AFC West: New Orelans Saints

AFC West notes

June, 6, 2013
6/06/13
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New San Diego pass-rusher Dwight Freeney is comfortable with how the Chargers plan to use him. San Diego employs a 3-4 defense, while Freeney has excelled in 4-3 looks. However, the Chargers are multiple on passing downs and it should easily put Freeney in a position where he is comfortable.

ESPN.com columnist Jeffri Chadiha explains what new Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith offers his new teammates.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said he talked to Oakland coach Dennis Allen, who was once on Payton’s staff, about doing a combined workout in the days prior to the Raiders’ preseason game in New Orleans on Aug. 16. However, Payton said he doesn’t think the Raiders are going to do it.
Romeo Crennel might soon be back in the NFL.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the former Kansas City head coach might join New Orleans’ staff as defensive coordinator or in another role with the team. I was told recently that Crennel, 65, is still interested in coaching and would put off retirement if the right job comes up. Perhaps it will be in New Orleans.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs added former longtime NFL defensive back Al Harris to their staff as an assistant secondary coach. Harris played in Philadelphia for new coach Andy Reid, and he played in Green Bay with new Kansas City general manager John Dorsey.

The Chiefs also added Mark DeLeone as a quality control coach and kept assistant strength and conditioning coach Brent Salazar.

In other AFC West news:

The Raiders have filled their coaching staff with the hiring of longtime NFL assistant Bob Sanders as linebackers coach. He was Buffalo’s linebackers coach last season, and was Green Bay’s defensive coordinator from 2006-08. This hire gives Oakland’s staff more experience. This year’s staff, as a whole, is more experienced than last year’s staff.

Kansas City Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt told the Kansas City Star he wants to stay with the Chiefs. Like Oakland punter Shane Lechler, Colquitt is a free agent. Right now, the general consensus is Colquitt has a stronger chance of returning to his team than Lechler does.

GQ Magazine has a look at former Raiders’ defensive lineman Anthony Smith, who is accused of multiple murders.

The San Francisco Chronicle offers a transcript of a radio interview conducted by Oakland coach Dennis Allen.

Wrap-up: Ravens 55, Raiders 20

November, 11, 2012
11/11/12
6:47
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A look at an embarrassing outing for the Raiders:

What it means: The Raiders tied their team record for points allowed in a single game. They have allowed 97 points in the past two games. They are 3-6 and not improving as they go into the second half of the season.

Total domination: The Ravens started rolling early and never took their foot off the pedal. Baltimore scored on a fake field goal and a kickoff return late in the game as the rout was on.

Nowhere to run: The Raiders had 72 rushing yards on 24 carries as they played without Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. Both have high ankle sprains and could be out next week as well. Oakland simply could not establish a ground game Sunday.

Penalties a problem: Oakland was penalized 10 times for 105 yards. After improving in the area early in the season, Oakland has taken a step back again. The team set NFL records for penalties and penalty yardage last season.

What’s next: Oakland will host New Orleans on Sunday. The Saints look like they are getting it together, and they have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league.
Sports Illusrated’s Peter King said Nnamdi Asomugha took less money from the Eagles than he would have gotten elsewhere because that’s where he wanted to land. Meanwhile, New York didn’t take kindly to Asomugha spurning the Jets for the Eagles.

ESPN’s Ashley Fox thinks Asomugha could help the Eagles to the Super Bowl this season. Sounds about right.

In other AFC West nuggets on an early Saturday afternoon:

The Denver Post thinks a Kyle Orton trade to Miami is dead because Orton can’t come to a contract accord with the Dolphins. Here’s an opinion that says the deal will still get done.

There is competition at right guard in San Diego.

Second-year guard Jon Asamoah has a chance to start after the Chiefs cut long-time stalwart Brian Waters.

Drew Brees loves having Darren Sproles in New Orleans.

The Chiefs don’t think tight end Tony Moeaki will be out of practice for long.

The Raiders are getting a good look at whether tackle Jared Gaither is healthy or not. If so, he could soon be signed.

After a rocky year, San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson says he feels at “home” with the Chargers. The question is, will it be his home after this season?

The Raiders reached out to their fans in a video to say thanks for hanging in during the lockout.

NFL.com is reporting former Denver tight end Daniel Graham is visiting the Steelers.

The Chiefs signed former Northwestern receiver Zeke Markshausen. He was in the Bears’ camp last year. He will have a difficult time making the roster.

Draft Watch: AFC West

April, 7, 2011
4/07/11
12:00
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NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: history in that spot.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos’ top pick is No. 2 overall. Here are the previous seven players taken in that spot, with their NFL team in parentheses:

2010: DT Ndamukong Suh (Lions)

2009: T Jason Smith (Rams)

2008: DE Chris Long (Rams)

2007: WR Calvin Johnson (Lions)

2006: RB Reggie Bush (Saints)

2005: RB Ronnie Brown (Dolphins)

2004: OL Robert Gallery (Raiders)

ANALYSIS: This is the Broncos’ first top-five pick since 1991, when they took linebacker Mike Croel at No. 4. The Broncos would love to have the success Detroit had last year with the pick. Suh looks like a unit changer, and Denver needs a similarly dominant defender. Detroit is the only team to have great success at No. 2 in the past seven years. Along with Suh, Johnson is a fabulous player. There are some good players on this list, though, with no flat-out duds. The Rams hope to see progress in Smith and Long, who made strides in 2010.

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers’ top pick is No. 18 overall. Here are the previous seven players taken in that spot, with their NFL team in parentheses:

2010: C Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers)

2009: LB Robert Ayers (Broncos)

2008: QB Joe Flacco (Ravens)

2007: CB Leon Hall (Bengals)

2006: LB Bobby Carpenter (Cowboys)

2005: LB Erasmus James (Vikings)

2004: DE Will Smith (Saints)

ANALYSIS: This is an interesting group. It shows that teams can find franchise players at No. 18 but also that they can make a major mistake with the pick. Flacco was a tremendous value for Baltimore in 2008. Pouncey looks as if he’ll be at center in Pittsburgh for the next decade. Smith has also had a terrific career and was a solid pick at No. 18. James was a terrible pick; Carpenter wasn’t worth it; and the jury is still out on Ayers. The Chargers know they have to pick smart. They took linebacker Larry English at No. 16 in 2009 and are waiting for a payoff. It’s interesting that there are four defensive ends/linebackers on this list. That’s exactly the position the Chargers will be looking for with the No. 18 pick.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs’ top pick is No. 21 overall. Here are the previous seven players taken in that spot, with their NFL team in parentheses:

2010: TE Jermaine Gresham (Bengals)

2009: C Alex Mack (Browns)

2008: T Sam Baker (Falcons)

2007: S Reggie Nelson (Jaguars)

2006: RB Laurence Maroney (Patriots)

2005: WR Matt Jones (Jaguars)

2004: DT Vince Wilfork (Patriots)

ANALYSIS: The Chiefs are not used to drafting this low. Kansas City has picked in the top five the past three years. However, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli is plenty familiar with having the No. 21 pick. He was with New England when it had the choice in 2004 and 2006. Pioli has seen teams score with this pick and seen teams whiff with it. Wilfork was a tremendous choice, but taking Maroney was a blunder. However, the pick has paid solid dividends in recent years. This doesn’t appear to be a bad spot to be in.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders’ top pick is No. 48 overall. Here are the previous seven players taken in that spot, with their NFL team in parentheses:

2010: QB Jimmy Clausen (Panthers)

2009: S Darcel McBath (Broncos)

2008: TE Fred Davis (Redskins)

2007: LB Justin Durant (Jagaurs)

2006: DB Cedric Griffin (Vikings)

2005: LB Odell Thurman (Bengals)

2004: LB Dontarrious Thomas (Vikings)

ANALYSIS: It’s interesting that a quarterback was taken at this spot in 2010. Clausen was the third quarterback taken last year. If a quarterback such as Washington’s Jake Locker or Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett takes a similar tumble, we could see a quarterback taken at No. 48 again. This pick has been hit-or-miss, so it could be worth taking a gamble. Oakland picked at No. 47 two years ago and is still waiting for safety Mike Mitchell to develop. Last year, Oakland took defensive lineman Lamarr Houston at No. 44, and he had a terrific rookie season. In 2007, Oakland took standout tight end Zach Miller at No. 38. The Raiders know they can find talent in the second round.

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