AFC West mailbag

August, 6, 2011
8/06/11
1:00
PM ET
Weekend mail call:

Michael from Long Beach wants to know what I think about Ryan Mathews’ slow start to camp.

Bill Williamson: It’s been a tad worrisome. He didn’t pass a conditioning practice at the beginning of camp that most San Diego players had no problem passing. The running back admitted he could have conditioned his legs more during the lockout. And he has missed some time with a reported toe injury. This is a big year for Mathews. The Chargers need to get something out of the No. 12 overall pick in 2010. He showed flashes a rookie but durability was an issue. There’s no excuse for him not to be in premium shape. It’s early and he has time to get ready for the season, but the team is surely keeping its eye on him.

Brian from San Diego wants to know what I think about Oakland draft picks Denarius Moore (receiver) and David Ausberry (tight end).

BW: They looked decent when I was at the Raiders’ camp early in the week. I think Moore, a fifth-round pick from Tennessee, has a better chance of helping early. I’m not sure if he will have the same impact Jacoby Ford had as a rookie last year, but we may see him get a chance. He seems polished and he gets open a lot. He's been a star of camp. Ausberry, a seventh-round pick from USC, is moving to tight end from receiver. He is big and fast. But he will be a work in progress and it’s unlikely he will be ready to make a huge impact as a rookie.

Aaron from Syracuse wants to know if I think Brian Waters, who was recently cut by the Chiefs, could end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

BW: I read your email and you make a good case, Aaron. He was part of some great running offenses and he led the way for Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. But guards usually have to be extremely dominant to make the Hall of Fame, especially guards without multiple Super Bowl titles. He made five Pro Bowls and he was named All-Pro twice since joining the Chiefs in 2000. Waters has a good reputation and he could get some votes, but it may be difficult for him. Former Kansas City guard Will Shields, however, could easily go in on his first ballot next year. He was named to 12 Pro Bowls in 14 NFL seasons and he was All-Pro nine times.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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