Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on August 11, 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.

It’s the first week of preseason games for most NFL teams. In Week One, what are the objectives of the games? How do those change as the preseason goes along?

The objective of the opener is to see and evaluate as many of the new and younger players as possible. This will give the coaches a better knowledge of who, of the younger players, to continue to work with in terms of allocating time for them in practice and the upcoming games.

As the preseason continues the veterans will get more playing time for the obvious reasons. One critical thing you want to make sure of: you know where they're at in terms of
their level of play. You can never take for granted that what you saw in one of your older players the prior year will be

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the same in the upcoming season. You need to see them perform and show you and the time to do that is during the preseason.

The worst thing you can do is assume what a player is. If he has lost a step you need to know it before the season begins or you run the risk of making a very expensive mistake.

If you were Hue Jackson, how would you use Robert Griffin Jr. to try to save his career?

In my mind, there is nothing wrong with signing him and seeing if you can work with him by creating a package for him that allows him to showcase what he can do best.

But what the Browns are doing is putting it all his shoulders and to me, they are not broad enough or strong enough to carry the load. My bet is he won’t make it to the halfway point of the season before he gets injured, because that’s his history. The Browns better focus on their back-up plan; if and when they lose Griffin to injury. That’s protecting your downside.

What can Hue Jackson do that Mike Shannon and Jay Gruden couldn’t do? Well, we’ll just have to see. As much as I like Jackson, I don’t know that he is any more of a genius than his predecessors. Griffin is a teaser. He has talent, but he’s not physically equipped to play the position.

If my memory serves, you did some long-snapping in college. I see where 13 long-snappers now make more than $1 million a year. I assume you did not?

No, I didn’t make any money as a long snapper. All I got was room and board, but there is something to say for a roof over your head, a bed to sleep on and eating. So, in my mind I was handsomely rewarded.

Long snappers used to be taken for granted until one sailed a ball over the punter’s head or misfired a snap to the holder on a game-winning field goal attempt. I always felt he had a thankless job. He was the only player on the field doing his job with his head in between his legs. No one outside of his wife was wearing his jersey in the stadium and she couldn't find it in the souvenir store. She had to get one of his old practice jersey’s.

If he had one bad snap, he in all likelihood would find his name on the waiver wire. So, saying he had a thankless job is probably underscoring his notoriety.

Who is more overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Kenny Anderson or Donnie Shell?

Probably Donnie Shell. Most quarterbacks get their share of attention by the media and the Hall Of Fame voting committee, which is made up by the national media.

In Shell’s case, he was a great player surrounded by a lot of other other great players. I think if he were on another less famous team , he would have gotten the recognition he deserved. It’s much harder for safeties to get the true recognition they deserve for whatever reason.

The Bucs play their first preseason game this week. What, in particular, will you look for to see if this team is any better?

Really, I wouldn’t be looking at this game in terms of where the team is in terms of development. I would look at the game in terms of player evaluation.

It’s critical, as I said earlier, that you do the very best job of evaluating and developing players, particularly the younger ones, because you don’t have a lot of history with them.

Remember they have a new defensive coordinator and they are implementing a new system as well. So there is a lot teaching going on with the Bucs right now. Where they are as a team will be seen in September, when it counts. Right now they’re playing with blanks. Who cares what the gun looks like, so to speak?


Matt Ryan: Overrated. Great guy, good stats, big salary, but not elite.

Jonathan Stewart: Overrated. Spends too much time in the training room and in street clothes on game day.

Tavon Austin: Overrated. Yet to define integral role given their investment.

Teddy Bridgewater: Overrated. Limited, has to have a strong supporting cast around him to accentuate what talent he has.

Mario Williams: Overrated. Never played to his hype and draft status.

Vincent Jackson: Early in his career was underrated, when he got the big bucks from the Bucs, he became overrated. So I’d rate him very lucky.

It was only a preseason game, but how much of a black eye was canceling the Hall of Fame game for the NFL?

I don’t know, it certainly was a downer given all the hype on the grand opening of the NFL. In the grand scheme, it’s just a speed bump.

I see at least two quarterbacks who want to play backup quarterback in Dallas: Michael Vick and Johnny Manziel. Which way would you go if you owned the Cowboys?

To the ‘John.' To throw up!

Who is more overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Don Coryell or Jerry Kramer?

Jerry Kramer, but really he had one play that really made his career. On any other team, he would have been long forgotten, maybe a plaque on a wall in some hallway.

In this-franchise’s best player, it’s time to talk the Green Bay Packers, a team with a lot of candidates. Is the Packers’ best-ever player:

a) Don Hutson

b) Bart Starr

c) Ray Nitchske

d) Brett Favre

e) Aaron Rogers

Bart Starr, the best are measured by championships. He has more than Favre and Rodgers put together.

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