’t do and play him accordingly.

That’s what in my mind separates the better teams in the league. They have the ability to adapt to players strengths and build their schemes around what players can do. They are patient with developing their players and put them in the best situation to be successful. Most coaches run their schemes regardless of who they have on the field and it’s up to the player to adjust and make it work. I’ve always said if your scheme is oblivious to what a player can and can’t do, then it’s a bad scheme.

Which of the last-place division finishers will have the best season this year: Miami, Cleveland, Tennessee or San Diego? Or Dallas, Chicago, Tampa Bay or San Francisco?

That’s going to take some real crystal ball thinking. You have to look at who’s lining up behind center. In the teams mentioned you would give Dallas, Chicago, Tampa, Tennessee, San Diego the better odds, because of their quarterbacks. Of those teams, you would look at their defenses next. That’s where it gets tough, because all played below average defense last season.

My bet would be Tampa. They made the most changes, particularly with the coaching staff, to improve their overall team.

The Rams say “Hard Knocks’’ won’t be a distraction. But how can it not be?

I’ve never been a fan of letting the media have any more access than they already have, which is a lot. Anytime you let cameras into your locker room, meeting rooms, etc., it’s going to be a distraction.

Teams looking for any kind of publicity justify “Hard Knocks” to make them relevant. I get that, but the two questions you have to ask: "At what price" and "Where is the win for the team?"

Start of a series of questions: Who was the best San Francisco 49er of all time: Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott or Bill Walsh?

In this order:
1. Bill Walsh 2. Bill Walsh 3. Bill Walsh

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