Ask the expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on February 26, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

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.

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston is already pleading for DeSean Jackson to join him in Tampa. But Jackson is already on an NFL.com list for the six players most likely to be overpaid. What are your feelings? Is he worth the salary he’ll demand?

No, he isn’t. Receivers are luxury picks for teams who have a strong roster and are one or two players away. In the Bucs' case, they have stronger needs, particularly on their offensive line and their defense. They would be better served to ensure they protect Winston, rather than give him another weapon to throw to.

Remember, no offense is going to feature two receivers. They have a

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pro bowler in Evans and don’t forget his contract is around the corner after next season. So to pay a receiver top tier money will only make a potential contentious situation with Evans. So I don’t see Jackson in a Bucs uniform next season, because he feels like a want and not a need.

I keep reading that this team or that one is going to sign Tony Romo and then go to the playoffs. But is Romo the guy to bring them there?

I’ve said this before and believe it to be true. Romo is done as a starter.

Sure he thinks he can start; that’s what player’s say and think. But the voice of reason says otherwise. He’s old and banged up. Any team that thinks otherwise is in a desperate situation i.e. Houston Texans (last year’s free agent signing of Brock Osweiler). You saw how that worked out.

When I covered the Dolphins, the team drafted Oklahoma linebacker Jackie Shipp largely because of a good combine. How significantly should a team pay to combine numbers? The NFL is more than a cone drill, isn’t it?

The numbers at the combine are important, but the tape is more important. Teams are always going to extend on great athletes. Nothing wrong with that; if he has proved he can play based on the tape.

When you watch a linebacker, as an example, one of the big criteria you look for is production. Great linebackers come in many different flavors, so to speak, but the one constant is they can find the ball and make plays, and a lot of them.

A big fast guy with great combine numbers, who is slow to react, will not be a productive pro. He’ll look great in the team picture and getting off the bus, but that’s about it.

Simeon Rice says he should be in the Hall of Fame, but he hasn’t gotten a sniff. Some say he didn’t play the run well enough, but I wonder if it was his “too-cool-for-school” attitude? I certainly wouldn’t put him in over John Lynch or Ronde Barber, who becomes eligible this year? Are you a Rice guy?

I am a Rice guy. He does deserve the attention of the HOF committee, but he’s never going to get it.

Few could rush the passer like him. He was a special player at a very valued position. But he was a lone wolf who beat to his own drum. You need people in your corner, who are respected, that can talk on your behalf.

Unfortunately for Simeon, he doesn’t have those types in his corner. Not unlike Terrell Owens. It’s a shame, because there are guys in Canton who are lesser players than Rice.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, I saw one column that said Michael Irvin was a better player than Terrell Owens, even though he’s only 38th in history in reception yardage. Your thoughts?

Terrell Owens couldn’t carry Irvin's jock. Irvin was the consummate pro.

A great leader, a tough guy, who produced in any situation on all levels of the field. Owens may have been more talented, but he’s no match for Irvin when it comes to intensity and want to. Irvin played like a possessed man. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to win. Like we talked earlier, the numbers can be deceiving.

I read an article that said that Owens will get in, he just wasn’t a first-ballot guy with his rep. But it took nine tries for Andre Reed, eight for Art Monk, six for Chris Carter and Tim Brown and three for Irvin  and Marvin Harrison. Are those screaming for Owens kind of missing the point?

I don’t know. I agree he belongs in the conversation, but I don’t agree that he is getting screwed. I know the HOF isn’t based solely on a player’s character. But those guys you mentioned where professional, who were coveted by their teams and teammates. They didn’t bounce around the league, as Owen did. Should that matter? I think so.

The Dolphins cut Mario Williams the other day. Is Williams a guy who lost his hunger for the game?

I can’t say that; he played well and for a good while. Players slow down, their contracts get pricey and that leads to getting a pink slip.

Vince Young hasn’t taken a snap in six years, but he’s trying to make a comeback. Has the train already left the station?

It has and if anyone thinks otherwise they will be waiting on the same train Vince is.

As a former general manager in the NFL, how would you treat troubled Oklahoma back Joe Mixon, who was guilty of domestic violence. Would you take him off your boards? Spend a mid-round pick on him if he agreed to supervision? Or grit your teeth and draft him?

Hey, Mixon went through the legal process and did what the courts and his school told him he had to do in terms of retribution. He was provoked, lost his cool and acted inappropriately. He said he was sorry, paid for his mistake and he moved on.

I think we should all do the same and give the guy a break and judge him on what he does now and in the future. He has proven thus far, that it was a mistake he learned from, paid his dues and it will never happen again.

Jimmy Garoppolo played a game and a half for the Patriots, but now several teams seem ready to deal a No. 1 draft pick for him. Is there any difference between Garoppolo, Matt Cassell or Ryan Mallet?

Yes, Garoppolo was a very good player in college and was projected to go high in the draft. He had a great release and the stats to show case his arm talent.

Cassell was a product of a system. He had no college resume to speak of when the Patriots took him as a college free agent. Mallet had a big arm, but was inaccurate and lacked the intangibles needed to play at the next level.

Garoppolo didn’t fit into any of those categories coming out. He was quite the opposite.

Tiki Barber said he’d take Kirk Cousins at quarterback ahead of Cam Newton. Do you agree?

With all due respect to Tiki, what is he thinking?

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