AFC West: Turk McBride

Draft Watch: AFC West

March, 17, 2011
3/17/11
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: draft rewind -- examining the past five drafts.

Denver Broncos

Best choice: Elvis Dumervil, defensive end/linebacker.The Broncos have had an uneven drafting history in the past five years. Many of Denver’s better picks are no longer with the team. Dumervil was a safe choice. He has been a very productive player since Denver took him the fourth round in 2006. Dumervil led the NFL with 17 sacks in 2009. He missed all of last season with a pectoral injury. But he is considered a cornerstone of Denver’s defense as it begins the John Fox era.

Worst choice: Alphonso Smith, cornerback. There are a lot of candidates here, but I had to go with Smith. He edged out 2007 No. 17 overall pick Jarvis Moss, who was cut last season. Smith is the choice because he lasted one season in Denver and he cost the Broncos the No. 14 overall pick in 2010. Former Denver coach Josh McDaniels fell for Smith when he dropped to the second round in 2009. McDaniels, running his first NFL draft, traded the team’s first-round pick in 2010 to take Smith. He was replaced four times as a rookie, including by an undrafted rookie. Denver finally dumped him off to Detroit on the final cut-down day last year.

On the bubble: Knowshon Moreno, running back. There are a few choices here, but Moreno has to make immediate strides. The No. 12 overall pick in 2009 has had a slow start to his career. He’s had his moments, but he’s been plagued by injuries and an overall lack of productivity. If he doesn’t progress in 2011, the Broncos may have to make other plans at tailback.

Kansas City Chiefs

Best choice: Jamaal Charles, running back. Charles was a wonderful parting gift from the Carl Peterson era. He was part of Peterson’s final draft in Kansas City and was he a doozy. He was taken in the third round, with the No. 73 overall pick in 2008. The pick was acquired from Minnesota in the Jared Allen trade. Charles has developed into one of the best running backs in the NFL. He is a big reason why the Chiefs were a worst-to-first story in 2010.

Worst choice: Turk McBride, defensive lineman. The Chiefs haven’t had many overtly horrible picks in the past five years. I’m going with McBride because he was a second-round pick, No. 54 overall, in 2007. The defensive lineman spent his second season on the injured reserve and was cut in 2009.

On the bubble: Tyson Jackson, defensive end. Jackson had potential to make Kansas City fans forget about McBride. The defensive end was the No. 3 overall pick in 2009. He hasn’t done much in two seasons. Still, the Chiefs are hopeful that the earnest Jackson will develop into a good player. He will have time to prove himself, but he will be watched closely.

Oakland Raiders

Best choice: Zach Miller, tight end. The Raiders’ 2007 draft will always be remembered for the colossal JaMarcus Russell mistake. But the Raiders did find a gem with their very next pick. They took Miller in the second round with the No. 38 overall choice. Miller has developed into one of the better young tight ends in the NFL. He is a top offensive weapon.

Worst choice: JaMarcus Russell, quarterback. I didn’t have to do much debating on this one. Russell is considered by many league observers to be the worst draft pick of all time. He never improved and the Raiders gave up on him last spring at the age of 24. Russell is still out of the league.

On the bubble: Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver. The No. 7 overall pick in 2009 needs to start producing on a consistent basis and he needs to show he can catch the ball. If not, Heyward-Bey will fall further behind Oakland’s other, more productive young receivers. Heyward-Bey has only 35 catches in 26 NFL games.

San Diego Chargers

Best choice: Marcus McNeill, left tackle. The Chargers have some solid picks in the past five years, but I’m going to go with McNeill. He is not an elite left tackle, but he is a very solid player who is a strong anchor to the offensive line. He is the long-term answer for San Diego at a key spot. San Diego is getting a lot of value for the No. 50 overall pick in 2006.

Worst choice: Buster Davis, wide receiver. The Chargers haven’t whiffed badly on a lot of picks in the past five years. But it looks as if Davis may not ever pan out as a Charger. He was the team’s first-round pick in 2007, No. 30 overall. His biggest issue has been staying healthy. He finally showed some promise last year, but he missed the final nine games with an injury. He has played only 26 games in four seasons.

On the bubble: Larry English, linebacker. English is the fourth 2009 first-round pick to make this list. Like the other three players, it’s time for English to show he can help his team. The Chargers took the Northern Illinois linebacker at No. 16 because of his high motor and ability to rush the passer. English, who already is 25, has only five sacks in two NFL seasons. He missed eight games because of injury in 2010. The Chargers probably will draft a pass-rusher in the first round, so English will have to fight for playing time in 2011.

Turk McBride claimed off waivers

September, 16, 2009
9/16/09
6:40
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


As expected, Turk McBride wasn’t out of work long.

A day after surprisingly being cut in Kansas City, the former second-round pick was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Lions have the first claiming priority in the NFL.

McBride is reunited with defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. He was with Kansas City when the Chiefs made McBride a second-round pick in 2007.

It makes sense McBride reunited with someone from the previous Kansas City regime, because the new regime didn’t want anything to do with him.

McBride’s time in Kansas City was put on notice after he was moved to linebacker from defensive end when the Chiefs transitioned to a 3-4 defense. The switch never worked and McBride was jettisoned.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if he flourishes in a familiar setting with Cunningham.

Around the AFC West

June, 2, 2009
6/02/09
2:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

Brandon Marshall's agent says the receiver is staying away from the team mostly for health reasons.

My take: Whatever Marshall's reason for staying away from the team may not make Denver happy. It could make the team reluctant to give Marshall a raise. The idea that Marshall would rather get medical help elsewhere than his own training room could create a sticky situation.

Kansas City

Defensive linemen Turk McBride and Tamba Hali are now linebackers.

My take: The adjustment period could, indeed, be long. Both of these players are dramatically changing their positions. With Kansas City transitioning to a 3-4 defense, the moves are predictable. Still, don't expect the transition to be completely clean. It could take a while.

Oakland

The Raiders have been relatively calm this offseason.

My take: There was plenty of drama in the AFC West this offseason but most of it was outside of Oakland. The Raiders need this dose of stability. There has been rocky times in Oakland in recent years. Perhaps a fairly quiet offseason will help the team transition away from its losing ways.

San Diego

Shawne Merriman continues to feel good about his return from a knee injury.

My take: By all accounts, Merriman will be ready to practice in training camp and will be ready to play at the beginning of the regular season. Merriman has been working diligently and is bursting for the chance to play again after missing 15 games last season.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Chiefs coach on the spot: Defensive line coach Tim Krumrie.

The Chiefs need improved play on the defensive line. Kansas City set an NFL record for fewest sacks in a season, with 10 in 2008. If the Chiefs, who have won a total of six games in the past two years, are going to improve in the first year of the Scott Pioli-Todd Haley regime, the defensive line has to get better.

Krumrie is one of the few holdovers from the Herm Edwards era. He has to get more production from his unit as it moves to a 3-4 defense.

The only major addition is Tyson Jackson, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the April draft. Jackson is considered a strong run stopper but not a strong pass rusher. Krumrie had to meld together Jackson with Glenn Dorsey, Tamba Hali (when he's not playing linebacker), Tank Tyler and Turk McBride to make a strong line rotation.

If not, the Chiefs' defense will be a sieve once again.

Chiefs' McBride done for the season

November, 19, 2008
11/19/08
6:48
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Chiefs lost another player to a season-ending injury when defensive end Turk McBride was put on injured reserve.

The Chiefs were hopeful McBride would be able to play through a shoulder injury, but it hasn't improved. It is a hit both now and for the future. The second-player player has a lot of promise and he will miss valuable experience in the final six games this season.

Defensive end will surely be an area Kansas City tries to upgrade in the offense. The Chiefs have a league low six sacks this season. McBride has one career sack in 10 NFL starts. He had three sacks in the preseason this summer.

Meanwhile, running back/return man Dantrell Savage was cut. He is a candidate to go to the practice squad.

AFC West news and notes

November, 17, 2008
11/17/08
9:19
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here are some AFC West news and notes on a Monday night:

The Denver Broncos' game at the New York Jets on Nov. 30 has been moved to 4:15 p.m. ET.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs are slowly getting healthy. Coach Herman Edwards said defensive starters Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Brandon Flowers have a chance to play Sunday against Buffalo. However, fellow defensive starters Pat Thomas and Turk McBride may not be ready to meet the Bills.

In Oakland, there were several interesting developments.

Penalty-prone tackle Kwame Harris has regained his spot in the starting lineup. Harris has not been terrific but his replacement has not been so great.

Receiver Ronald Curry is still not sure of his future in Oakland despite having a good game in Miami on Sunday. Curry questioned why he needed to get information from owner Al Davis and not coach Tom Cable. As always, there's drama in Oakland.

Curry has been a decent player and Oakland needs an offensive spark. He should be treated well in Oakland.

Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell was with the team Monday despite a death in the family. He was informed about it after the loss to Miami.

Cable wants backup running back Michael Bush to be open to playing fullback. Bush has not been overly thrilled about the idea but it may be his best chance of getting on the field. Bush has gotten few opportunities as a tailback.

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday he is close to getting a contract extension to stay at the school. His name has been contacted to the likely opening in Oakland after the season.

AFC West injury report

November, 13, 2008
11/13/08
9:20
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

After practice, Broncos left cornerback Champ Bailey told reporters he isn't completely healed but there is a chance he can play Sunday at Atlanta. Denver coach Mike Shanahan said that Bailey is the type of player who doesn't need a large amount of practice to play.

Bailey was limited in his participation Thursday, but it was an unexpected boost for Denver. Bailey didn't participate Wednesday and he has been out since suffering a serious groin injury Oct. 20 at New England. When he was hurt, the diagnosis was that he'd be out 4-6 weeks. It will be 27 days between the Patriots game and Sunday's game at Atlanta.

Earlier in the week, it seemed like there was no chance of Bailey facing the Falcons, so this is certainly progress. If Bailey can't play against Atlanta, undrafted rookie Josh Bell or Karl Paymah will likely take his place.

Meanwhile, running back Selvin Young didn't practice for the second straight day and he likely won't play Sunday because of a nagging groin injury.

Kansas City

Defensive end Turk McBride was taken off the injury report. He could play Sunday against New Orleans. However, other defensive starters, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Pat Thomas, look like they may not play Sunday.

Oakland

It looks more and more like quarterback JaMarcus Russell (knee) and running back Darren McFadden (turf toes) will play at Miami on Sunday. Russell missed one game and McFadden has missed the past three games. Meanwhile, defensive end Derrick Burgess wasn't on the practice field to start practice despite indications earlier in the week he could play Sunday. Burgess has missed the past five games with a triceps injury.

San Diego

The only changes of note Thursday were that backup receiver Buster Davis (groin) and backup linebacker Marques Harris (hamstring) didn't practice.

Chiefs add to battered D-line

November, 12, 2008
11/12/08
2:01
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Kansas City Chiefs took a step toward aiding a hemorrhaging defensive roster by signing former first-rounder Jason Babin.

The defensive end will likely play Sunday against visiting New Orleans. Babin was a first-round pick of Houston's in 2004. He was cut by Seattle earlier its season. Babin has had several workouts in the past several weeks.

Kansas City grabbed Babin in an emergency situation. Starting defensive end Turk McBride and backup Brian Johnston may have serious injuries and starter Tamba Hali may miss some time. Backup Alfonso Boone and recently signed Wallace Gilberry are expected to play a lot.

Babin will have to get a crash course in Kansas City's system. But he is experienced. He has played in 47 games and has started 22 games.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs added linebacker Kyle Shotwell to the practice squad. Since entering the league as an undrafted free agent from Cal Poly S.L.O., Shotwell has spent time on the practice squad or been in training camp with Oakland, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Minnesota and Tampa Bay.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Around the AFC West where Larry Johnson is back in Kansas City and Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has been stripped of his play-calling duties:

Denver
The Broncos' linebackers are all hurt.

My take: There isn't a team in the NFL dealing with as many injuries as the Broncos. The Broncos have lost three running backs in the past week and all three of their starting linebackers are hurt. Boss Bailey is out for the season and D.J. Williams and Nate Webster will likely miss two or three more games. Star cornerback Champ Bailey will likely miss at least one more game. Undrafted rookie Josh Bell and veteran Karl Paymah could play in Bailey's place. Denver is banged up.

Kansas City
Larry Johnson is back with the club.

My take: It's time for Kansas City to allow Johnson back. He was punished for three games by the team and then one game by the NFL for off-field issues. Since he was inactivate and suspended for three games by the Chiefs, Johnson missed just one game check and that came when he was suspended by the league for the San Diego game.

Four games away from the team is a stuff penalty. Johnson now has seven games remaining with the Chiefs to show the team that he is worth keeping around in 2009. Johnson is probably gone after this season. But if he plays well, he could change the team's mind. It will be interesting to see what Kansas City's offense is like with Tyler Thigpen and Johnson in the same backfield. Thigpen is best suited for the spread offense where the running game is a second option. The Chiefs will have to find a way to get the most out of both Thigpen and Johnson.

The Chiefs' defense is beat up.

My Take: If the Chiefs lose Turk McBride for the season it will hurt. He is a big part of the defense. The Chiefs were playing without several starters against San Diego. That's why Chiefs coach Herman Edwards decided to go for two points and try to win the game in the final minute. After the loss, Edwards said his defense just wasn't healthy enough to go to overtime.

Oakland
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has been stripped of his play-calling duties.

My take: You can't argue with this team trying to change its offensive fortunes. Oakland hasn't scored a touchdown in three games and it was two games between trips to the end zone before that. Oakland has scored a league-low 113 points this season. Apparently, interim coach Tom Cable is calling the plays now. Oakland is a mess and the play calling is just a part of it. But you can't argue with it. The Raiders weren't scoring under Knapp, who will likely end up on Jim Mora's staff in Seattle next year, so a change is understandable.

San Diego
The Chargers' run game isn't right.

My take: LaDainian Tomlinson said this week the running game isn't working as well as it should be. He said he is healthy from a turf toe injury he suffered in Week 1. Still, Tomlinson had just 78 yards on 22 carries against Kansas City on Sunday. I think the Chargers need to use both Tomlinson and backup Daren Sproles. He has a nice burst and he is an excellent change of pace back. I'm not saying Sproles should take carries away from Tomlinson. The Chargers need to force the issue and create caries for both. With Sproles in the mix, it will take pressure of Tomlinson and help create opportunities for him.

Injuries piling up for the Chiefs

November, 9, 2008
11/09/08
5:09
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- The Chiefs' delicate backfield took another hit.

Rookie running back Jamaal Charles, who had a 100-yard rushing game last week, is out with an ankle injury. His status to return is questionable. Expect the Chiefs to rely heavily on the passing game the rest of the game.

Dantrell Savage, primarily a returner, is the Chiefs tailback. Jackie Battle is the backup with Charles out. Charles was starting because Kolby Smith is out for the year with a knee injury and Larry Johnson is serving an NFL suspension for one game. Johnson was inactivated by the team for the last three games. He will likely return next week at home against New Orleans.

Kansas City middle linebacker Pat Thomas is out with a thigh injury. His return is questionable. He was replaced by Weston Dacus. Now, Kansas City is without four defensive starters: Thomas, outside linebacker Derrick Johnson, defensive end Turk McBride and cornerback Brandon Flowers.

Pregame notes from San Diego

November, 9, 2008
11/09/08
3:42
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- Here are some pre-game notes from the Chiefs-Chargers game:

It is 63 degrees, cloudy and very windy in San Diego. Kicking and punting could be an issue.

The Chiefs are playing without three defensive starters because of injuries. Defensive end Turk McBride, outside linebacker Derrick Johnson and cornerback Brandon Flowers are all inactive.

Alfonso Boone will start for McBride, Rocky Boiman for start for Johnson and Maurice Leggett will play for Flowers.

San Diego's Cletis Gordon will start in place of Antonio Cromartie at cornerback. Cromartie, who has not played well this season, has been dealing with a hip injury and is active. If Gordon plays well in the first game under new defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, perhaps he will play more.

Receiver Malcolm Floyd will start for Chris Chambers, who is dealing with a nagging ankle injury. Chambers is active.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson


Here is an injury update around the AFC West where the questionable status of Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell is the injury story of the day.

Kansas City
Rookie cornerback Brandon Flowers took a step back and didn't practice Friday. He is questionable with a thigh injury. Linebacker Derrick Johnson didn't practice all week as he is listed as questionable to will play Sunday at San Diego. He has a thigh injury that knocked him out of Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay.

Defensive end Turk McBride is also questionable and he didn't practice Friday because of a shoulder injury. The Chiefs' challenge of upsetting San Diego would be heightened greatly without these defenders.

Oakland
Russell didn't practice Friday and he is listed as questionable to face the visiting Carolina Panthers. Russell is dealing with a bout of knee tendonitis that he had while in college at LSU. Russell missed the final eight plays of practice Thursday. Oakland interim coach Tom Cable said he was hopeful Russell can play but Russell will be a game-time decision.

If not, backup Andrew Walter is set to play. He has been limited by a calf sprain this week but he told reporters he could play if Russell can't.

Russell has been struggling but the Raiders would be better off with him in the lineup. He needs all the playing experience he can get.

Meanwhile, rookie tailback Darren McFadden didn't practice because of turf toes on both feet. He has missed the past two games. McFadden is listed as questionable along with defensive end Derrick Burgess who has a triceps injury. He has missed the past four games.

San Diego
The Chargers are in good shape.

Defensive tackle Jamal Williams was the only player not to practice Friday. He has an illness but he is listed as probable. Receiver Chris Chambers (ankle) and cornerback Antonio Cromartie (hip) both practiced fully Friday. They are probable. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson is off the injury report after dealing with a turf toe injury since opening day.

AFC West injury report

November, 6, 2008
11/06/08
8:42
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Kansas City
  • Linebacker Derrick Johnson looks like he will not play on Sunday at San Diego unless he has an unexpected turnaround. He missed his second straight day of practice with a thigh injury that caused him to leave Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay.
  • Safety Jarrad Page (groin) and cornerback Patrick Surtain (quad) also did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.
  • Defensive and Turk McBride was limited Thursday with a shoulder injury.
  • Punter Dustin Colquitt and cornerback Brandon Flowers practiced fully on Thursday.

Oakland

  • Safety Michael Huff didn't practice because of a hip injury.
  • Running back Darren McFadden was limited in practice for the second straight day. He has missed the last two games with turf toe injuries on both feet. It looks like McFadden has a chance to play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
  • Quarterback JaMarcus Russell missed the end of practice Thursday with a knee injury. It's not believed to be serious.
  • Safety Gibril Wilson was back at practice Thursday. He has been dealing with a groin injury.

San Diego

  • Receiver Chris Chambers and cornerback Antonio Cromartie practiced on a limited basis Thursday after they both did not practice Wednesday. Chambers has been dealing with an ankle injury and Cromartie has a nagging hip injury.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Oakland defensive end Kalimba Edwards was fined $7,500 by the NFL for a horse collar tackle against San Diego in the Raiders' 28-18 loss last Sunday.

Edwards was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after bringing down San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers with a horse-collar tackle late in the second quarter. Edwards was penalized for a horse-collar tackle at Kansas City in Week 2 but he wasn't fined for that play.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post is reporting that Kansas City defensive lineman Turk McBride was fined $5,000 for a hit on Denver quarterback Jay Cutler in the Chiefs' upset win Sunday.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Kansas City

Oakland

  • Darren McFadden and Javon Walker practiced today. It looks like McFadden will play at Buffalo despite a toe injury. Justin Fargas is likely out.

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