AFC West: Jim Haslett

UFL has an AFC West feel

June, 19, 2009

Posted by's Bill Williamson

The UFL has had an AFC West feel since the head coaches were announced.

The New York coach of the UFL, Ted Cottrell, was fired at midseason as the Chargers' defensive coordinator. Jim Fassel (Las Vegas), Dennis Green (San Francisco) and Jim Haslett (Orlando) were all connected to the Raiders as possible head-coaching candidates.

Now with the UFL draft completed, there are some familiar player names, too. Here is a look:

  • Adam Archuleta, formerly of Oakland
  • Nate Jackson, formerly of Denver
  • David Kircus, formerly of Denver
  • Cory Lekkerkerker, formerly of San Diego 
  • Cecil Sapp, formerly of Denver
  • B.J. Sams, formerly of Kansas City
  • DeJuan Tribble, formerly of San Diego

Afternoon AFC West news

March, 11, 2009

Posted by's Bill Williamson

There are some interesting AFC West ties in the new UFL coaching lineup.

The startup league has announced its coaching roster of its four-team league. The coaches are Ted Cottrell, Jim Fassel, Dennis Green, and Jim Haslett.

Cottrell was fired as the defensive coordinator in San Diego at the mid-way point last season. Cottrell finally gets his chance to be a head coach after years of being a defensive coordinator.

Fassel, Green's and Haslett's names all were connected at some point to the Oakland head coaching job in the past year. None of the coaches ever became major figures in the process before Tom Cable was hired, though.

Former Denver general manager Ted Sundquist is interviewing with the Arizona Cardinals for a position in the team's front office. Sundquist would be a terrific hire for the Cardinals.

Sundquist is organized and bright and has an excellent scout's eye. His unexpected firing from Denver last March was the first of many in a front office shakeup in Denver that continued into this year.

AFC West news and notes

February, 13, 2009

Posted by's Bill Williamson

• Denver owner Pat Bowlen reiterated that new general manager Brian Xanders and new coach Josh McDaniels will both report to him. When he fired Mike Shanahan, who ran the team for 14 years, Bowlen said he would run the franchise.

This move is another sign that he will. Bowlen was upset that the team lost its reputation as being one of the best run teams in the NFL in recent years. Bowlen wanted his luster back and he is continuing to do it. The early word is that Denver could hire a new personnel head to work under Xanders. That decision could be made in the coming months.

• All continues to be quiet in Kansas City where the Chiefs haven't announced any coaching hirings since Todd Haley was named head coach six days ago. Names such as Miami defensive assistant Todd Bowles and former St. Louis interim coach Jim Haslett are being mentioned for the defensive coordinator's job, and Arizona assistants Russ Grimm and Maurice Carthon has been mentioned for the offensive coordinator job.

Chan Gailey, the offensive coordinator in Kansas City last season, could also be in the mix to stick around. While the Chiefs have been quiet, they must move quickly. The NFL combine starts in less than a week and most coaches go to the combine.

• The San Francisco Chronicle reports that both Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell and running back Darren McFadden underwent offseason surgery. Neither situation is expected to affect the players' 2009 seasons.

• The Broncos, who cut five players Wednesday, cut defensive tackle Josh Shaw on Thursday and signed guard Matt McChesney. He was cut by Miami on Monday.

• With Oakland signing cornerback Chris Johnson to a four-year deal, backup Stanford Routt could be a trade possibility for Oakland. It isn't a great year for cornerbacks in free agency so a team could potentially try to pursue Routt through a trade.

AFC West news and notes

December, 24, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

  • For those Chargers fans who are upset San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers didn't make the Pro Bowl, stay patient. His trip to Hawaii may be imminent. With Jets quarterback Brett Favre talking about his shoulder injury; it may just be a matter of time before Favre bows out of the Pro Bowl. Favre usually bails out of the Pro Bowl. Rivers is the first alternate and will go to the Pro Bowl if someone withdraws.
  • ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported this week that Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley could be on the Raiders' list of potential coaching candidates. Haley certainly fits the criteria. He is a young and offensive-minded coach. Other potential candidates could include Jim Fassel, Dennis Green, Kevin Gilbride and Jim Haslett.
  • The Raiders, who end their season at Tampa Bay, have lost five straight season finales. They are tied with Buffalo for the second longest streak. Dallas has lost eight straight season enders.
  • A San Diego linebacker got the Denver rivalry cooking by calling Denver quarterback Jay Cutler "a punk."
  • Here is what Cutler had to say today, via the Broncos' PR department, about his expected reception in San Diego on Sunday: "It probably won't be pleasant. I don't think it is going to be with the holiday spirit at all. I don't think they like me, which is fine. It adds to the game, the excitement and the rivalry with us. It is going to be a good one. I think these two teams probably dislike each other. I know our offense probably doesn't like their defense and probably vice-versa. I think it is becoming a good rivalry between us. We are both younger teams and they are playing really well right now. Philip (Rivers) is playing well, and it is going to be a good matchup."
  • Still, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who has a well-documented rivalry with Cutler, downplayed any issue with Cutler in a quote courtesy of the Chargers' PR department: "No, there really isn't. It got a lot of attention about a year ago actually, but there's really nothing there."
  • Also, courtesy of the Chargers' PR department, San Diego star running back LaDainian Tomlinson's thoughts on official Ed Hochuli and his role in Denver's controversial win over San Diego in Week 2: "I think he'd rather be part of it, refereeing in it. But no, I think Ed, I really believe that he's probably happy that this is a game that's going to mean something, that whatever happened at the beginning of the year, it doesn't mean anything now. I really believe that's the way he feels."
  • Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden didn't talk badly about his time in Oakland with Bay Area reporters Wednesday.
  • Denver signed running back Steve Baylark and receiver Matt Willis to the practice squad.
  • Kansas City coach Herman Edwards says the Chiefs will be competitive in 2009. The real question is will Edwards be in Kansas City to see the improvement?

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Tom Cable thought there was no better time to start lobbying to become the Oakland Raiders' coach than Monday, a day after the Raiders' 27-16 win over Houston.

At his Monday press conference, Cable said he is ready to talk to Oakland owner Al Davis about becoming the head coach of the Raiders in 2009. Cable, Oakland's offensive line coach, took over for the dispatched Lane Kiffin after four games. Sunday's win gave Cable a 3-8 record as the Raiders' coach. They were 1-3 under Kiffin.

The team has looked good in the three wins under Cable but it looked terrible in most of the losses. Cable's last two wins have come wrapped around a four-game losing streak and a three-game slide.

Cable said Monday he thinks Oakland will be a playoff team next season but it needs stability. He, of course, would provide that stability.

Cable is very enthusiastic and he clearly cares about being the Raiders coach. But the team has had too many stretches of poor play for him to be considered a slam-dunk selection.
Davis will surely talk to Cable after the season. But it is also clear the Raiders will, at least, consider other head coach's potential candidates include Jim Fassel, Kevin Gilbride, Dennis Green and Jim Haslett.

Cable probably deserves a look by Davis for the permanent gig and Monday he made it clear he wants to be in the mix.

AFC West news and notes

December, 15, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Here are some random AFC West notes:

  • According to ESPN's Stats & Information, the Chargers became the third team in NFL history to win two games by one point each against the same team in the same season. San Diego beat Kansas City 22-21 on Sunday and it beat the Chiefs 20-19 at home last month. The last time it happened was in 1986 when the Chiefs pulled the trick on the Chargers.
  • Also from ESPN's Stats & Information: Sunday's loss was the first time Kansas City ever squandered an 18-point lead in the second half. It was the second time Kansas City lost an 18-point lead this season. It did it against Tampa Bay last month. Prior to this season, Kansas City blew only one 18-point lead in its history. It came in 2005 against Philadelphia.
  • Chris Mortensen's report on ESPN that Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is on the Oakland's radar makes great sense. He is a successful offensive coach and Raiders' owner Al Davis loves offensive coaches, especially ones with winning pedigrees. His last 11 head coaches were offensive-minded coaches. St, Louis interim coach Jim Haslett's name has also surfaced but he is a defense-first coach.
  • The Chargers, who have put just four players on the injured reserve this season, will have a banged up Tampa Bay team Sunday in a game the Chargers have to win. Star linebacker Derrick Brooks may to play because of a rib injury. Buccaneers' coach Jon Gruden said Monday he will decide on whether Jeff Garcia can play or whether to start Brian Griese again on Wednesday.

AFC West notes

December, 14, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Here are some random AFC West notes from the Panthers' press box:

The Broncos are less than a half from clinching the AFC West championship. Kansas City has taken a 21-10 lead over the beleaguered Chargers. If San Diego goes on to lose, Denver clinches the division. The Chargers would be 5-9. Denver is 8-5.

The Chiefs-Chargers game was being played on the big screen in Carolina in the first half.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is having a bad day. He is not sharp and he had to be restrained from getting to the officials after a lost fumble. Guard Kris Dielman was ejected after throwing a punch at Chiefs' defensive end Tamba Hali on the play.

Broncos' receiver Brandon Stokley and Jake Delhomme are facing each other for the first time in their NFL careers. They were a pass-catch tandem at Southwestern Louisiana.

San Diego center Nick Hardwick was taken off on a cart with a knee injury that appeared to be potentially serious.

Denver star left cornerback Champ Bailey is inactive and will miss his seventh straight missed game against Carolina. He has a torn groin. Undrafted rookie Josh Bell will continue to spell him.

Weakside linebacker D.J. Williams is back for Denver after missing the past five games with a knee injury.

Denver safety Marlon McCree is out with a lingering ankle injury. He is being replaced by Vernon Fox.

Denver No. 3 receiver Brandon Stokley is playing after injuring his foot last week.

Denver fullback/linebacker Spencer Larsen is out with a groin injury.

Oakland's defensive line has one sack in the past 13 quarters,

Denver and Tennessee both have a chance to be lead their division after every game this season. The teams to do it the 2007 New England Patriots, the 2004 Atlanta Falcons, the 1985 Los Angeles Rams.

There is a rumor circulating around the league that St. Louis interim coach Jim Haslett could get interest from Oakland. Raiders' owner Al Davis likes Haslett and has talked to him about a job in the past. A potential obstacle is that the last 11 coaches Davis has hired all have offensive backgrounds. Haslett is a defensive coach.

San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera's name has popped up for some potential jobs around the league,

There are many, many empty seats at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday.

Denver running back Cory Boyd is inactive. Denver's running backs Sunday will be Tatum Bell, Selvin Young and P.J. Pope.