ESPN’s John Clayton looked at the teams that are most affected by the lockout and the teams that are least affected by the lockout. Clayton lists San Diego among the teams least affected by the lockout.
Let’s rank the AFC West from least to most affected the lockout. Mind you, this is not a predicted order of finish, just the level of challenges each team will face when the lockout is over:
4. San Diego: The Chargers are in good shape. The offensive plan is the same and quarterback Philip Rivers has led several members of the team through workouts. There is a new defensive coordinator in Greg Manusky, but he is a former San Diego coach who will run a similar system to former defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, now the head coach in Carolina. Several San Diego defenders know Manusky.
3. Kansas City: The Chiefs are young, but several pieces return. Yes, there will be a new offensive coordinator in Bill Muir, but he was an assistant in Kansas City last year. Coach Todd Haley will have a major role in the offense as well. Not much is changing.
2. Oakland: There is a change at head coach, but change will be less intense in Oakland than in other buildings where there is a new coach because Hue Jackson was the Raiders’ offensive coordinator last year. So, the offensive players will be up to speed. New defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan doesn’t know many of the Oakland players even though he was the team’s defensive coordinator early last decade. There will some adjusting in Oakland. Still, it could be worse.
1. Denver: New coach John Fox is bringing a new philosophy and there could be a new starting quarterback in Tim Tebow. Starting late with a new head coach and a new quarterback should be challenging for the Broncos, who are trying to improve from a 4-12 2010 season.