Ask the experts: Tim and Jerry

by Gary Shelton on September 7, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Here at, 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 with "ask the expert'' in the subject line. The most interesting questions will be selected.

Andrew Luck will miss this week’s game, say the Colts, and there is no timetable on when his injured shoulder will let him play. Do you agree that, with the Colts not figuring to go anywhere this season, why not let Luck heal? I know his fans will be impatient, but rushing him back seems silly. Right?

Tim:  I’m sure the Colts won’t rush him back.  I also think it’s too early to say this is a lost season and that they aren’t going anywhere.  This is not a strong division with an established front runner.  The Titans and the Texans did not have a particularly strong preseasons either.  In the case of the

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Texans, they’ve also been thrown a tough curve ball with “Harvey” and nobody knows what effect that will have.  One thing you learn as a GM is you need to hear the voice of your fans but you can’t make decisions based on that or what the media will say.

Jerry: I’m with you on that one. It is absolutely imperative that their franchise quarterback is 100% healthy before he returns. The Colts get that and more importantly, Luck and his agent get it too.

The Bucs picked up Denver safety T.J. Ward and gave him a lot of money. But Ward is 30. What age are most safeties when they start to show slippage?

Jerry: When teams cut them.

Tim:  I would say there was an acute need which is why the move was made.  He has a chance to be a better player with the Bucs due to his supporting cast and his physical presence should make a difference.  As for safety slipping age….I didn’t feel I started to slip until I hit 55 so he should be fine.

The fundraising efforts of Texas’ defensive end J.J. Watt has now passed the $18 million mark. Is that proof that, in this age of greed, that a great many athletes do get it?

Tim:  I’ve always felt like a great many athletes get it, and this was a situation where you had the combination of a catastrophic event and a genuinely caring compassionate athlete and mega profile star doing what he could to help.  I would think and hope that in every area of this country faced with this kind of tragedy, a similar healing and fundraising process would take place.  We see it all the time with musicians, actors and athletes. Having said that..."good on you,” JJ.

Jerry: There are many stories like the one you just mentioned of players serving their community. Most of the players I’ve been around were giving people. If there was a need in the community, they didn’t wait to be asked. What Watt is doing exemplifies what the character is of most professional athletes.

La’Veon Bell is back in the Steelers camp after signing a $12 million tender. There was no word on what he had been offered from Dairy Queen, where he had applied for a job. Do you think Bell made the right choice, or did the world lose a good banana split maker?

Jerry: Bell did the right thing. He got financial security for the rest of his life and also put himself in position to bargain for a new deal next year. Running backs only get one real bite at the apple and Bell knows that, so to agree to something he feels is unfair wasn’t going to happen.

This is a case where both the team and he got a win. As far as Dairy Queen goes, I think the franchise is still in good shape. I bet you Bell will be more profitable to DQ, as a customer, than a dessert maker.

Tim:  Had he been smart, he would have gone to Taco BELL! Then, the offer would have been so prolific that he would have called it quits.  Did he learn nothing from Marshawn Lynch and Skittles?

Texans’ offensive tackle D.J. Reader says he doesn’t believe dinosaurs ever existed. But doesn’t the existence of old playbooks prove that dinosaurs existed?

Tim:  No the problem is that DJ changed his last name to READER on the hope and the belief it would motivate him to be more curious and more knowledgeable.  It did not work.  Perhaps "Huh" would have been the more apropos surname.

Jerry: Lol. I think those old play books you mentioned were some of the outpouring of the Big Bang!

The Chicago Bears, like the Bucs, gave up on kicker Roberto Aguayo last week. Aguayo lacked assurance and distance in his brief time in the league. I always thought his problem is that he never had to deal with failure. So does he have a chance to catch on somewhere, or will his confidence preclude that?

Jerry: To me, Aguayo is done for the year. The Bears brought him for an audition in the event something happened to their kicker. It was smart on their part, because they got an extended workout on a very talented kicker.

Saying that, I’d never sign him if I needed a kicker for whatever reason during the season. You know he’s going to have a good workout. The problem with Aguayo is that he has shown he can’t handle pressure. Maybe he gets better at it, but he’s going to have to wait another year and hopefully finds a team that will sign him in the off season and let him compete for a job. If I were him, I’d sign with an arena team and continue to get game-like experiences. Again, what he hasn’t proved, is he can handle the pressure that goes with the position. The only way to get better is to put yourself in those situations.

Tim:  The kid lost his confidence which, of course, is the “Holy Grail” for kickers.  If his psyche is too fragile then we won’t ever hear from him again.  His talent will get him another shot and another and another, etc.

Can we get him on Dr. Phil?  A visit from the Tin Man?   Does Jon Gruden work with kickers?  That would put a stop to this silliness.

You are aware that FSU lost sophomore Deondre Francois for the year the other day. Which player hurt his draft position the worst with a college injury?

Tim:  That hurts my brain too much.  Melvin Bratton?  Google says Jaylon Smith.

Which NFL team has the worst situation at quarterback? Buffalo? Los Angeles? San Francisco?

Jerry: Clearly San Francisco. I don’t even know who their guy is, Tou know what? Neither do

Tim:  LA is the leader in the club house.  No established player and Goff’s arrow is starting to tilt downward.

With San Fran, at least Hoyer has played and been respectable.  With an improved D, they could win some games.  Buffalo has Taylor and he gives you a shot but he is hurt.  Peterman will start and I like his potential but not a good situation for the opener.

Who’s the better football coach? Nick Saban or Bill Belichick?

Tim:  On the biggest stage of all, Belichick is the best.  If they were both in college for a long period of time I would go with Saban for recruiting prowess.  In a personality contest?  Dead even….dead, dead, dead even. Overall winner:  Belichick.

Jerry: Belichick, for one reason, he can better handle the evaluation, development and management of the most important position in sport, the quarterback.

Who is your pick for the NFL MVP this season?

Tim:  Matt Ryan

 The Predictions:

Seahawks at Packers

Jerry: Packers, tough to beat them at their place when they’re healthy.

Tim: Packers:  Better QB. Lambeau  Seahawks lack of a running game will hurt them.

Raiders at Titans:

Tim:  The Titans are fast starters. Poor preseason for the Titans, but they will put it together for the home opener

Jerry: Raiders, they are poised to make a run this year. The Titans have more pieces, but still looking to find how they all fit.

Giants at Cowboys:

Jerry: I’m going with the G’men. They aren’t intimidated by the ‘Boys In White. Dallas has to run the ball to win and play good defense. On paper those areas look iffy.

Tim:  Cowboys. Even if they didn't have  Ezekiel behind the Wheel. Fortunately for the Cowboys, they do.


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