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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
AFC West offensive all-decade team thoughts

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

I wanted to take some time to recognize some players from the AFC West who did not make our all-decade offensive team. There were some great names left off the list (we can only pick 11 players, after all) and some of them came from the AFC West.

Here are some of the players from the division that didn't quite make the cut:

Tackle: Willie Roaf, Kansas City: Roaf was an upper-echelon player and he will make a Hall of Fame run. But Walter Jones and Jonathan Ogden were simply better this decade, according to the majority of the league insiders we polled.

Guard: Will Shields, Kansas City: Shields, a likely future Hall of Famer, could have easily made this list. As explained in the story, he was very, very close. He was a dominant force on the field and a bright light off of it.

Center: Tom Nalen, Denver: He was the anchor of an undersized, overproductive line. He was mean and nasty on the field and he should get some Hall of Fame consideration.

Tight end: Antonio Gates, San Diego: If it weren't for the standard set by Tony Gonzalez, Gates would seem superhuman. But even with Gonzalez, Gates is a supreme player.

Quarterback: Rich Gannon, Oakland: He didn't play enough in the division to get serious consideration, but he was the catalyst for the glory years the Raiders enjoyed earlier in the decade.

Running back: Larry Johnson, Kansas City: Johnson has been a workhorse and one of the better rushers in the league this decade.

Receiver: Rod Smith, Denver: Smith was the quintessential worker and overachiever. He worked the field like few receivers ever did.