Ask the experts: Tim & Jerry

by Gary Shelton on October 12, 2017 · 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.

The Bucs have started a new chapter with their kicking woes. You both go back a ways with the Bucs. Who is your pick for the worst kicker they’ve ever had?

Jerry: The one they cut one season after drafting him in the second round (Roberto Aguayo). He’s unquestionably the most infamous of the Bucs kickers.

Tim: Unfortunately, there are many worthy candidates.  Back in the day when I was a training camp helper I was there when John McKay delivered his now infamous one liner regarding kicking hopeful Pete Rajecki.  The special teams coach Denny Fryzel? was gushing over how well he was kicking in practice and asked McKay to come over and watch him which he did.  Rajecki  proceeded to miss 3 in a row.  Fryzel told the coach that his presence must have made the kid nervous, to which McKay replied “tell Pete I plan on attending every game.

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We had drafted a punter in the 4th round back in the late 80’s by the name of Monte Robbins.  Ray Perkins was leery to take a punter that high so he made the scout who had that area stand up and guarantee that the kid would make the team and be a standout.  As camp commenced the kid was struggling mightily to the chagrin of all especially the scout who’s neck was on the line.  One day after an especially bad practice for Robbins he asked the kid to join him on a golf cart ride back to the dorms.  As they drove away all we heard was “…do you realize my ass is on the line here…”  Needless to say the kid was a complete bust.  The scout wasn’t around much longer either.

What shape are the Texans in after yet another loss of J.J. Watt? Will his career be defined by the time he has lost?

Tim: It hurts them mightily … no doubt.  He will always be thought of as a great player and an even better person off the field.

Jerry: They really are in better shape than they were when they lost him a year ago. The reason is because of who they have behind center. Their rookie star (DeShaun Watson) has enlivened their abysmal offense. That in itself still makes them a contender. Watt has been injury-prone the last several years. The Texans have to come to the conclusion that when he’s playing it’s icing on the cake, because my experience tells me he can never be counted on in the future. Those injuries were significant ones and will have lingering effects in a contact sport.

The Browns have already benched DeShone Kizer. Is it too early to start playing in-and-out with a rookie quarterback?

Jerry: No, with all those turnovers, nine of which were interceptions, this is the perfect time to rest their young and talented rookie. You can’t win if you turn the ball over, particularly a team like the Browns who has won only 9 out of their last 49 games. It’s no longer about their young quarterback. It’s about the destiny of the team and the fate of there coaches.

Tim: With the Browns it is never too early or too late to do anything for any reason no matter what the consequences.  If I’m not mistaken that is a big part of their Mission Statement.

What shape are the Giants in after the loss of Odell Beckham?

Tim: The Giants are in the same shape as Odell Beckham; done for the year.  Expect multiple big changes with coaches and front office personnel; most likely in-season.

Jerry: From a locker room standpoint, better. Obviously when you lose a player of his caliber it’s going to affect your offense. The Giants couldn’t win with him, when he was healthy. They have deeper issues than Beckham. They will have to go back to the drawing board and erase most everything that’s on it.

What did you guys think of the debut of Bears’ rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky?

Jerry: I thought he looked good and has a bright future. The dropped passes and the penalties didn’t do anything for his psyche early on. He’ll continue to get better, but his team needs more help than he can render this season.

Tim: Good showing.  He is a promising QB prospect who has all the tools.  He has not played much ball (college or pro) and the inexperience and inconsistency showed as well.  His success will be gradual with many ups and downs before he levels out.

Legendary Giants’ quarterback Y.A. Tittle passed away at the age of 90. What can you tell our younger readers about Tittle and the time in which he played?

Tim: You’ll have to ask Jerry about that one. I think he mentored him. All I remember is the black and white photo with him kneeling on the field and his head bleeding.

Jerry: I remember the infamous picture of him kneeling down on one knee with his helmet off and blood coming off his fore head. Y.A. was the man. He was a true Giant.

Is Aaron Rodgers, right now, the best quarterback in the NFL. (We can always change next week).

Jerry: He is without question the best player in the league, let alone at his position. He’s getting better. His peers are stumbling or showing their age.

Tim: Yes, and it won’t change next week.  In my humble opinion.

And if not, does Cam Newton have a claim to the title?

Tim: Surely you jest. And, yes, I called you Shirley.

Jerry: No, not yet. Cam seems to find ways to shoot himself in the foot. Either with a dumb play, injury or his mouth. He’s as talented as any and plays with great passion, but to be great you have to be trusted. I can’t honestly tell you I’d bet the house on him. I thought he matured and was ready to handle the role of being the face of the franchise. But his recent remarks tells you he can’t help himself. Unfortunately big Cam may be more window dressing than substance.

In his first game, Myles Garrett had two sacks. Is he the real deal, or will Cleveland eat his talent, too?

Jerry: Hey, the guy was the overall first pick in the draft. So, those sacks kind of go with the territory. It's too early to put him with the franchise’s greats, but certainly what we saw gets us excited and maybe make us understand a little better about why the Browns passed on the quarterbacks.

Tim: Time will tell.  I do know that an extraordinary number of NFL scouts attend their games.  It ain’t because the food is sooo good.

Ben Roethlisberger expressed self-doubt after his team’s loss to Jacksonville when he threw five interceptions. Was t a bad day, or is Roethlisberger starting to show some wear?

Tim: I saw that interview…..it reeked of sarcasm.  He hated every question but to his credit he hung in there with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek and answered all the questions.  Yes Ben is starting to slip but he is still capable of getting them into the playoffs.

Jerry: Big Ben has been questioning himself the last year or two. There is definitely something going on in his head. I think we all saw the tangible proof of that in Jacksonville. When a player starts having doubts about himself or doesn’t possess the passion for the game anymore, then he’s on borrowed time. Roethlisberger needs a wake-up call and that game against the Jags should have been it. If it wasn’t, his clock is about ready to strike twelve.

Predictions

Tampa Bay at Arizona

Jerry: If the Bucs don’t win this one. Stay there, they have sun year round too.

Tim: Tampa: The Global Warming Bowl / Winston bounces back.

Eagles at Panthers

Tim: Eagles: Wentz shows why he is ready to take the next step.

Jerry: I’m going with the Eagles. Panthers are riding high, but the Birds will soar.

Lions at Saints

Tim: Lions: Just because they are better.

Jerry: I like the Saints at home, given their defense is playing better and the Lions are licking some wounds.

Rams at Jaguars

Jerry: Jags are starting to identify themselves. They know who they are and know how to win now.

Tim: Jags: Statement game for Jags….or not.

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