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Mailbag: Trysten Hill’s Role; Adding More Speed?

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Why does there seem to be a perception that this team has been lacking speed for the last handful of years? Last time I checked, Zeke ran a faster 40 time than Tony Pollard. Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, and Michael Gallup all have as much or more speed. Even Mike Weber is faster than Pollard. Isn't the key to Pollard being successful his versatility, and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore deploying him with some creativity? - BEN BROWN / BRYAN, OH

Bryan: The day Pollard was drafted I put it on Kellen Moore and this staff to use him the right way. He has the ability to be a special player, but these coaches need to have a real plan and commitment to seeing that plan through. If they don’t, then it was a wasted selection.

Rob: With the exception of Elliott, every player you mentioned has joined the team in the last 12 months. They’ve definitely added more speed and explosiveness, particularly at wide receiver (outside and the slot), than they’ve had in recent years. Tavon Austin is another example. Pollard will help as a flex running back/receiver, and I do think they drafted him with a specific role in mind to help Moore’s offense.

The more I watch Trysten Hill and look at his measurables, the more I see a clear comparison to Ndamukong Suh. They are about the same height, weight, strength and speed. They also both have the same tenacity and quick takeoff. Do you think Hill would be better suited as an elite athlete at one technique instead of a three technique with size? - MARCUS JONES / MEMPHIS, TN

Bryan: I wouldn’t just peg Hill as a three technique only. I’ve seen the same tape they’ve watched. He can play the nose just as easily as he can play the under tackle. I promise you that he’ll play both spots. 

Rob: I wouldn’t say those two spots are totally interchangeable, but we’ve seen Maliek Collins play both. Hill is an elite athlete as a three technique, too. You’re right about his quickness and feet – he’s really outstanding at pushing the pocket. He really has all the traits defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli looks for in an under tackle that can anchor the middle rush. Antwaun Woods has been very good at nose tackle.

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