Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on May 27, 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 GarySheltonsports@gmail.com with "ask the expert'' in the subject line. The most interesting question will be selected.

Friday, 6 a.m.

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said he’d "never say never" to an NFL coaching job. But isn’t college football a safer gig when you consider longevity and the opportunity to build a dynasty, which seems easier than in the NFL?

I think so. There is no comparison between being a head coach in college vs the NFL. College is clearly the better path for a career at one place, assuming you like where you are.

But sometimes a college coach will get the urge to coach at the NFL level, regardless of the tenuous nature of the NFL when it comes to longevity for head coach. The prime example would be Chip Kelly. It’s not a money thing, because college coaches are on par with NFL coaches in terms of salaries. To me it's an ego thing. They want the next challenge and want to add to their legacy. They aren’t concerned about security, because financially they already have it.

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That’s why I say it’s more to do with their self-image and, again, there is nothing wrong with that. Competing is in their blood and is what drives great coaches and players. So anytime you have an opportunity to compete against the best, why not?

You were around during the height of the great running backs. The offensive lines, defenses and quarterbacks all being the same, who would you pick between Barry Sanders, Walter Payton or Emmitt Smith?

To me, it’s close between Sanders and Payton. Both played on poor teams during their prime for most of their careers. They were the offense.

Saying that, I would go with Sanders, Payton and then Smith. The reason I put Barry ahead of Walter is speed. Sanders could take it the distance at any time. Not that Payton couldn’t, but his big runs would come based on his tackle breaking ability, which he was great at.

We all know that Barry retired prematurely, unlike Payton and Smith. If Sanders would have stuck around another 2 or 3 years, he clearly would hold the record Emmitt presently owns for most yards in a career.

Jalen Ramsey underwent knee surgery this week. How much is that likely to affect his rookie season?

Anytime you have surgery at this time, it’s going to affect your rookie year. He’s new to everything and the off-season is where you lay your foundation.

Working out with the guys in the weight room and going through OTA’s are all important steps to take and make in order to transition into the NFL. It’s not the end of the world. He’ll get back to normal and up to speed at some point and the good news when he does, he’ll be 100% healthy.

Richard Sherman said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Marshawn Lynch unretired. But does Lynch have enough left in the tank for a team to be interested? How about Calvin Johnson?

They both have enough in the physical tank, but it’s the mental tank I’d be concerned with. When a player decides to quit the game, that is a major step. Particularly when they can still play, as these two can and at a high level. So it tells me their hearts aren’t in it any more. We’re not talking about a sales job. This is football and the physical and mental toughness it takes to play can’t be underscored.

I respect the fact that rather than just hang on for the money, they did the right thing for themselves and teammates by walking away.

Did you hear that a bettor wagered $9,000 that the Bucs would win the Super Bowl. He got 60-1 odds, but that doesn’t sound like enough to me. How about you? Got some money lying around?

In the NFL, you never can say for sure about anything. So any bet has a chance, but I’m with you they should have given that guy at least 100-1 odds. That would have been fair.

The Bucs are going to be an improved team. To what degree, we’ll just have to wait and see. The Bucs have to show they can walk before they can run. For the last decade they have shown little to make you think they’ve figured it out. Other than drafting Jameis Winston, what can you point to to say otherwise?

Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley says that humans weren’t intended for playing football. With all the injuries you’ve seen, do you agree?

I believe he has a point to some degree. The human brain, neck and knees certainly have been under attack with contact sports, in particular football. That’s not to say you’re going not to incur an injury elsewhere, but the longer you play the greater the chances you won’t be the same in your later years. That’s a pretty good bet.

I think Doug came back and amended what he said, so I wouldn't take him literally. A lot of human bodies have done very well in the game, and they've made a lot of money. But, yes, it is a tough sport.

This week, NFL.com debated the five rookies at the Pro Bowl and which would have the brightest future. They are Jameis Winston, Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper, Marcus Evans and Tyler Lockett. Which of the bunch would you think will have the most memorable career.

I would go with Cooper, Winston, Evans, Gurley and Lockett. All are strong candidates to have long and prosperous careers. They key is consistency and staying healthy. Those are the criteria that create longevity.

One in a series: Who is the best-ever of the Arizona-St. Louis-Chicago Cardinals: Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Dan Dierdorf or Pat Tillman?

All of them were great players in their own rights. Out of respect for Pat Tillman, I’m not going to rate him as a player. His greatness wasn’t  necessarily what he did for the Cardinals. It’s what he did for our country. I’ll always remember him as one of America's greatest heroes.

Saying all that, I would go Warner, Fitzgerald and Dan Dierdorf. With Warner they won a world championship and vied for another vs Pittsburgh. To me part of being a great player is winning championships and that’s what Kurt did.

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