Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on June 9, 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.

Thursday, 6 a.m.

I see where Jason Pierre-Paul says he’ll spend this July 4 out of the country. Is there a place that doesn’t sell gunpowder or allow bad decisions?

Yea, Mars!!

Aqib Talib suffered a gunshot wound to his leg. How surprised were you?

The guy lives life based on his emotions. He has no filter and will always live life on the edge. He does what he wants based on his moods and circumstances. So no, it doesn’t surprise me.

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He is an accident that continues to happen. You have to wonder: if it weren’t for football, where would this guy be?

Lavonte David says he expects this year’s Bucs’ defense to be the “best in history.” The Bucs were 26th in points allowed this year. Isn’t that a bit ambitious?

It’s good he feels that way. You can’t get to the top if you don’t have high goals.

I’m not taking him literally, but figuratively. The Bucs defense should be better, for no other reason, that their offense will be better. If they can play with a lead, it makes their jobs much easier. When you’re playing with a lead, particularly in the second half, you take offenses out of their game plans. They grow more aggressive by throwing more and running less.

That helps the defense, because they no longer have to play all three downs. Their focus is now is on third down and getting to the quarterback. They can play more defensive snaps with their sub package (best personnel for defending the pass and rushing the passer). That’s what all defensive coordinators hope for. So maybe David isn’t that far off.

You competed in a different sport. But what did the late Muhammad Ali mean to the NFL when he was champion of the world? Any personal recollections?

I think Muhammad Ali was one of the great emancipators this country has ever seen. Everyone loved and revered him, regardless of race.

He was a model, a beacon light for all Africans, here and abroad. He made them proud of their race. White America respected him, not just because of his greatness in the ring, but that he stood for something and wasn’t afraid to sacrifice it all for those beliefs.

Those convictions cut into his legacy. He missed more than three years of boxing while still in his prime. Who knows how much he would have made financially if he would have just played 'the game.' I can’t think of anyone who sacrificed more, particularly in sports, for what he truly felt. Something that really hit home for me about him was his role as a father. He had all nine of his children at his bedside when he died. He was an American icon. He was the Greatest!

Overrated-Underrated

1. Matt Ryan. Overrated. He has done a lot, but he has little to show for it when it comes to winning big games.

2. Demaryius Thomas. Overrated. When Manning started fading, so did he.

3. Carlos Dunlap. Rated just right. A top player, but not elite.

4. Derrick Carr. Overrated, He has more moxie than raw talent.

5. Alex Smith. Rated just right

6. Michael Bennett. Underrated. One of the top 3 down players at his position.

7. Jamaal Charles. Underrated. He gets credit, but not like others who play his position.

Which NFL coach is on the hottest seat? Rex Ryan, Jeff Fisher, Mike Mularkey or Gus Bradley?

Gus Bradley. He’s been in J'ville a long time and has little to show for it. They all have to win next year, but I thought Bradley and Mularkey got mulligans based on their performances as head coaches.

I read a moving story about the upbringing of Rolando McCain, whose mother once threatened to kill him. How many athletes are you aware of who have overcoming chilling upbringings, and how much of an obstacle can that e after they make the big money?

There have been quite a few good stories. Unfortunately there have been many cases that went very badly once an athlete got money. We have this perception that if someone from a bad upbringing gets to college and gets through, he overcame his poor environment.

For some, yes, they did. But for others all they did was survive it. Universities have great infrastructures and can mask what is really going on with a troubled player. He doesn’t have the time and money in college, that he’ll have at the next level. Because of that, once they get to their new homes and with celebrity status the problems start to show and magnify. When a person isn’t grounded in life, money can be a curse.

The Bucs have the sixth-toughest schedule in the NFL this season. How much is that likely to affect their win-loss totals?

I never bought into the toughest schedule stuff. If you’re a good team the wins will take care of themselves; if you're not, you can be playing Slippery Rock at home and lose.

In short, good teams win and bad ones don’t. The other thing you have to keep in mind when teams play each other is who’s on the field. I guarantee you: if Winston isn’t playing, I like my chances of beating the Bucs on that day. The same hold true for most NFL teams. Injuries play a big role in who wins or not, as well.

It’s time for our weekly series talking about the greatest players in a city. This week, there is a twist with it being Baltimore, which leads us to include the Colts and the Ravens.

a) Johnny Unitas
b) Raymond Berry
c) Ray Lewis
d) Shannon Sharpe

I’m going with Ray Lewis. They won two Super Bowls with him. His play and leadership paralleled what the great quarterbacks do for their respective teams. In Lewis’s case they had very mediocre signal callers when they won their championships, Trent Dilfer and Joe Flacco. I’ll give you that Flacco is better than average, but not by much. Lewis was rare. He willed his team to win. I don’t know if there will ever be another one like him at his position

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