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AFC West news and notes

12/24/2008

Posted by ESPN.com'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?