Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC West [Print without images]

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Around the AFC West

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

Eddie Royal impresses his new coach.

My take: Royal has the goods. I think new Denver coach Josh McDaniels is going to have a lot of fun designing plays for Royal. He could have a Wes Welker-like impact in Denver's offense. Welker thrived under McDaniels in New England. Royal is one of new Denver quarterback Kyle Orton's best chances for success.

Kansas City

Clancy Pendergast is taking control of the Chiefs' defense.

My take: Pendergast is one of the most innovative, creative defensive coordinators in the league. And he'll need to be. The Chiefs' defense is young in key places and has no proven pass rush. There are some intriguing pieces to this unit, but Pendergast has a tough job ahead of him.

Oakland

There is competition at right cornerback.

My take: Stanford Routt is pushing Chris Johnson at the position. Johnson did well after the Raiders cut DeAngelo Hall last season. If Routt can finally become a major player in this defense, it will only help the team. I could see a situation where both Johnson and Routt get significant playing time.

San Diego

Jacques Cesaire is enjoying his new role.

My take: The Chargers thinks Cesaire, who has been a productive role player, will excel in a starting role. He will take over for Igor Olshansky, who departed to Dallas as a free agent. Cesaire will likely get some help in the rotation, but expect him to play well.