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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
AFC West mailbag

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Midweek mail call:

Justin from Cheyenne, Wyo., wants to know if I’m impressed the way Kyle Orton has handled his unique situation this summer.

Bill Williamson: He does deserve credit for the way he has handled himself. Orton was in a weird situation after the lockout. He showed up to Denver’s training camp, expecting to pack his bags and be traded to Miami. He even talked contract with the Dolphins. But he and Miami couldn’t come to an accord. Orton then publicly said he was all in as Denver’s quarterback. He has been a professional and he has played well this summer. His attitude has made a potentially sticky situation fairly smooth.

Mikey from Kansas City wants to know if Justin Houston could start for the Chiefs this season.

BW: I think so. He is pushing Andy Studebaker at outside linebacker. Houston has been a playmaker. He has been very impressive for a player who missed a portion of training camp due to a contract holdup. He was a first-round talent who fell to the third round because of character concerns. But he has shown very early that he has NFL ability.

Mitchell from Canada wants to know if Orton and Brandon Lloyd could soon get new deals from Denver. Both are free agents after this season.

BW: I could see it. I think Lloyd could get one before Orton. I wouldn’t be shocked if Denver tries to lock him up soon. It will want to see what kind of impact Orton has on the team before deciding what to do with him. If he leads the team to several victories, I could see Denver trying to tie him up before he gets to free agency.