Keeping Tabs on the AFC West: Jammer's role in Denver, Smith impressive in Kansas City, Woodson's reflection on Al Davis

Harry How

This week, in Keeping Tabs on the AFC West: BFTB writers wonder about a certain fan's opinion that the Broncos pillaged the Chargers' roster this offseason, the food in the Eagles' and Chiefs' cafeterias, and the decision to fire Zak Gilbert in Oakland.

Welcome to Keeping Tabs, where Bolts From the Blue aggregates the news from around the division into one convenient post. Since Marver is off doing God knows what in Thailand, you're stuck with me this week. My hope is that this week's post will help alleviate some of the boredom that inevitably takes over during this part of the offseason.

Big credit to SDNativeinTX for helping me out with this post.

Denver Broncos

The Pick Six

  1. Peyton Manning has spent extra time with running back Montee Ball in OTAs, as the rookie is expected to have a big role this season.
  2. Former Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer recently said that Champ Bailey's greatness is a big reason why he believes the Broncos are Super Bowl contenders in 2013.
  3. Tight end Julius Thomas has apparently been taking advantage of the extra reps while Joel Dressen has been sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.
  4. Wide receiver Eric Decker believes that Manning's ball definitely has more zip on it this year, and the plan is for the Broncos offense to have more zip, as well.
  5. Mile High Report discussed what Quentin Jammer's role will be in the Broncos defense.
  6. Former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is apparently staying off the radar on purpose in hopes that an NFL team will come knocking.

Under Review

There seems to be a fair amount of excitement from the Broncos fans on Mile High Report over the recent acquisition of Quentin Jammer. One fan posted,

"I love it. This guy will make the top 45 and be a game day active player for us. I guess having faced SD so much over the last decade, we realized which guys they have that can really play. Jammer is a better player than Cason at a much, much lower cost. Phillips was a Bronco killer for years and Vasquez was their best linemen once Dielman retired. We pillaged their roster this off-season. They had very little talent to begin with and we took most of it that was unrestricted."

With maybe the exception of Vasquez, the joke's on this guy. Plus, I'm not sure how signing two players the Chargers showed almost no interest in counts as pillaging the Chargers' roster, but whatever.

Muffed Punt

John Fox recently admitted that he regrets his decision to run the ball on 3rd and 7 the series before Baltimore completed a successful Hail Mary pass to win in the closing seconds of the AFC Championship Game. When asked what he would have called instead, he said, "I don't know, but something that would pick up a first down." Translation: I should have listened to Peyton.

That what she said:

"It's good to have another veteran in the locker room, he can play a little safety, corner-- he's a true tackler."

- Champ Bailey, on what Quentin Jammer brings to the Broncos.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Pick Six

  1. The Chiefs' kicker and punter seem pleased with Dave Toub, the team's new special teams coach, which isn't surprising given Toub's reputation around the league.
  2. There's growing concern at Arrowhead Pride over Dexter McCluster's hamstring injury as it has kept him sidelined longer than initially expected.
  3. Injuries and illnesses seem to be hitting the Chiefs hard, but that hasn't stopped Alex Smith from impressing early on in OTAs.
  4. Bob Sutton, the new defensive coordinator in town, seems to be following the recent NFL trend by installing a "hybrid" defense in Kansas City, which — as you might have guessed — will pride itself on its unpredictability.
  5. A hamstring injury has sidelined Dexter McCluster and sparked discussion at Arrowhead Pride over who may be the primary return man this upcoming season.
  6. There's a three-way competition for the left guard position, as the other four spots on the Chiefs offensive line seem to be already settled.

Under Review

There seems to be a fair amount of discussion over the differences between the Andy Reid and the Chip Kelly regimes in Philadelphia. Specifically, the difference in the food choices available in the Eagles' cafeteria, and whether Reid's culinary options will now be on the Chiefs' menu. There's still no word yet on whether "Taco Tuesday" will be part of the training regimen in Kansas City, but apparently, "Junk Food Friday" is a go.

Muffed Punt

Eric Berry has a bad case of Equinophobia, which happens to be the fear of horses. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be much of a problem, except that the Chiefs' mascot is Warpaint, a horse that the team trots out on to the field as part of the pregame festivities at Arrowhead. With that said, Berry should still consider himself lucky that he didn't play with John Elway.

That's what she said:

"It was hard to get in, it was crowbar material," Reid said, using an imaginary crowbar and sound effects to pantomime the unloading process. "It was real tight."

- Andy Reid, on what it was like to sit next to offensive line coaches Andy Heck and Eugene Chung on a flight.

Oakland Raiders

The Pick Six

  1. The folks at Silver and Black Pride argued that Tyler Wilson's drop to the fourth round of the draft could motivate him going forward in the same way it did Aaron Rodgers.
  2. Former Raiders head coach John Madden made ESPN's list of the top 20 best NFL coaches of all time.
  3. Since Michael Huff was released with a June 1st designation, the Raiders now have an additional $8 million available to them under the 2013 cap.
  4. Head coach Dennis Allen has been very impressed with rookie wide receiver Conner Vernon, who signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent.
  5. Rookie cornerback DJ Hayden was released the hospital last week after undergoing a procedure to remove abdominal scar tissue, which built up as the result of Hayden's emergency heart surgery last fall.
  6. Levi Damien of Silver and Black Pride recently made his prediction of what the Raiders 53-man roster will look like come September.

Under Review

Since Charles Woodson made his return to Oakland this past week, he has discussed his regret over not reaching out to Al Davis after he left the Raiders in free agency in 2006. "Man, I haven't talked to Al Davis since I left and that's one of the things I look back on that I didn't do when I left is really have a conversation with him when I left the Raiders," Woodson said. "So, I didn't get a chance to speak with him and I wish I had." Despite the reputation that he garnered in his later years, Al Davis was truly one of the greatest owners to ever grace the NFL. His relationship with some of his players was often unmatched - provided they didn't cross him. And it's good to see that in the end that wasn't all lost on Woodson, despite the Raiders (read: Al Davis) insulting him seven years ago by deciding he wasn't worth the price tag.

Muffed Punt

The Raiders fired P.R. Director Zak Gilbert on Saturday. Owner Mark Davis was reportedly not happy about how a Sports Illustrated story about the Raiders' 4-12 season in 2012 portrayed him and his late father. The firing elicited Sports Illustrated's Peter King to remark on Twitter, "Same old Raiders. Gilbert was doing a great job." It does seem silly to fire a P.R. Director based solely off what a sports writer said, especially when that opinion is the popular one. You can hire and fire a hundred P.R. Directors, Mark, but that won't change the public's perception. Only winning can do that.

That's what she said:

"Oh man, really the only difference is the big guy's not here," said Woodson. "I think that's really it. Knowing that you're not going to see him come out onto the field at any point in time this season is really the different feel to this organization."

- Charles Woodson, on the void left by Al Davis' death

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