AFC West: JaMarcus Rusell

Mid-week mail call:

Marco from San Jose wants to know which, free-agent cornerback pickup, Mike Jenkins or Tracy Porter, will help the Oakland Raiders more this season.

Bill Williamson: I think Jenkins has the first chance to start opposite first-round pick, D.J. Hayden, assuming Hayden’s recovery from surgery goes as expected. I think the Raiders see Porter as the No. 3 cornerback. All three will be on the field a lot, but I think Jenkins has more ability than Porter at this point.

Derek from San Diego wants to know if I think the Chargers could trade receiver Robert Meachem before the season starts.

BW: I highly doubt it. The Chargers have to find a desperate team. Meachem is owed $5 million guaranteed. It is virtually impossible to think any team would take on that type of money for a bottom-of-the-rotation player.

Benjamin Ford from Ramona, Calif., wants to know if I think the Raiders could re-sign JaMarcus Russell now that he is trying to get back in the league with an inexpensive contract.

BW: I appreciate the question, Benjamin, but no. No. No. No. I don’t care if Russell offered to play for free, there is no way I could see the Raiders reigniting that relationship.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Raiders will keep Tom Cable as coach.

[+] EnlargeTom Cable
Jason Miller/US PresswireThe Raiders say they have not made a decision on coach Tom Cable's future, but rumors are swirling.
The Raiders say a decision has not been made.

I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Raiders do announce that Cable will be brought back. It has seems to be heading that way for the past couple of days.

There has been a staff addition – the team hired defensive line coach Mike Waufle on Friday -- and had an interview with Baltimore quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson for offensive coordinator. I think a Cable-Jackson pairing could be good for Oakland.

Cable would be relieved of play-calling duties and allowed to concentrate on the bigger picture. That may help this inexperienced NFL head coach. Jackson has a strong history with quarterbacks, so maybe JaMarcus Russell would have a chance to develop.

There are positives in this development if that’s what Oakland announces.

Again, it looks like this saga may be over. I look forward to the Raiders’ announcement and will be ready to analyze it further when they make it official.

Final Word: AFC West

November, 13, 2009
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 10:

[+] EnlargeChamp Bailey
Rich Gabrielson/Icon SMIChamp Bailey will return to D.C. for the first time since he was traded prior to the 2004 season.
Mr. Bailey goes to Washington: Denver star cornerback Champ Bailey will lead the staggering Broncos to the nation’s capital Sunday. It will be Bailey’s first trip to Washington since the Redskins traded him to Denver for running back Clinton Portis, who isn’t expected to play because of an injury. This trade worked out for both teams, but Denver probably gets the edge because Bailey is likely headed to the Hall of Fame and he is the face of the franchise.

Chargers hope Eagles’ West Coast blues continue: The Philadelphia Eagles head back to California for the second time in four weeks. They don’t have fond memories of their previous trip to the Golden State. Philadelphia played its worst game of the season by far in a 13-9 loss at Oakland. The Eagles were awful in the game and had no chance of beating any team in the league that day. The Chargers need to win Sunday in the suddenly tight AFC West race. So, the Chargers hope the cross-country trip isn’t kind to the Eagles again.

Raiders are jazzed about Chaz: The Raiders are getting receiver Chaz Schilens back Sunday against the Chiefs. He has been out since August with a broken foot. The Raiders desperately need Schilens, who has potential to be a solid No. 1 receiver. Rookie starters Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy have struggled and the Raiders have thrown the second fewest passes to their receivers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. With Schilens back, perhaps Oakland will allow JaMarcus Russell to target his receivers more.

Can Chambers beat the Raiders again? Receiver Chris Chambers has a chance to go 3-0 against the Raiders this season. Chambers was with the Chargers when they beat the Raiders twice this season. Chambers played a big part in the team’s second win. He made a tremendous catch over Oakland star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to continue a key drive in the fourth quarter. Many Chargers called it the play of the game. It was Chambers’ final catch with San Diego. He was cut the next day and then claimed by Kansas City. In his Kansas City debut last week, Chambers had three catches, two of which went for touchdowns. He looks like he has a chance to be a standout for Kansas City. The Raiders will surely be weary of him Sunday.

Will Hall get the Royal treatment again? Denver coach Josh McDaniels is all about exploiting matchups. Expect him to unleash receiver Eddie Royal at Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall. In the season opener of 2008, Royal torched Hall, who was playing his first game with Oakland. Royal had nine catches for 146 yards against Hall, who lost his cool after being embarrassed by the rookie. Royal never got a chance to frustrate Hall later in the season. By the time Denver and Oakland met again, the Raiders gave up on Hall. Royal is likely itching to get another chance to exploit Hall.