Ask the expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on December 8, 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 questions will be selected.

Thursday, 5 a.m.

The Jets are turning to Bryce Petty for their final four games. That sounds right to me. You?

I agree. You know the old saying, “You made your bed, now sleep in it”. They drafted him. He’s been in their system for two years. It’s time.

As I've said, Ryan Fitzpatrick offers no hope now or in the future. The Jets need to start looking at and creating as many options as they can to right their ship and it starts with the captain of the ship…The Quarterback.

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USA Today ranked the all-time top 20 quarterbacks. I had no problem with the top of the list (Brady then Montana then Manning). But Johnny Unitas was only seventh which seems way too low. The knock was that he only won one Super Bowl, but most of his career was before Super Bowls. Besides, USA Today had him behind Elway (two Super Bowls), Drew Brees (one) and Brett Favre (one). Am I wrong?

No, you aren’t wrong, but human nature tells us that the present most always trumps the past when it comes to ranking players. Few people ever saw Unitas play, so it’s hard for them to fathom that he could be better than the quarterbacks ranked ahead of him.

Those who did see him play remember those high top black shoes he wore and the single guard face mask. By today’s standard, he looks like a relic. Unitas in his era was special, the best of the best. He was just as good or better than of any of the quarterbacks rated ahead of him.

So don’t get too excited. He’s in the Hall Of Fame and regardless of who is better than whom, they are all great!

Jerry Jones said the Cowboys won’t rest their starters down the stretch with the playoffs clinched. As a former general manager, where did you come down on the keeping-the-rhythm vs. staying-healthy argument?

Having experienced doing both methods of resting and/or playing starters, my vote would be to play them. You need to keep your momentum and the rhythm you’ve created as a team.

Resting starters makes sense, but there is the risk they may come back off a little. You may get a little rusty, just enough to effect the overall performance. Remember when you get to the playoffs; it’s "One and Move On" or "One and Done!"

Your opponent mostly likely is a “Hot” team. That’s how they got into the playoffs. You’re playing a team that can beat anyone on any given Sunday. So, you don’t want to lose your momentum at the most critical time of the year. That’s my take.

In Jacksonville, they’re starting a “bring back Tom Coughlin’’ campaign. Even if you replaced Gus Bradley, is Coughlin the guy you would aim for?

Absolutely not -- and I love Tom Coughlin. It would be a mistake because Tom’s time has passed. He should be a strong candidate for the Hall Of Fame; he'd get my vote. He’d have to put together another staff and go through the grueling grind of another season or seasons.

You’re not hiring him for just one year. At some point, it’s over and to me, Tom’s time has come. The Giants saw it. If you don’t learn from history, then you are doomed to repeat it. The Jags have got to start making some good decisions or their woes will continue.

Carolina’s Ron Rivera benched Cam Newton for a play last week for not wearing a tie on the team flight. Some might say he’s picky, but as the team leader,shouldn’t Newton be sure he wasn’t violated the team dress code?

You are 100% right, particularly considering Newton as a leader. It may seem like a nothing thing, but it’s a rule and you abide by the rules. Those are the rules that keep teams unified.

I’m not talking about just this rule, I’m talking about rules in general. Newton knows he was wrong. Who knows why he did what he did, but he has now has created an issue within the team and in the media. For what reason? To me, that’s not using your head. When you’re losing, things like this get magnified and you, as a player, look like a big Dope and embarrass yourself, the head coach and the organization.

I think there should be a line in an owner’s resume that gives him credit for sticking with a coach after a bad year. Jason Garrett comes to mind. Don’t you have to give him a ton of credit for the way he’s handled an offense with two key rookies?

Jason Garrett and his staff are doing a great job this year. I give them credit for recognizing the obvious. They took the pulse of their team and they accentuated it.

That’s what great coaches do. They figure out who they are, handle injuries and make the smart and needed adjustments to continue to be the best they can be. In the Cowboys' case, those players they promoted and were patient with are paying big dividends. Kudos to the the boys in blue!

The stat of the week, I think, is that the Jags’ Blake Bortles has thrown more pick-sixes (11) than he has wins (10). Is it time for the Jags to take a hard look at Bortles?

It’s definitely time for a change of something. Right now, the head coach is as good as gone. Because of the investment they made with Bortles, I’d like to see if the next coach can fix him.

In all likelihood, it’s not going to work out for him in Jacksonville. There are too many bad memories. Fans don’t forget and, in most cases, players don’t either. So, maybe a change of scenery is a good thing for everybody. Did I see a sign in the stands that read T_E_ O _? I’m not a Wheel of Fortune guy, so I don’t know what the fan was meaning. I wonder who the guy was calling for?

Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald passed Hall of Famers Chris Carter and Tim Brown to move into third on the all-time receptions list. Why hasn’t more of a fuss been made about Fitzgerald’s career?

My opinion is that it's partly where he plays. It's hard to watch players in that time zone if they aren’t on a great team.

The Cardinals have had plenty of success with their Fitzgerald teams, but they aren’t a prolific offense or a team that gets you excited about watching. Again, that’s my opinion. Fitzgerald is a great player and everyone knows that, so I don’t think he’s ever not going to be mentioned with all the great receivers when the topic comes up who were the best ever.

In today’s best-of-the-franchise voting, the team we pick is the team you worked for a long time: The Tampa Bay Bucs. Is their best-ever player.

a)_ Lee Roy Salmon

b). Derrick Brooks

c.) Warren Sapp

d). Ronde Barber

e), John Lynch
Easy one for me…Sapp. He put the franchise on his shoulders and carried it to the next level. No player in Buc history dominated that way he did on very good teams.

Jerry’s picks

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

The Bucs aren't going to let up now. The Saints will be another feather in their hat, getting them one game closer to making  the playoffs.

Cincinnati at Cleveland

I’m going with the Browns. They have to win one and the Bengals will be feeling a little too comfortable after their win last week.

Baltimore at New England

Patriots are going to set the stage for the playoffs with this win.

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