Monday, March 19, 2012
Pressure is on defenses in AFC West
By Bill Williamson
Richard Seymour joked about sleepless nights and Shaun Phillips tweeted about needing to work out more.
Yes, the defenses of the AFC West have been put on notice. Peyton Manning, one of the best players in the NFL if his neck woes are behind him, is joining the division as the new quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
The Manning signing likely will have an effect on the thinking of the three other teams in the AFC West when it comes to making additions this offseason. It’s got to be defense, defense, defense.
That was probably where the three teams were probably leaning toward concentrating on in the draft, anyway.
Kansas City -- coached by Romeo Crennel, whose defenses played well against Manning while he was the defensive coordinator in New England -- likely will look to upgrade on the defensive front and at linebacker early in the draft. The Chiefs loaded up on offense in free agency.
The Raiders have signed veteran cornerbacks Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer. The Raiders will need the experience with Manning gunning for them.
San Diego will look for a pass-rusher in the draft's first round and may add some defensives pieces in free agency. It also has signed Baltimore linebacker Jarret Johnson.
The landscape of the division was rocked by this move, and Denver’s opponents have to adjust accordingly.