Ask the expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on January 27, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

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

Friday, 5 a.m.

If Bill Belichick has a greatness, it’s winning close games in the Super Bowl. He barely beat the Rams, the Panthers, the Eagles and the Seahawks. Still, he wins. Why is it so hard to beat him (unless you’re Eli Manning)?

He’s a great coach because of the things you mentioned. Scores are kept for one reason, to determine who wins and loses. Winning is the bottom line in football, and no one has done it better than him. If it’s about style points, you should be watching American Idol.

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Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter has suggested that the Cowboys trade Tony Romo for J.J. Watt, which made me spit up my coffee. Is there anyway on earth the Texans give up Watt, who has a bad back, for an aging, often hurt quarterback?

The whole thing is absurd. The idea of trading the best defensive player in football for an aging quarterback, who really has never won anything, makes no sense.

Romo is done, because of his inability to stay healthy. Can he go somewhere as a back up and play good football for a few weeks? Sure he could do that, but that’s it. In the end, he's a security blanket with a lot of holes in it.

The Cleveland Browns gave Jamie Collins a fortune to stay in town, making him the fourth-highest linebacker in the game behind Von Miller, Justin Houston and Clay Matthews. Obviously, getting paid is a matter of leverage, but as a talent, is Collins close to the rest of that group?

No he isn’t. He’s the beneficiary of playing for a bad team who is desperate to anything to win. So overpaying a good player is another flaw in how they do business.

You saw the absurdity of the deal they made for Alex Mack, their old starting center, too keep him. Look how that played out.

As an old scout, what — to you — was the toughest position to evaluate for the draft and why?

Offensive linemen and quarterbacks. Because neither position is reliant on pure athleticism like the others are. There are nuances that players must have to be successful at those position that don’t show up in the workout numbers.

It would be cheating to ask you your favorite Super Bowl. You were the general manager of the Bears when they went. But aside from that one, which Super Bowl did you like the best?

I thought the one last year was a very good one. When the Giants and New England played a few years ago was another special one.

Four teams have never played in a Super Bowl. Looking at your long-range crystal ball, which of them are most likely to appear first: Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville or Detroit?

My bet would be Detroit, because they have the best quarterback of those teams you mentioned. Without an established quarterback it’s hard to win in the NFL and almost impossible to get to the Super Bowl without one.

The Falcons were 6-4 at one point this year. What turned them around?

Their defense continued to get better. In years past, their defense was their Achilles' heel. They fixed that and now they don’t have to be totally reliant on their offense.

They are a solid team who continued to improve each week and earned their way to Houston. The coaches did a great job of employing their players within their schemes. That’s how you win in any league. In short, the Falcons didn’t beat themselves and if you can do that, you’re going to win a lot of games.

Which of the new NFL coaches will be the best coach in 2017? Vance Johnson, Sean McDermott, Anthony Lynn,  Doug Marrone, Sean McVay  or (probably) Kyle Shanahan.

I’m going with Marrone. He won in Buffalo as a head coach and when he coached at Syracuse. He experienced  a lot of things head coaches have to get through to be successful. You can’t minimize experience. Head coaches today have to win now. There is very little learning curve to the job. So, if you hire someone with a good track record, your chances of success are going to be much greater.

Just the opposite question: Which coach will do the worst?

McVay,  Being a young head coach is tough enough, but being one in big market place such as L.A. will make his job that much tougher.

I’m no fan of hiring young prodigies. There is a protocol and the Rams just ignored it. One thing history has proven, you don’t want to be the first at anything except the standings. You want to learn from history, not make it!

How many years before the Super Bowl is played on foreign soil?

It won’t happen until a team lands in London. My guess is there will be a team there within 5 years and the the Super Bowl will part of the package they will use to get a franchise abroad.

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