AFC West mailbag

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
1:00
PM ET
Weekend mail call:

Adam from Nashville, Tenn., wants to know if the Oakland secondary was better than I expected against Denver.

Bill Williamson: In the Oakland Raiders' first game without Nnamdi Asomugha, their secondary did pretty well. But there is room for improvement. Even though, he was never really in a zone, Kyle Orton did throw for 300-plus yards. So, the secondary does need to tighten up. But the key to Oakland’s defense is that great front four. The better the pass rush will be, the better the secondary will be. That will help Oakland’s defensive backs all season.

Mikey from Kansas City wants to know if I think the Kansas City Chiefs’ running back Jamaal Charles will be a flop this year.

BW: No way. The guy is legitimate. Yes, he only had 56 yards Sunday, but he only had 10 carries. The key for the Kansas City Chiefs is to get into a rhythm and make sure it can taken advantage of Charles. He needs more chances. The Chiefs’ offense is a work in progress because of injuries and a change of command from Charlie Weis to Bill Muir. But Charles is not the problem. Not even close.

Justin Keller from Seattle wants to know if the fact that Oakland middle linebacker Rolando McClain didn’t have a great game in Week 1 is a reason for concern.

BW: Yes, McClain was beat a few times in coverage, but this is a good player. People have to remember, though, McClain is still learning the NFL game. Just because he was a starter at a critical position from Day 1, it doesn’t mean he has it all figured out. He is still improving. He needs to be better in coverage and he needs to be consistent. But he is a smart, hard worker who should have a bright future.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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