Saturday, September 13, 2008
AFC West mail call
By Bill Williamson
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Weekend mail call ... It's all Broncos and Raiders. I didn't get any Chargers or Chiefs mail in the past few days.
Oakland: Even if Walker playing this Sunday, do you think it will help Russell or in that matter the Raiders?
BW: Sure, it will matter. The Oakland offense can use all the help it can get. Walker is an experienced player. He should help JaMarcus Russell. Will it be the difference? Who knows, but the Raiders can use Javon Walker.
Victor from New York City: Hey Bill, how come Al Davis doesn't change his way of treating head coaches and operating an organization? Doesn't he look at the winning organizations like the Patriots, Colts and Steelers and want to pattern his organization like theirs because his way of doing things hasn't worked for the last 5(now 6)years. Doesn't he have advisers that tell him these things?
BW: Al Davis is 79 years old. He's done it his way his entire career and it will never change.
Justin from New Haven, Ct.: Life-long Broncos fan. I understand there's no way he's entertaining a return to the NFL, but why aren't teams even thinking about Jake Plummer? With the QB injuries that have already taken place, teams are talking about Chris Simms and Vinnie Testaverde!! I've said for years that it was Shanahan's fault that Jake didn't pan out in the Denver system. If Jake had a big "G" on his helmet, he'd be a "gutsy gunslinger", but we all know how THAT worked out. I guess, as a big Jake fan, I'm offended that he isn't even mentioned in conversations. Thoughts?
BW: Jake is entering his second season out of the NFL. He is loving life in his native Idaho. He is spending time with his new wife and he is playing competitive hand ball. I don't see Plummer coming back. The only possibility is if he ended up with Gary Kubiak in Houston. The two were very close when they were in Denver. But Kubiak is set in Houston at quarterback right now.
Cody from Wyoming: Bill, I am just curious on how Ryan Torain is coming along. It was said in late August that he was on pace to be back way ahead of schedule. Is that still the case? When do you expect us to see him suiting up for a game and do you think he will be playing right away once he is back? On another note, I noticed you picked The Raiders to finish ahead of The Broncos in the AFC west. Do you still feel that way?
BW: If Torain continues to make progress form his broken elbow he could be on the field Oct. 20 at New England. That is the target date. The Broncos are expected to get the big back on the field. As far as the Raiders finishing ahead of Denver. Well, I don't look too smart right now, do I?
Randy from Tuscon, AZ: Bill, can you please explain to me why it is so hard for fans to be patient with draft picks? For instance I am tired of all the Jarvis Moss "bust" comments. This is a kid who missed half of his rookie year and part of the offseason with a broken leg. Now it's hard to develop when one is on the trainer's table and not the field or in the weight room. Additionally, most DL don't show marked improvement until their second year and when we consider Moss' injury, he is not quite in his second year of playing in the NFL. Is there any way to get fans off his back and realize that we need to give the kid time to actually develop before we go crazy with the bust label.
BW: You make good points, Randy. But, unfortunately, not everyone shares your patience. It wouldn't be fair to call Moss a bust yet. But he needs to start showing something. He was the No. 17 overall draft pick last year and he was a healthy scratch last week in Oakland. That is not good.