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AFC West mailbag

Mid-week mail call:

Erik from Chicago wants to know if Oakland Raiders first-year head coach was an assistant coach would I vote for him in our top-10 assistant coach power rankings.

Bill Williamson: No question about it, Erik. If Hue Jackson wasn’t already head coach, he’d be on our list. But it was for assistant coaches who are on the radar of teams. That’s why Al Davis brought Jackson to Oakland in 2009. He saw Jackson as a future head coach and after a terrific first season as Oakland’s offensive coordinator, Jackson was promoted. Davis loves identifying young coaches and I think he scored with the smart, energetic Jackson.


Craig K. from Osan Air Base, South Korea wants to know what Elvis Dumervil's greatest challenges will be in 2011 as he comes back from a torn pectoral muscle that kept him out all of last season.

BW: This is a big season for the talented Dumervil. He has to shake off the rust from missing all of last season and he has to do it in a 4-3 defense. The Denver Broncos are using that scheme under new coach John Fox after using a 3-4 the past two seasons. Dumervil did play in a 4-3 defense in his first three seasons and had 26 sacks. Dumervil can succeed in the 4-3 as an end, even though he is best suited as a 3-4 linebacker because of his size and lack of pure ability to stop the run. But having No. 2 overall pick Von Miller on the field will help Dumervil and I think he will still be an impact player, even though he may not be on the field at all times.


Jason from Oakland wants to know if there are any AFC West teams that could try to sign Michael Bush if he becomes a free agent.

BW: Well, Oakland fans may not want to hear it, but I could see Denver going after Bush if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Broncos want to run the ball down opponents’ throats and they have seen Bush do it to them enough that they know how talented he is. He could pair well with Knowshon Moreno. But the Raiders value Bush and I’m sure Davis will do what he can to keep Bush in the Silver and Black and nowhere else, especially in the Rocky Mountains. But, of course, the good news for Oakland is Bush is expected to be a restricted free agent at this point. So he should be back in Oakland. If that is the case, Oakland should give him a long-term deal in the next year and keep him for the long haul.