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Mailbag: Evaluating The Play Of The DTs? Shuffling The Offensive Line?

What is your assessment of Cedric Thornton and Maliek Collins' play in Game 1? I was surprised the Giants ran the ball as well as they did with Jennings and an average O-Line.

Bryan: Numbers say that Cedric Thornton had a nice game, but on tape he didn't shine like Terrell McClain did. Maliek Collins wasn't a factor. His effort was good but he really didn't do a good enough job of getting off blocks and working toward the ball. Too many times he was stuck along the line of scrimmage rushing the passer.

David:I think one of the biggest things I noticed Sunday was the drop off from the starting defensive line to the backups. Whenever Jennings was gashing the Cowboys it seemed like he was up against the second line more often than not. I think Thornton, being a veteran, will continue to improve as the year goes along. Other than that, I think the next-best bit of advice is to wait for reinforcements.


Doug Free struggled mightily with JPP last Sunday and he isn't getting any younger.  Why not sit Free on the bench, kick La'el Collins out to tackle and insert Ron Leary at the guard spot?  Am I missing something or isn't the goal to get the best five players on the field in terms of the OL?

Bryan: It's always been the goal to get the best players on the field, regardless of the position. If this coaching staff had worked Collins or Martin at tackle during training camp – I would say you are on to something. I do think that could be an emergency option down the road. I also want to point out – Collins wasn't one of your best players against the Giants. I counted five times where his man was in on the tackle when Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball.

David: There's no doubt that JPP got the better of Free – it was one of the ugliest games I've seen from Free in a long time. But I think he's earned the right to keep working at it. One game does not make or break a season. On top of that, Collins had his own struggles at guard on Sunday. I'm not sure plugging him in at right tackle would be as seamless a transition as you think. It's hard to play out on the edge.


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