AFC West News & Review
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Football > Commentary > AFC West News & Review

AFC West News & Review

San Diego Chargers

Bleacher report has recently asked if Norv Turner can survive another mediocre year as head coach of the San Diego Chargers (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1243920-san-diego-chargers-can-norv-turner-survive-another-down-year). Their answer was a resounding NO, and I have to agree. The Fact that Turner has lasted through the past couple of seasons has been a mystery. San Diego has too much talent for them to continue to finish in the middle of the pack. In 2011 San Diego had no excuses. The AFC West wasn't the strongest division in football, and with talented players like quarterback Phillip Rivers, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, tight end Antonio Gates, and running backs Ryan Mathews @rmathews24 and Mike Tolbert San Diego should have been able to run away with the AFC West title. As it turned out, they finished second to the Denver Broncos. I agree with the article, though, the Chargers need to start off fast and strong to be successful in 2012. Norv Turner has to take the gloves off, and throw everything he has in the mix especially when the first few games of the season are feature AFC West division rivals the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers have the talent to be one of the top teams in the NFL. All Norv Turner has to do is turn them loose and let them be great.

Denver Broncos

Milehighreport.com is reporting that the Denver Broncos are showing interest in 2012 supplemental draft prospect former Carson-Newman College linebacker Larry Lumpkin (http://www.milehighreport.com/2012/7/8/3145592/report-broncos-have-shown-interest-in-supplemental-draft-prospect). Former coaches have hailed Lumpkin as a naturally talented player that needs to learn self discipline if he wants to excel at the next level. The Broncos are pretty deep at the linebacker position, but it wouldn't surprise me if they took a chance on the All-South Atlantic first team honors recipient. As the article points out, Bronco linebacker DJ Williams' 6 game suspension has been upheld which will render the otherwise young linebacker group a bit inexperienced. Teams can never have too many role players on their roster, though. The trick is deciding what round to draft Lumpkin in. The Broncos lose the corresponding round in the 2013 draft, so they don't want to draft him too high and lose a valuable draft pick. If the Broncos do decide to take Lumpkin in the upcoming 2012 supplemental draft I would imagine they would surrender a pick no earlier than the 7th round.

Kansas City Chiefs

Bleacher Report asked a very good question this week: Are the Kansas City Chiefs a top 10 team (http://kansascity.sbnation.com/2012/7/6/3141116/nfl-power-rankings-kansas-city-chiefs)? Although they didn't offer an answer, I can see why some people see the Chiefs as a top 10 team. The Chiefs were devastated by injuries in 2011, and yet were only one game away from competing for the AFC West title. Now in 2012, if the Chiefs can stay healthy I can see them being one of the most improved teams in the NFL. The Chiefs made some key personnel additions in 2012. Adding Peyton Hillis strengthened their backfield and adding linebacker Dontari Poe in the 2012 NFL Draft will surly help solidify the middle of the Chiefs' defense. I also think that wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, the 26th overall selection in the 2011 NFL draft, will have a great year. I think one of the key players that the Chiefs added is former Oakland Raider cornerback Stanford Routt @SRoutt26. Routt was overmatched as the lead cornerback for the Raiders in 2011 getting beat on a consistent basis by the league's top wide outs. Routt was more productive with Oakland when he and Nnamdi Asomugha were both on the roster, with Routt matched up with second tier receivers. Now with Kansas City, Brandon Flowers will be in the lead role which will allow Routt to cover wide receivers he's a better match-up against. I'm not ready to list Kansas City as a top 10 team to start off the year, but I wouldn't be surprised if they end 2012 as one

Oakland Raiders

Bleacher Report is reporting that free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens would make a good fit for the Oakland Raiders (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1250026-oakland-raiders-why-terrell-owens-would-be-a-good-fit-in-oakland). Using Owens' past receiving record and the fact the he would be cheap, Bleacher Report claims that, although he's a headache, he would add veteran experience to a young corps of wide receivers.

I couldn't disagree more. Oakland may be lacking a true veteran at the wide receiver position, but I don't think Owens is the right choice. Oakland has scored well with some veteran wide outs in the past, as the article points out, but let's be honest Owens is NOT Jerry Rice! The wide receivers Oakland does have are young, but they are starting to show just how talented they are. Fourth year wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey @theDHB85 has a semi break-out season in 2011 with just under 1,000 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns, and sophomore Denarius Moore @DenariusMoore, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, looked great in several games during his first year. Slot receiver Jacoby Ford @JacobyFord12 adds another dimension with his ability to create separation off the ball, which will be important as Oakland transitions to the west coast offense. Oakland also has role players in fourth year wide out Lois Murphy and rookie Juron Criner. Oakland would be better off spending their limited cap on a veteran from a position of need like tight end like Visanthe Shiancoe.

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    2 Comments

    Good article Greg. It boggles my mind as to why the Chargers keep bringing Turner back and especially after they so underachieved last season. Their window of opportunity is going to close here soon and it will have been wasted with Norv in charge. The Chiefs are interesting because Crennel will keep the defense strong and with Hillis on board they can look to have a very sound running game and ease the pressure on Cassel. He is a decent game manager but not the guy you want in a shoot out type of game. Moeaki or Boss need to step up and be the over the middle, dump off option for KC if Cassel is to have success. Breaston and Baldwin are nice compliments to Bowe at WR so they appear set there. Denver is going to be fun to watch as Peyton shakes off the rust and gets that offense in gear. As you stated, they are really pretty much set at LBer and will be more so once DJ Williams returns from suspension. Mays, Irving and Woodyard are capable of holding done the fort and Von Miller will be getting after the QB with regularity. I'd be surprised if they pursue Lumpkin with having just drafted Trevathan Out of Kentucky who is a nice long term project at LBer. I love the Raiders young receiving corps and wholeheartedly agree with you that they do not want TO anywhere near those guys. Palmer will have an entire offseason to build chemistry with this talented young group. They have deep speed in Moore and Ford, YAC capability with Heyward-Bey, a nice looking rookie in Criner and if Murphy makes the team then all the better. A decent tight end would be nice but isn't all that important in the offense that Knapp seems to be putting together. Fun read, really enjoyed it!

    Posted by:
    Walton Spurlin 07/10/12 12:47 PM

    Thanks, Walton!

    Posted by:
    Greg Bundesen 07/10/12 11:50 PM

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