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Mailbag: Evaluating Trysten Hill's Debut?

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Please evaluate Trysten Hill's snaps from the Miami game. What has he done well? Where is he lacking? Has he earned more snaps based on the Miami game? - DAVID GERRITY / LANCASTER, PA

Bryan: Did a much better job of keeping his pad level down. That was a huge improvement from what I noticed in preseason. Attitude has been good and continues to work hard. Need him to play square against the Saints this week. They have a powerful offensive line, so he needs to be ready for an all-night battle. 

Rob: They really like how much he competes snap to snap, even in practice when he wasn't active the first two games. The biggest thing Rod Marinelli always preaches is getting that pad level down on a consistent basis. They showed faith in him on the goal line in the first half and helped the line penetrate and force a field goal. Christian Covington said he was OK after missing a few snaps with a calf issue, but if he's limited at all this week it could mean more work for the rookie.

Can you guys talk about how big of a factor it is when we have a shutdown corner like Byron Jones on one side and how it affects the free safety playing the back end? I know the free safety doesn't ever just play one side of the field, but Byron does a great job of taking away one half. How does that make an impact on Xavier Woods and Darian Thompson playing their position? - TYLER BAEM / SAN ANTONIO, TX

Bryan: That's a really good question. Where Byron Jones helps these safeties is they now know they can focus on different areas of the field. We've seen both Woods and Jeff Heath drive on more balls in the middle of the field because they know the outside is taken care of. Jones is a confident player and that confidence carries over to his teammates, who know he's going to do his job without their help. 

Rob: In theory it allows Woods/Thompson to keep their eye a little more on other areas of the field. Their responsibilities also can shift based on the defense called, but there's no question Jones is playing at a high level right now. Miami just couldn't get separation from him.

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