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Keeping Tabs on the AFC West: Wes Welker is happy to be away from Bill Belichick

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Why Wes Welker is happy to be out of New England and away from Bill Belichick, why Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles should be quite the combo and how Taiwan Jones is attempting to do the impossible.

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Football is back, baby.

Denver Broncos

The Pick Six

  1. Linebacker Shaun Phillips contributed a touchdown to the Broncos' preseason victory over the 49ers on Thursday.
  2. Peyton Manning and his wide receivers are hoping the Sports Illustrated cover jinx doesn't come back to bite them at any point this season.
  3. The Broncos added a tight end to the roster to fill in while Joel Dreessen recovers from a minor knee procedure.
  4. While fans expected to see a whole lot of changes, the Broncos first depth chart of the season wasn't much different than the 2012 version.
  5. John Elway admitted that he's jealous of the weapons that Peyton Manning has in the Broncos offense this season.
  6. Wes Welker told Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard that he didn't get along with Bill Belichick during his tenure in New England.

Under Review

Von Miller's appeal of his suspension will be heard on August 15th. Apparently the suspension stems from Miller's positive test in 2011, so the rumors that he subsequently tested positive again were false. This is interesting, because it must mean that Miller violated some other condition of the NFL's drug abuse program. Without knowing more, it's hard to speculate on what exactly that violation might have been. Nonetheless, fans should keep a close eye on what happens with Miller in the next couple weeks. If he ends up serving the suspension after all, the Broncos could struggle out of the gate, which could open the door for one of its divisional foes to make a run at the AFC West title. Although, with Peyton Manning at the helm, it's hard to see the Broncos not being able to weather the storm while Miller is out.

Muffed Punt

Have you seen Peyton and Eli's newest commercial together? It's fantastic.

That's what she said:

"It was just kind of hard. One of those deals where you have to endure him, put up with him. ... But he does it to everybody; it's the way he is."

Wes Welker, on his relationship with Bill Belichick.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Pick Six

  1. Cornerback Semaj Moody, who has only played in the Arena Football League, will get a shot to make the Chiefs roster instead of Conroy Black.
  2. Andy Reid and his staff are using an uptempo pace in practice to cram as much activity into the limited time frame afforded to them under the new CBA.
  3. Quarterback Alex Smith has been extremely effective on early downs off of play action in his career, and he shouldn't take a step back now that he has Jamaal Charles.
  4. Chiefs fans are debating whether the use of a 3rd round pick to acquire running back Knile Davis was the right move.
  5. The Chiefs plan to use all four of their quarterbacks in their preseason game against the Saints today.
  6. Rookie offensive tackle Eric Fisher isn't expected to be in top form for a couple weeks while he continues to work through his finger injuries.

Under Review

The Chiefs' initial depth chart had one surprise for the crew at Arrowhead Pride: rookie tight end Travis Kelce was listed ahead of the veteran Tony Moeaki. The rest of the position battles are shaping up (so far) as expected, but there is still plenty of time left. I'd be a little surprised if Nico Johnson remains second on the depth chart at inside linebacker behind Akeem Jordan. Also, I expect Dunta Robinson will eventually beat out Sean Smith for the starting corner position. Donnie Avery is currently ahead of Jon Baldwin while many wonder whether the former first round pick is turning out to be a bust.

Muffed Punt

There seems to be an inordinate amount of speculation about bathroom breaks during Chiefs practices.

That's what she said:

Oakland Raiders

The Pick Six

  1. Rookie offensive tackle Menlik Watson re-aggravated his calf injury in practice and will be held out of the Raiders' preseason game today.
  2. Dennis Allen has been so impressed with Matt McGloin that he's started to make up new words to describe the rookie quarterback.
  3. Rookie running back Latavius Murray has returned to practice and is excited for the chance to play in an actual game finally.
  4. Offensive tackle Alex Barron has real shot at making a comeback with the Raiders after being out of football for the past two seasons.
  5. Cornerback DJ Hayden hasn't been cleared for contact yet after having surgery to remove scar tissue that built up as a result of his life-threatening heart injury in college.
  6. Former Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett is determined to prove all his doubters wrong this season with the Raiders.

Under Review

Taiwan Jones is attempting to make the change from running back to cornerback for the Raiders. That's no easy feat, and it's extremely rare to see such a dramatic change at the NFL-level, where patience often isn't found in abundance. However, the team might not have to wait around too long for Jones, as he's started to turn a bit of a, well, corner in the last week or so of training camp. It shouldn't be much of a surprise, though, because Jones does have the athletic talent and size to succeed at the position. However, he's still only really been seeing third team reps in practice, so there's still a long road ahead for Jones - and he'll have to find a way in the coming weeks to avoid being cut in order to continue much further down it. There's a reason why you rarely see guys ever attempt this kind of position change, much less succeed at it. The odds are very much stacked against him.

Muffed Punt

I'm considering renaming this section after Chris Kluwe and Google Glass. Here you go.

That what she said:

"A lot of my college coaches, they thought once I made it to the NFL that I would be converted to a corner."

-Taiwan Jones, on his position change.

Credit goes to SDNativeinTexas for helping out with the Chiefs section of this post

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