Ask the expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on June 30, 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.

Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan died this week. For all of his bluster, what did you think of Ryan as a coach?

He was great for football. He was a football purist. Regardless of his arrogance and ego, you respected him. He could back up everything he said he was going to do and his players would die for him. He knew football. In some ways, he revolutionized it.

As a defensive coordinator, he may have been the best in football. He was the first coordinator to devise a scheme to stop the famous West Coast offense. Until then the Forty Niners had their way with most all opponents until they ran into Ryan’s 46 defense. Most all the defensive minds during that time tried to match up with the personnel packages Walsh employed with little to no success.

Ryan took an opposite approach. Rather than run around chasing people he said let’s go after the quarterback. He saw the weakness of this unstoppable offensive juggernaut and exposed it. He did what all great coaches do, make the opponent adjust to you. He was the 300-pound gorilla that offensive coordinators had to get off their backs.

As a head coach he was good, but too emotional and too stubborn. He could never

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see the big picture. It was his way or no way. Though he won a lot of games, he was never the mastermind as a head coach as he was as a defensive coordinator. I guess the best thing you say about a coach, he made the game a better one.

It probably doesn’t surprise you that Tim Tebow helped the family of a man having a medical emergency on an airplane? Why is there such a negative cluster of fans about Tebow, and what does it say about them?

You know I don’t get it. If you’re a fan of football, and you embrace sports celebrities who do and say the right things and live the right way, Tim Tebow should be your hero. I think his outspoken religious zeal scares people. For whatever the reason when people start talking about God and the place he has in their lives, people get defensive and unfortunately, in some cases, antagonistic.

I’m not saying Tebow is perfect. He isn’t. No one is, but he’s a great kid who walks the talk. I think any parent would love to have a son like him. I know I would.

Monte Kiffin, the old Bucs’ assistant coach, just won a lifetime achievement award for assistant coaches (alone with Wade Phillips). Do you have a go-to story of what character Kif is?

Monte is a one of a kind. You’ll never see another like him.

He is as dedicated and high-energy as any coach I’ve ever been around. He sometimes talks faster than he thinks and would say things that would have you laughing on your knees. He loves football and everything that goes with it. The players, long hours, the grind of training camp and the season.

He mentored players and coaches alike. Whatever it took he was willing to do and did and did it everyday. I love the guy because he was in it for the right reasons. For the team. There is no one more deserving than he for this kind of award.

Overrated, Underrated

Aaron Donald: Underrated. After Watt, he’s the guy I’d want.

Matthew Stafford: Overrated, like Romo more stats than wins. When they got to the playoffs 2 years ago it was because of their defense.

Patrick Peterson: Rated just right. The best corner in football.

Justin Houston: Underrated. A phenomenal athlete who owns third down.

Lavonte David: Rated just right. The best player on a bad defense.

Jamaal Charles:  Underrated. Unbelievable career. Not paid like an elite player, but plays like one most Sundays.

Ryan Tannehill: Overrated, the only things that makes him elite is his money.

We’ve seen a lot of rules changed to help the passing games of NFL teams. If you could redo one to make things more the way they used to be, which one would it be?

Let the DBs have continued contact with receivers downfield. I’m not saying they can hit a receiver who’s already into his route. I’m saying once they engage with a receiver at or near the line of scrimmage, that they can stay engaged without holding on to them.

It would help the pass rush, eliminate some of the varying formations offenses employ. The game would be simpler. Football would be more fundamentally sound and the game would be more physical and in my opinion, less dangerous.

They say a player improves most from year one to year two. After six wins and 4,000 yards, where should Jameis Winston be this year?

Winston is going to take a big step next year. I see an eight or nine-win season. The yardage will be better, but to me that’s less important. It’s the wins that matter. He’ll be smarter with the ball, because he knows how his mistake can cost his team.

Hall of Fame comparison: Willie Lanier vs. Jack Lambert.

Man that’s tough! You’re talking about two of the best at their positions who ever played. They were both ferocious and highly productive players. They led and inspired their defenses with their play. Really the only difference to me was one had more teeth than the other.

Not many teams have had more impact players than your old club, the Chicago Bears. In our weekly ranking, who would be the team’s best player ever?

1. Walter Payton.
2. Dick Butkus
3.Gale Sayers
4. Doug Atkins

You have to go with Walter Payton, Sweetness. The guy was Mr Everything.

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