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Mailbag: Reason For Slow Start? Woods' Role?


Being the number of new faces there are on offense, could last week's offensive efficiency be a result of the team just now gelling? Could one argue the lack of reps for the offense as a whole may be responsible for the slow start? - ROB RIGGIERI / RUTLAND, MA

Bryan: That's reasonable, but this unit has had plenty of practices in the offseason, training camp and now six games. I think it's more about who they have played defensively. Road games at Carolina, Seattle and Houston have not helped them, where as they caught a break having Jacksonville at home. This game against Washington will not be easy either, but offensively Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have had some success there.

Rob: There might be something to that. There are also several young players (Connor Williams, Michael Gallup) playing a lot of snaps. It takes time. I do think you have to treat each game as a separate entity. Jacksonville played the offense a certain way the offense took advantage of man coverage. But the blocking was much better and Prescott made some key throws. Progress for sure.


After watching the tape on these games, have you seen improvements from Xavier Woods now that he is getting time to grow in his single high safety role? - LANDON CABELL

Bryan: I was never worried about Xavier Woods the cover guy. It was Xavier Woods the tackler that had me nervous. I wasn't sure how physical he wanted to be, but that changed for me these last two weeks. Woods has been more willing to deliver a blow and show that physical side. His hit on Keke Coutee in Houston was one of the best safety plays I've seen here in a while. I don't know what he could have done differently, but it was a good sign in my book.

Rob: A little like the first question, Woods might have needed a little time to settle in. He missed the last part of preseason and the first two games with injury. He's made some decisive plays in coverage and he's been physical as a tackler.

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