AFC West: Matt Giordano

John Dorsey was the scout who helped bring Vonta Leach to the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2004.

So it is natural to think Dorsey, now the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, could have some interest in the fullback now that he is a free agent. The Baltimore Ravens cut Leach this week and has now been linked to the Chiefs and Broncos.

Leach's agent, Ralph Vitolo, said he talked to Dorsey this week and has not talked to the Broncos. Vitolo said Dorsey was “non-committal” but said perhaps the team could interest in Leach at some point. The Chiefs have several young fullbacks and I can see Leach getting a look if the Chiefs want a veteran presence the position.

In other AFC West notes:

The Chiefs claimed pass-rusher Austen Lane off waivers after the Jacksonville Jaguars cut him on Thursday. He was a fifth-round pick in 2010 and has 16 starts. He could be a backup outside linebacker in the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense. Defensive tackle Daniel Muir was cut to make room for Lane.

Former Oakland Raiders safety Matt Giordano has signed with the St. Louis Rams. Giordano started 22 games for Oakland over the past two seasons. Giordano was a high-effort player, but he isn’t considered a solid starter and is more of player that adds depth. The Raiders signed Charles Woodson, who is a big upgrade over Giordano.

The San Diego Chargers announced Dr. David Chao has left the team because he wants to spend more time with his family. He was under fire from the NFLPA because of malpractice allegations. He has not implicated after a recent investigation.

A group of Broncos will attend the funeral of the parents of running backs coach Eric Studesville in Madison, Wisconsin. The couple was killed last week in a motorcycle accident in Texas.
The Oakland Raiders are dealing with several injuries as they prepare to host New Orleans on Thursday.

Safety Tyvon Branch, one of the team’s better defenders, missed his second straight day of practice Thursday with a neck injury. Fellow starter Matt Giordano was limited Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice with a concussion. The Raiders will need these players as they host Drew Brees, who is leading the NFL in passing yardage.

Running back Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson continued to be out. They both suffered high ankle sprains in Week 9 and didn’t play Sunday. Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters Thursday that McFadden ran on the side with trainers. Still, he may be a long shot to play Sunday.

Two other players who are in danger of not playing against the Saints are defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee/hamstring) and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Neither practiced Thursday and Seymour missed Sunday’s game. Heyward-Bey was limited Wednesday. The Raiders did get some good injury news. Standout tight end Brandon Myers practiced fully Thursday after being limited Wednesday because of a shoulder injury and a concussion.

Meanwhile, the game will be shown locally.
It’s not shocking that Oakland running back Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are not practicing. They both suffered high-ankle sprains in Week 9 and they missed Week 10. High-ankle sprains are difficult to come back from and they often can take three to four weeks to recover.

Oakland defensive tackle Richard Seymour is also not practicing because of a hamstring problem that kept him out in Week 10. Starting safeties Tyvon Branch (neck) and Matt Giordano (concussion) are not practicing Wednesday, either. This, of course, can be a problem.

Meanwhile, the Raiders signed linebacker Omar Gaither. He has 40 starts with the Eagles and Panthers. He should be a backup in Oakland. To make room for Gaither, linebacker Travis Goethel was put on injured reserve with a knee injury. The Raiders worked out some other linebackers Tuesday, including veteran Scott McKillop.

Report: Huff starts at cornerback

September, 23, 2012
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During the week, Oakland coach Dennis Allen said Michael Huff could play some cornerback Sunday against Pittsburgh.

Apparently, Huff is going to play a lot of cornerback against the Steelers. The Contra Costa Times reported that Huff will start opposite Pat Lee on Sunday at cornerback. Matt Giordano wall take Huff’s spot at safety.

The Raiders are riddled by injury and overall depth problems at cornerback. Starters Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer are out.

The Huff move makes sense. He played cornerback at Texas and he practiced there this week. It allows Joselio Hanson to stay at nickelback, where he is more comfortable. Giordano is experienced at safety, so this decision strengthens the Raiders’ secondary in an emergency situation.
We continue to do our positional rankings with a deep secondary group:

1. Champ Bailey, Denver: The future Hall of Famer continues to play at a high level.

2. Eric Berry, Kansas City: I expect him to be a star after injuring his knee in Week 1 last year.

3. Eric Weddle, San Diego: Weddle is becoming a premier playmaker.

4. Brandon Flowers, Kansas City: One of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. An unheralded standout.

5. Tyvon Branch, Oakland: He is a tackle machine. The Raiders will do what it takes to keep him for the long run.

6. Stanford Routt, Kansas City: Now that he is a No. 2 cornerback again, expect his play to increase.

7. Tracy Porter, Denver: The Broncos think they got a steal in free agency.

8. Quentin Jammer, San Diego: The Chargers need a bounce-back season from Jammer.

9. Michael Huff, Oakland: He makes a lot of plays and he gives up a lot of plays.

10. Antoine Cason, San Diego: A solid No. 2 corner.

11. Kendrick Lewis, Kansas City: Many scouts think he has a real future.

12. Michael Adams, Denver: He should be a solid addition to a solid secondary.

13. Ronald Bartell, Oakland: The Raiders have to hope his neck issues are a thing of the past.

14. Atari Bigby, San Diego: The Chargers like what they see from this veteran so far.

15. Drayton Florence, Denver: He brings solid experience to the nickel position.

16. Shawntae Spencer, Oakland: Let’s see if he can fend off the youngsters for the starting gig.

17. Quinton Carter, Denver: I think the safety has a real future.

18. Javier Arenas, Kansas City: There’s a place in this terrific secondary for Arenas.

19. Chris Harris, Denver: The undrafted free-agent find in 2011 is a fine player.

20. Matt Giordano, Oakland: He’s limited, but he can make some plays in a pinch.

21. Mike Mitchell, Oakland: I would like to see this former second-round pick make more of an impact.

22. Brandon Taylor, San Diego: The Chargers may have something in this third-round pick.

23. Rahim Moore, Denver: He has to regain his confidence after a shaky rookie year.

24. Marcus Gilchrist, San Diego: He has potential, but he’s still learning.

25. Darrell Stuckey, San Diego: He will have to compete for playing time.

26. Chimdi Chekwa, Oakland: I think he could push Spencer for a starting spot.

27. Jalil Brown, Kansas City: He has some potential.

28. DeMarcus Van Dyke, Oakland: he has to show he is more than just fast.

29. DeQuan Menzie, Kansas City: Late-round pick knows how to play the game.
The Oakland Raiders are bringing back safety Matt Giordano.

He is a solid backup and started nine games last season with five interceptions. He is a decent playmaker who will have a place in the team’s plans.

Giordano also has a history with the two most important men in the organization. He was in Green Bay in 2009 with new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie and he was in New Orleans in 2010, where his position coach was new Oakland coach Dennis Allen. This is a nice depth move by the Raiders.

In other AFC West news:

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller was one of Tim Tebow’s biggest supporters last season and he remains in his former teammate’s corner. Miller predicted Tebow will become the Jets’ starting quarterback in 2012. Denver swapped Tebow to New York a day after signing Peyton Manning.

As expected, Dwayne Bowe was not at the Chiefs’ first day of the offseason program Monday. He is one of several unsigned franchised players staying away. It is pretty normal and is not a worrisome development.

One player to watch

September, 15, 2011
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Let’s take a look at one player from each AFC West team to watch in Week 2:

Denver, Eric Decker, receiver: He was one of the few bright spots for Denver. The second-year receiver gave Denver its biggest spark when he returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown Monday night against Oakland. He added three catches for 53 yards. He has ability, so expect Denver to play him more and more.

Kansas City, Jamaal Charles, running back: Charles had 56 yards on 10 carries in the Chiefs’ blowout loss to Buffalo. Charles, who lost a fumble in the game, didn’t get a chance to get going because the Chiefs were playing from behind all game. The Chiefs, who led the NFL in rushing last season, must control the ground to win. Let’s see if Charles can get into a rhythm Sunday at Detroit.

Oakland, Matt Giordano, safety: This is an out-of-the-box pick. Signed and cut this year, Giordano was recently re-signed. He had a big game against the Broncos. Playing more than expected because of an injury to starter Michael Huff, Giordano had a forced fumble and interception in Oakland’s win. The Raiders already have room for guys who are going to make plays.

San Diego, Vincent Jackson, receiver: Jackson didn’t do much against Minnesota last week. He had had two catches for 31 yards. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers did miss Jackson for a sure touchdown, though. I don’t think Jackson’s slow start is a sign of anything. The Chargers have a lot of weapons, and sometimes not everyone will be involved. Expect him to get more action at New England.

Best in the West

September, 14, 2011
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Here is a look at the division leaders in some key statistical categories after Week 1:

Passing yards

Player: Philip Rivers, San Diego.

Yards: 335

What does it mean: Rivers wasn’t sharp for the entire game, but he was when the Chargers most needed him to be.

Rushing yards

Player: Darren McFadden, Oakland

Yards: 150

What does it mean: The brilliant McFadden leads the NFL in rushing.

Receptions

Player: Brandon Lloyd, Denver

Yards: 89

What does it mean: Lloyd wants to show 2010 wasn’t a fluke.

Tackles

Player: Takeo Spikes, San Diego

Total: 11

What does it mean: The fiery inside linebacker had a tremendous debut for the Chargers.

Sacks

Player: Richard Seymour, Oakland

Sacks: 2

What does it mean: He is the leader of a dynamic front four.

Interceptions

Player: Matt Giordano, Oakland; Shaun Phillips, San Diego; Brandon Flowers, Kansas City

Interceptions: 1

What does it mean: It’s way too early to tell.

Raiders cut Michael Bennett

September, 5, 2011
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The Raiders made a minor roster move Monday.

They cut veteran running back Michael Bennett and signed safety Matt Giordano. He was in camp with the team.

The Raiders are deep at running back and keeping Bennett was seen as a luxury. With safety Mike Mitchell still injured, the Raiders need depth at safety. Tight end Kevin Boss remains injured. So, there will be questions of whether he can play in next Monday night's season opener at Denver.

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