Bucstop.com is pleased to present an interview with former Bucs Tight End Jerry Bell, who manned the position from 1982-1986. He caught passes from Doug Williams, Jerry Goldstein, Jack Thompson, Steve Young and Steve Deberg! Jerry Bell talks about NFL Health, the strike, Josh Freeman’s mini camp and what he does now with life after football. Don’t miss the video of Jerry Bell at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Nick: Jerry, what do you do these days after football?
Jerry Bell: I am a Senior Account Manager at a company called Forsythe. I am responsible for selling Information Technology Infrastructure into Fortune 1000 companies in the Tampa Bay Area. I also teach a couple of business courses per year as an Adjunct Instructor at Hillsborough Community College.
Nick: That sounds awesome- A lot of players are having health problems after their playing days. Are you having problems?
Jerry Bell: Well Nick I have my share. I have to admit that I have seen guys who have played after me that are doing pretty bad. They have a lot of neck and back injuries that are chronic and really hard to live with. It has been interesting in that every major joint in my body aches each morning but as I get up and moving around, I tend to feel alot better. I find it hard to do alot of things that I used to but who doesn’t! Overall I would say that I’m ok in comparison of all the other former players but worse than the general population. As for taking care of my injuries, both the NFL and the NFL Players Association have put together programs to assist former players. The big question is whether or not they are doing enough. Most of the players today will tell you that these organizations need to do more and I agree with that. There has been alot of discussion during the current CBA negotiations on improving former players benefits. I am looking forward to that!
Nick: Who Doesn’t indeed! I watched you play so I’m no spring chicken. I know what you mean, so I can only imagine- no 250 pound linebackers were hitting me!
How do you feel about the current players situations with the lockout and all? You were a rookie when the NFL went on strike in 1982 right?
Jerry Bell: During my playing days, I went through a lockout and a nine week strike. To this day I think everyone involved would say that nobody wins when you have a work stoppage. Where I think the owners are missing the boat is that they are locking out the players. If you wanted to challenge the solidarity of the Players Association, give the individual player a choice and see what he does. When I was a rookie and we were going into the week where the owners “locked” us out, i went into the General Manager’s office and asked the question – “If I showed up to work on Tuesday, would I still get paid?” I was told No because we were locked out and no one could show up. They made my decision easier. I was 22 and making more money per week than most people made every three months. That would have been an interesting choice.
Nick:I’m curious what you think about Josh Freeman’s work camp at IMG Academies; I love the idea, but I’ve heard some people say its worthless. As an NFL player, what do you think about it?
Jerry Bell: I think it’s interesting in that there was a tremendous turn out. It shows that this team wants to win and will do what it takes regarding work ethic. I don’t really know how effective a mini camp like that can be in reference to working on precision routes, run game specifics, defensive calls, etc. but I can tell you that they are better off for doing the camp versus not doing a camp. What I also thought was good was the comraderie of the players. All the clips I saw were guys working hard, sweating, and laughing together. That is extremely important in successful teams. Players miss being away from each other.
Nick: Thank You Jerry for your time, and best of luck to you!
You can check out the video in your browser by clicking here..
Many thanks to Paul Stewart of Bucpower.com for sending Jerry Bell my way! Video courtesy of CBS Sports, NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.