Kyle from Winnipeg, Manitoba
Q: After Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who do you think will make the roster as the second, third (and even fourth) tight end?
A: This one’s easy — and I think they keep four with Marqise Lee going down. Ben Koyack, Niles Paul, and James O’Shaughnessy.
Maurice from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Why not entertain signing Dez Bryant? Our defense, especially Ramsey, will challenge him to get better and with Keenan McCardell as the wide receiver coach he could at least be assessed.
A: Aside from his obvious regression in ability, I just don’t think Dez fits where this offense wants to go. They’re trying to limit the number of contested catches that receivers have to make and deep passes Blake Bortles has to throw. Those were Dez’s strengths. This is a team continuing to build for the future and I’d much rather have the guys left in that room get more snaps than take practice snaps, attention, and scheme away from them in favor of a guy who’s just not good enough anymore.
Aaron from Goldsboro, NC
Q: Will Corey Grant see more snaps this year?
A: Yes. Grant only saw 52 touches last year, including fake punts. I would assume we’ll see quite a bit more from him, especially in the passing game where he was only targeted four times in the regular season.
Ian from Tampa, FL
Q: Are you tired of answering questions about Dez Bryant yet?
A: Surprisingly, I haven’t gotten a ton. Maybe it’s because we wrote such a lengthy and comprehensive article explaining why it would be a bad idea.
Tanner from Jacksonville, FL
Q: What’s your biggest concern heading into the season?
A: Two things stand out. On defense, I want to see more out of the run defense. This defense doesn’t have a lot of weak spots, but the run defense — specifically as it pertains to our nose tackles — is probably my only concern on defense. As far as the offense, it will be Blake Bortles until it’s not. He won me over in the preseason opener. Then he made several bad decisions in the two preseason games that followed. He won’t play tonight (probably) but until “he can win any game” turns to “he will win any game” I will be concerned about how inconsistently his play has been over the course of his career.
Joe from Tampa, FL
Q: If Bortles has a 74+ completion percentage but throws 15 or more picks, will he be considered good? I thought he played well against the Atlanta Falcons but all anyone can talk about are the picks.
A: That’s the thing — the scheme that offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is installing allows a quarterback to build his completion percentage (and confidence) with timing routes and screens to running backs and tight ends while limiting the number of risky throws they have to make. I don’t expect Blake, much less any quarterback in the NFL, to complete nearly 75 percent of their attempts. The 15 picks thing... listen, I think we’re using the wrong metrics to measure whether Blake is good. I don’t care so much about the number of picks as I do how the picks came about. Is he blind to the underneath guy and get picked off? Or is he taking a shot downfield and the defender just makes a great play on a good ball? I’ll measure Blake’s performance in 2018 by how many (or how few) dumb plays he makes.
Quinton from Richmond, VA
Q: Which UDFA has the best chance to make the 53-man roster?
A: Tre Herndon.
Keith from Franklin, TN
Q: Any thoughts on the beginning of this season feeling very similar to last season in terms of on-field product? Obviously the tone is different given last year’s success, but the team didn’t make any splashy moves in the offseason to sure up real weaknesses. The passing game in general still very much a question mark. Nervous we’re looking at not much improvement to get over the hurdle to the Super Bowl. Hope I’m wrong!
A: I don’t think this team needed much improvement to get to the Super Bowl but where they did they seem to have fixed it. They needed a rock at left guard and signed Andrew Norwell. They needed a rotational pass rusher who could kick in. They drafted Taven Bryan. They needed a change-of-pace back. They developed T.J. Yeldon. They needed a SAM linebacker. They found Leon Jacobs in the seventh round. They’ve fixed a lot of the things that held them back from winning the AFC Championship and they should be considered Super Bowl contenders this year.