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AFC West news and notes

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here's some Saturday news and notes:

* If JaMarcus Russell doesn't play Sunday against visiting Carolina because of a knee issue, he won't have a chance to outshine Cleveland quarterback Brady Quinn who played well in a 34-30 loss to Denver on Thursday. Oakland chose Russell over Quinn in the 2007 draft.

However, while Russell struggles to get his career off the ground, Quinn had a nice debut. Quinn completed 23 passes for 239 yards and he threw two touchdown passes. Russell has matched Quinn's completion amount once in nine starters; he surpassed Quinn's yardage total once and he matched his touchdown total once.

I'm not saying the Raiders made the wrong choice but the pressure is building for Russell who led his team to just 77 yards and three first downs, both franchise record lows, last week in a shutout loss to visiting Atlanta. If Quinn does well, the pressure will only mount for Russell.

* The Jim Harbaugh to Oakland talk continues. There have been rumblings of this for several weeks. Harbaugh, who is Stanford's coach, appears to be a good fit for Oakland. The former NFL quarterback is an offensive mind which Raiders' owner Al Davis craves.

He's young and he is respected in the Bay Area. He'd be a good sell to Raider Nation.
Will it happen? Stanford will do what it takes to keep him. But until Harbaugh announces he's staying at Stanford, this talk won't die.

* It didn't get a lot of play this week, but Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha questioned the Raiders' hasty decision to cut fellow cornerback DeAngelo Hall eight months after trading for him and giving him a hefty contract. Asomugha is the Raiders' best player, by far, and what he says should be listened to. This is not a loose cannon. Asomugha is an intelligent, rational man. His thoughts should carry weight in the organization.

Asomugha's thought wasn't uncommon. Many folks were thinking the same thing. But maybe since it came from Asomugha the organization will take it to heart.

* Kansas City coach Herman Edwards once again lived up to his billing as a players' coach. He defended the play of top pick Glenn Dorsey. The defensive tackle, who was the No. 5 overall draft pick in April, has been getting criticized because he hasn't made the major impact that was expected.

Edwards said this week that Dorsey is doing well in the run defense and that he's improving in pass defense. It's no surprise Edwards is backing Dorsey. While Dorsey hasn't been spectacular he is far from a bust and his coach clearly has been patient with him.

* In light of Nate Webster's knee injury Thursday night against Cleveland, the Broncos were calling around about available linebackers Friday.

* The Broncos, who are need a running back with Ryan Torain out for the year with a knee injury, will be without Webster at least 2-3 weeks and potentially more time. Denver is now playing without all three starting linebackers. Weakside linebacker D.J. Williams will miss another 3-4 weeks with a knee injury and strongside linebacker Boss Bailey is out for the year with a knee problem.