AFC West Sunday mail call

August, 31, 2008
8/31/08
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Sunday mail ...

Derek from Los Angeles: How much of the Raiders receiving problems is due to their recievers coach? I know Lofton coached in San Diego and they never really had good receivers and Oakland always had a pretty good group when Fred Biletnikoff was the receivers coach.

BW: Derek, what's your beef with Lofton? I don't think Lofton has anything to do with the Raiders have a porous receiving corps. He is new to Oakland and he had good success in San Diego. Young receiver Todd Watkins and Chaz Schilens were thriving under Lofton in the preseason. Lofton is fine.


Matt from San Antonio: Where do you think Ted Sundquist will end up next season?

BW: Good question, Matt. I know Sundquist, who was fired as Denver's general manager in March, would like to get back into the league next season in a leadership role. If there are any general manager openings (it is too early to tell if there will be) expect Sundquist's name to be mentioned.


Joe from Columbus, OH: I really like your blog. I know the Raiders operate in this cloud of secrecy, but it was mentioned that neither agent for J. Horn or K. Robinson have been contacted by Al. It's obvious we need WR?s! Who else is out there? Eric Moulds? K. McCardell?

BW: Thanks, Joe. Oakland will add someone soon. But as far as veterans go, the Raiders may want until the second week of the season to sign a player so they don't have to guarantee a contract. There is a list of big names who are old and past their prime. Still, Oakland will need to sign somebody and it is likely scouring the waiver wire as I type.


Peyton from Martinsville, Va.: Bill, Being a lifelong Raider fan (all 18 years!) I get very excited every year when August rolls around and I always have high expectations for my team. Which brings me to my question, put aside all the off-season "hype" and expectations, how long do think it will before we see these Raiders make a run to the playoffs and a serious run deep towards the Super Bowl?

BW: Peyton, the Raiders' ability to become a legitimate Super Bowl contender again really rests on their past two draft picks, JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden. If the quarterback and tailback can become true game-changing players, Oakland will rise quickly. If either player struggles, the Raiders' struggles may continue.


Ryan from San Diego, Ca.: Bill, I heard comments about Lane Kiffin's three-headed monster (Fargas, McFadden, M Bush). Any close-of-preseason comments on the Chargers re-vamped trio of LT, Sproles, and Hester?

BW: Yes, Ryan, you have a monster, too. But there is a difference. There is one very big head (Tomlinson) and two smaller heads (Sproles and Hester). Oakland's three-headed monster is more equal. But, yes, Tomlinson has some decent caddies in the explosive Sproles and the rugged Hester.


David from KCMO: Bill - what do you make of the bizarre signing and release of Jay Feely in KC? Was this just a motivational ploy to step up the pressure on Novak and Barth?

BW: David, you call signing a veteran kicker and cutting him a day later bizarre? OK, I agree with you. I don't think everyone in the Chiefs' organization wanted Feely, and when he struggled early I think the Chiefs decided to let the youngsters battle it out again.


Jeremy from Forsyth: Is Zach Miller a better fantasy TE than Dustin Keller?

BW: Here's a warning: I am not a fantasy guy so don't expect any tangible help. But I do think Miller will be a better player than Keller. The rookie will be good, but Miller is already good in his second season. The thing about Miller is he is Russell's favorite target. When Russell gets in trouble he looks for Miller. He will be a red-zone standout and I expect Miller to catch 60-70 passes this season.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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