AFC West: Adalius Thomas

What's next for Denver?

August, 5, 2010
I just caught up with Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. to discuss how the Denver Broncos will handle the loss of Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil is expected to be out for four months with a ton pectoral muscle. The linebacker led the NFL with 17 sacks last season.

Williamson’s prognosis for Denver without Dumervil is not good.

“Pass rushers don’t grow on trees,” Williamson said. “Denver really has nothing without Dumervil.”

Williamson is not thrilled at all with former first-round picks, Jarvis Moss and Robert Ayers, who are Denver's top in-house pass-rush options.

Williamson on Moss: “The Broncos can’t count on him at all. He is not the answer.”

Williamson on Ayers: “I don’t trust Ayers at all. I think he’s a bad fit for the 3-4, anyway … I bet Denver wishes it would have taken Brian Orakpo last year."

Denver will surely look at free-agent possibilities. Yet, there are not great 3-4 options. Aaron Schobel is the top pass rusher available, but he’s a 4-3 player. There are other 4-3 players, such as the aging Leonard Little and Adewale Ogunleye. In Denver, those two players would likely only be third-down options.

“They couldn’t play in the 3-4, but they could come in and go after he quarterback on third down,” Williamson said. “It’s not perfect, but it’s better than what Denver has now.”

Greg Ellis has 3-4 experience, but he is old and banged up. Adalius Thomas is still available, and he was in New England with Denver coach Josh McDaniels. However, rushing the passer was never Thomas’ forte.

“I really don’t know what Denver can do at this point,” Williamson said. “It’s terrible timing.”

AFC West news and notes

May, 8, 2010
A Denver television station reported that Broncos defensive tackle Ronald Fields was arrested on misdemeanor weapons charges. Fields is expected to play in Denver’s defensive line rotation.

The Broncos and Chiefs continue to be linked Insider to signing rumors surrounding former New England pass rusher Adalius Thomas. The connections make sense since Thomas fits both team’s needs and schemes.

Fox Sports thinks JaMarcus Russell’s NFL career is over. I still think he’ll get one more chance.

New San Diego primary tailback Ryan Mathews will wear No. 24 for the Chargers. He wore No. 21 at Fresno State in honor of LaDainian Tomlinson, the man he will replace in San Diego. Giving Mathews No. 21 in San Diego would have created way too many distractions for Mathews and for the team.

Early AFC West news and notes

April, 26, 2010
The Jets and Miami are being talked about as possible landing spots for pass-rushing linebacker Adalius Thomas, who was just cut by the Patriots. I wonder if the Chiefs or Broncos will show interest. Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli and Denver coach Josh McDaniels were in New England with Thomas. Both teams could use some pass-rush help.

But Thomas was a bust in New England and many people believe he is just a situational player. Pioli and McDaniels may not deem it worthwhile to pursue Thomas.

On SportsCenter Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the Raiders may cut JaMarcus Russell if he doesn’t take a pay cut. I expect him to be cut soon.

The San Diego Union-Tribune said the Chargers discussed trading linebacker Shawne Merriman during the draft. There are more and more signs that 2010 will likely be Merriman’s last season in San Diego.

The Denver Post wonders whether the Broncos have done enough to catch San Diego in the AFC West chase. I’m not convinced.

The Oakland Tribune (via has a list of some of Oakland’s undrafted free agents.

San Diego coach Norv Turner has high hopes for new running back Ryan Mathews.



Sunday, 1/25