Ask the experts: Tim & Jerry

by Gary Shelton on January 4, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

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.

Thursday, 4 a.m.

The NFL said goodbye to Jim Caldwell, John Fox, Chuck Pagano, Ben McAdoo (weeks ago) and Bruce Arians. Which coach will you miss the most?  

Jerry: I really grew to like and respect Bruce Arians. He was a take-charge guy. He didn’t care what his players thought. When they screwed up he’d call them out. He was honest but fair. I liked his approach and more importantly, he got results with mediocre teams on paper.

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What he did with Carson Palmer was special. Regardless of where he was at or in what capacity his units performed. He got the best out of his players and then some. Too me that’s the true sign of a quality coach. He made football a better game.

Tim: Don’t forget Del Rio! Oh, I see….you already did. In the case of Arians, at least he goes out on his own terms and he was a good coach who wore his heart on his sleeve and brought his personality and humor to the job. The others will soon be long forgotten. Shouldn’t we at least sing Auld Lang Syne?

Did it surprise you that Dirk Koetter, Hue Jackson or Vance Joseph are returning? After all, Jackson is 1-31 the last two years.

Tim: Yes to all. It seems as if the Glazers were just trying to save face from a Gruden rejection. Perhaps they were concerned about the pushback of firing Koetter but not being able to secure Gruden. Who knows? In the eyes of many fans -- and some in the media -- it would make them appear unappealing and/or possibly incompetent. The consolation prize for all of that deft maneuvering and/or deception. Welcome back Koetter….welcome back.

Jerry: I’m not surprised by the return of either Koetter or Joseph. For different reasons, they deserve another year to prove themselves in my opinion. Jackson, on the other hand, has proven he's a terrible head coach and there isn’t a lake he shouldn’t dive into after his performance these last two years. No team is that bad unless they have a coach who made them look as bad as they could possibly be.

The rumors persist that Jon Gruden is the next coach of the Raiders and that he’ll make a fortune. Considering that he had a losing record his last six years, are the Raiders about to overpay him?

Jerry: What’s overpaying? Most all these guys are over-paid, because most of them are terminated within three years. A coach is worth what they pay him. Gruden brings the hype and perception all struggling franchises want. He sells! Whether or not he’s a successful coach remains to be seen, but when you look at the candidates I can see why owners get intoxicated with him. I would bet he meets all their expectations when it comes to stroking the media and their fan base.

Tim: Yes

If Gruden does return to coaching, will he find that the game is different than it was 10 years ago when he last coached?

Tim: Yes, and in all the wrong ways. The players are less devoted and committed. The fans are less forgiving and more fickle. The media is even more cynical and critical. The owners are much more disloyal and impatient. Welcome back Jon! Seven come eleven!

Jerry: The game is much different for varying reasons, but he knows that better than anyone. He had a thirty-thousand-foot view and access to most all organizations to see it first hand. He will be more prepared to deal with the issues than most all coaches.

Both of you have seen your share of bad weather games. Do you think it’s harder to play in heat or in cold?

Jerry: Without question, the heat, particularly if you’re northern team. Cold doesn’t hammer you near as much as heat or severe winds. You can’t prepare for the heat unless you are from a southern franchise. Once the game is under way and the adrenal gets running, the cold usually isn’t a factor. But in the crunching heat of September and October, you just hope your players are well-hydrated and aren’t on the field for inordinate amounts of times.

Tim: Cold for sure. Just check out the scores. It's hard to throw and catch the ball. It hurts more to hit the ground and tackle. Ball security is a major issue. Most of the players I know don’t mind the heat all that much


Seattle’s Michael Bennett says he’s not sure the team wants him back next year. Considering his price and his controversy, will there be someone who wants him on board?

Tim: It’s the usual suspects. Hello Jerry Jones, Hello Bengals, Good to see you Cleveland Browns

Jerry: Absolutely! And for one good reason, he can get the passer. That guy saves coaches' lives! Whether or not he has worn out his welcome in Seattle remains to be seen. Their will be suitors and they could care less. As far as they’re concerned, he was just exercising his constitutional rights.

If you had your choice of any job that is open, which one would you like to coach?

Jerry: The Colts. They have the best GM and quarterback. As a coach, you need -- and I emphasize ’need' -- both to win.

Tim: If nominated, I will not seek… If elected I will not serve. However, if I had to go unwillingly, you’d have to take the Raiders due to the QB. The same could be said for Detroit, but it’s Detroit, not Las Vegas.

Corey Davis, the fifth pick in the draft, caught 34 passes this year. Mike Williams, the seventh pick, caught 11.John Ross, the ninth, didn’t catch any. Is there a gamble with drafting a wide receiver?

Tim: All of those guys had injury and/or durability issues coming out of college. The teams that took them knew the risks and took them high in the draft anyway. Sometimes those gambles pay off and sometimes they don’t. It’s too early to say how these players' careers will turn out but there is a good chance two of the three won’t end up playing to their drafted potential based primarily on durability.

Jerry: No, no more than any other position. They had their reasons for under performing. Without getting into the details, let's wait until next year to evaluate them. They are all talented players. The keys: you have to stay healthy, you have to have a good offense and you have to have a coach that allows you to perform to your abilities as well as a passion to be a great player.

Do you think Eli Manning returns in 2018 for the Giants?

Jerry: I think so. They are going to draft a quarterback and have Eli mentor him for one year. Good plan. They brought in Kurt Warner to do the same thing and got pretty good results, wouldn’t you say?

Tim: He has stated he wants to return. Gettlemen seems to be open to the idea. Either way, I do believe he plays somewhere next season.

Do you think Adrian Peterson returns in 2018 for the Cardinals?

Tim: No. That’s all she wrote.

Jerry: I don’t have a feel one way or the other, but I think it’s time for A.P. to seriously think about life after football. He can play, if he wants for another year, but at what price and to what degree. I would have no interest in him personally. There are so many quality running backs coming out of college each year, that can do what he does at this stage of his career. Why not go with one of them. They are younger, healthier, faster and a lot less expensive. What am I missing?

The Predictions

Tennessee at Kansas City

Jerry: Kansas City. The Chiefs in a runaway.

Tim: Tennessee. The Titans' run game came alive with Henry. Their D played their best game all season


Atlanta at L.A. Rams

Tim: Los Angeles. Tough call. Hard trip for the Falcons. Rested Rams team so edge to Rams but…..

Jerry: Los Angeles. Rams will define their season with this win.

Buffalo at Jacksonville

Jerry: Jacksonville. The Jags have had two bad weeks of football, I don’t see three.

Jacksonville. Marrone exacts his revenge…and they are the better team


Carolina at New Orleans

Tim: Saints. They should be able to move the ball. The Saints' D is playing better.

Jerry: Interesting, I’m going with the Panthers. They aren’t going to lose three times to a team in one season.

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