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Saturday, October 2, 2010
AFC West mailbag

By Bill Williamson

Weekend mail call:

Ron from Ft. Washington, Md., wants to know what I think of the progression of second-season receivers Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Bill Williamson: I think they are doing fine. I really like Murphy, who was a fourth-round pick last season. He still has to work on some things, but I think he’s pretty polished. I think you’ll see him play in the league for 10 years or so. He had 34 catches last season and he has 15 catches in three games this season. Heyward-Bey, the No.7 overall pick in 2009, had his best game of his career in Week 2 when he caught six passes for 80 yards. He had three catches in Week 3. The key for Heyward-Bey is to continue to grow and to continue to improve.

Mike from San Diego wants to know if I think Marcus McNeill will soon sign a long-term contract with the Chargers.

BW: I think the two sides will talk. San Diego may make him wait a little big. But the Chargers have wanted to sign him and now has he ended his holdout, perhaps the two sides will eventually come to an accord.

William from Newport Beach, Calif. wants to know if the loss of special teams ace Kassim Osgood is a major reason why the San Diego special teams have struggled.

BW: It’s pretty apparent that the Osgood is badly missed in San Diego. He was a star special team player in San Diego, but he went to Jacksonville as a free agent because he wanted to play receiver as well and that wasn’t a possibility in San Diego. With Osgood gone, San Diego has allowed three return touchdowns in its two losses. You have to say Osgood’s loss has to be a big reason why this unit is no longer elite.