Ask the experts: Tim & Jerry

by Gary Shelton on January 11, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Here at GarySheltonsports.com, we have doubled our experts with the addition of former Bucs' personnel director and former Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell. He joins his old friend and co-worker Jerry Angelo, a former personnel director for the Bucs and former general manager of the Bears. Each week, Angelo and Ruskell answer 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, 4 a.m.

Despite his insistence to that he’s staying, and owner Bob Kraft’s, rumors persist that Bill Belichick will find his way away from the Patriots. Do you buy it for a minute?

Tim: Yes, but only for a minute.  Let's not forget the history of movement of coaches between the Pats, Giants and the Jets back in the day ... especially involving Parcells and Belichick.  When they've had their authority even minutely usurped or questioned they feel a powerful urge to take the ball and go home.

Jerry: No, not based on the quotes I read from both parties (owner and head coach). Is this something the media heard and ran with it? It

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sounds like it when both the owner and the coach goes on record strongly denying those reports. How is anyone supposed to believe them? That’s not to say they didn’t have disagreements, but to say that the coach is filing for divorce is a whole other matter. I think there were some strong discussions and decisions had to be made. That’s part of doing business. To run with it, as the press has, is fake news in my opinion.

In Kansas City, the pressure is growing on head coach Andy Reid after a blown game. Did Reid not handle a lead and the clock as well as you’d like?

Jerry: Getting to the playoffs is an achievement. Do not minimize that and the fact they won their division. Reid is under no more pressure than he was a year ago at this time. The loss of their pro bowl tight end really hurt them. He was their go-to-guy when the chains needed to be moved on third down. All in all, it was a typical Andy Reid season. He has a reputation of struggling at times when it comes to clock management. That’s nothing new. They got beat at home by the underdog. It happens. You just can’t make it a habit.

Tim: Mariota, Henry and the Titan defense came alive in the second half and roared back with the help of a blown call on a sack fumble TD by the Chiefs D and a super lucky pass-back TD for the Titans.  I'm not sure I could put much of that on Reid.  Having said that, he'll be blamed for sure. It's the nature of the game.



Do you think Derek Carr can adjust to the in-your-face style of Jon Gruden. Or will Gruden immediately start looking for another quarterback?

Tim: Jon has mellowed and will get the most out of Carr. The Raiders will dominate the AFC West and the Glazers will have egg on their faces.

Jerry: I think part of the reason Gruden is back in coaching is because of Carr. He probably reminds him a little of Rich Gannon, who was a fiery competitor who struggled early on in his career until he wound up in Oakland and played his best football.

You have one Hall of Fame vote left: Do you vote for Randy Moss or Terrell Owens?

Tim: Why, neither.  I would abstain.  Those very talented players were just as detrimental to the teams they played for as they were productive stats-wise. They were two selfish non-team-first competitors who divided their respective locker rooms. Total number of Super Bowl Rings between the two of them? Zero.

Jerry: I don’t like either player and for different reasons. But if I had to chose one, I’d go with Moss purely based on talent. I don’t know if you’ll ever see a player with his size, speed and athleticism again. From a talent standpoint, he had no peer.

So if you two pool your money and buy the Carolina Panthers, do you stick with Cam Newton at quarterback?

Jerry: Why in the world wouldn’t you? The guy is the reason they’ve won and will continue to win. He was the league’s MVP two years ago. There isn’t a quarterback with his size, arm strength and speed playing the position. Along with the fact they he can beat you both with his arm and feet. If the new owner decides to move on from Newton, I would think the Browns have found their match.

Tim: No....instead I don't buy any team and live happily ever after.  As far as Cam goes, he's not perfect but he's pretty darn good and could yet win a Super Bowl at some point.

Did winning on wild card weekend (and the last regular season game) force the Titans’ to keep Mike Mularkey as head coach?

Tim: That's very possible, given the pre-game comments from ownership. He'll still need to have a quality showing vs the Pats to secure his future.  I have to believe they had their eye on Pats' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Jerry: Yes, it did! Mike has the luck of the Irish.

The grapevine says that the Chiefs may trade Alex Smith, even though he led the NFL in passer rating this season. With Patrick Mahomes entering his second year, do you think Kansas City makes a move?

Jerry: I do, and they should get at least what they paid for him in trade compensation. I personally think they will get several picks, maybe even a first-round pick either this or next year.

Tim: Yes. It's not entirely sound but all involved need a change of scenery.


New vote. You have one Hall of Fame vote. Do you vote for John Lynch? Or Brian Dawkins?

Tim: I am completely biased and I vote Lynch.

Jerry: This is an easy one. Number 47!


For most of us, $100 million is a lot of money. How many Super Bowls does Gruden have to win to get a raise in year 11, however?

Jerry: Gruden will not get a raise. My crystal ball says he’ll be unemployed in four or five years and collecting half his money for free. Now that’s a deal!

Tim: None.  Mark Davis is his biggest fan boy.  He'll never have the guts to fire him or much less say no to any request.

If you would, rank the quarterbacks who will play this weekend: Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Marcus Mariota, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Case Keenum, Blake Bortles and Tom Brady.

Tim: 1. Brady; 2. Brees; 3. Ryan; 4. Roethlisberger; 5. Mariota; 6. Keenum; 7. Foles; 8. Bortles.

Jerry: Right now I would go this way with them: Brady, Brees, Ryan, Roethlisberger, Keenum, Mariota, Foles, Bortles.

The Predictions



Atlanta at Philadelphia 

Jerry: Atlanta. They will get to Foles and Ryan will continue to have the hot hand.

Tim: Atlanta. Have to go with the better quarterback, run game and as of late defense.

Tennessee at New England

Tim: Patriots. If I had to pick the potential shocker upset of the year this would have a chance.

Jerry: New England. The four-leaf clover Mularkey has will have wilted in the frozen tundra.



Jacksonville at Pittsburgh 

Tim: Pittsburgh. Going with the better quarterback but would not be surprised if Jax pulls a stunner.

Jerry: Pittsburgh. Bortles' legs will not carry the day, nor will his arm.

New Orleans at Minnesota

Jerry: The Saints run will end in Minnesota. They aren’t the same team on the road.

Tim: Minnesota. Good match-up. Should go with the better QB here as well but going with the better defense.

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