AFC West mailbag

Mid-week mail call:

James from Norwich, Conn., wants to know if I think San Diego could fire general manager A.J. Smith.

Bill Williamson: If the Chargers – who are 4-5 and who have lost four consecutive games – go a second year in a row without winning the division, there will be cries for the team to make wholesale changes — likely starting with the firing of coach Norv Turner. There will probably be some calls for Smith’s head, too. Yet San Diego’s ownership has long stood behind Smith, who has had full control of football operations. I don’t think Smith’s firing will be a certainty if the Chargers don’t advance to the postseason, but it could be considered.

George from Nashua, N.H., wants to know if Denver could draft Alabama running back Trent Richardson next year.

BW: He is considered a top prospect and could be a top-10 pick. If the 4-5 Broncos keep winning, they might not get a shot at Richardson, but I do think the Broncos would be interested in him. He’d be a good fit for that offense.

Connor J. from San Diego wants to know if the Chargers could stick with Nick Novak next year instead of Nate Kaeding at kicker.

BW: It’s an interesting situation. Novak has been very good for San Diego since he took over for Kaeding, who blew out his knee in Week 1 while trying to make a tackle. I think the team will go back to Kaeding next year, but if Novak finishes the season strong, I could see management considering him, particularly since he is healthy and would be cheaper than Kaeding. If the Chargers do part ways with Kaeding, I don’t see him having trouble getting another job.