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Mailbag: Finding Playing Time For Jaylon & LVE?




Let's suppose Jaylon Smith returns to his Notre Dame days and lights up training camp and preseason. What do you think the coaching staff would do with L.V.E.?

Bryan:Just a guess but I'd believe they would keep Vander Esch at MIKE and find a way to use Smith in a role where he is playing all over the field. In my opinion Smith has more flexibility, so why wouldn't you take advantage of that? Let him play a couple of spots like MIKE and SAM. Let him rush the passer or play nickel in  coverage. I'd much rather see him play that way and I believe they would too.

David:One way or another, I think Jaylon Smith is going to do a lot more than just play middle linebacker this year. Whether he's playing on the strong side or being used as a nickel pass rusher, I think the coaching staff is going to find ways to get him moving toward the line of scrimmage. That should open up plenty of opportunities for both he and Vander Esch to get onto the field.


With David Irving's suspension, do you think Dallas opts to start the season (if healthy) playing both Lawrence and Taco together at the two defensive end positions and allow Crawford to slide back inside at the 3-tech next to Collins at the 1-tech?

Bryan:No, I don't. The guy that has the best chance to start next to Collins is Jihad Ward. Lawrence and Charlton are both left defensive ends. Lawrence has proven that his best success is from that left side, so I don't touch him. I'll be interested to see what they do with Kony Ealy. He has the skill set to play both as an end and tackle. He might be a guy that fills the gap at tackle with Ward until Irving returns.

David:I like outside the box thinking, but I'm reluctant to once again move Crawford now that he finally feels comfortable at a position. Crawford has slimmed down to an impressive degree this offseason, and it would be a disservice to try to make him move again. I'd rather roll with the other options they have available at defensive tackle.

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