AFC West: Ty Warren

The Broncos worked out defensive tackle Brian Price Wednesday after losing Ty Warren for the season, Price’s agent confirmed.

Price, 23, was cut by the Bears this summer after he had been traded from Tampa Bay. Price, a second-round pick out of UCLA in 2010, was one of three defensive tackles Denver brought in. The Broncos haven't signed him yet. Price could be on the Broncos' radar in the coming weeks if they feel a need at the position.

Warren tore his triceps Sunday night against the Steelers and was put on injured reserve. He suffered the same injury last season and it's the third straight season Warren has been put on injured reserve.

In other AFC West news:
  • ESPN’s experts think it may be a pretty good week for the AFC West.
  • According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Chiefs are tied with the Browns for the worst record in Weeks 1 and 2 since 2000. They are 7-18 in that time span. The Chiefs lost to Atlanta in Week 1 and play at Buffalo on Sunday.
  • The Raiders worked out six long-snappers this week before signing Nick Guess to the practice squad. Guess will likely be added to the roster this weekend if Jon Condo is not cleared after suffering a concussion Monday night against the Chargers.
San Diego coach Norv Turner said Tuesday that running back Ryan Mathews could be cleared for contact as soon as Wednesday, but he made no promises. Mathews has been targeting a Sunday return against Tennessee. He broke his clavicle Aug. 9. Left tackle Jared Gaither is still expected to miss more time with a back injury. He has been out all summer.

Turner and Philip Rivers talks about the Charger victory in Oakland in a video, while Oakland coach Dennis Allen discuses the loss in a video.

In other AFC West news:

The Raiders announce the contract for fullback Marcel Reece has been completed. It was reported that the deal was almost done Monday. Like I wrote Monday, it’s a good move for the Raiders. Reece is a valuable, versatile player.

The Broncos made some expected moves Tuesday. They signed center Dan Koppen and re-signed quarterback Caleb Hanie and placed defensive tackle Ty Warren with his third season-ending injury in three years, He tore his triceps Sunday night against Pittsburgh. Koppen, the former starter in New England, will be a backup center.

The Chiefs reportedly cut linebacker Cameron Sheffield to make room for linebacker Tamba Hali. Hali served a one-day NFL suspension.
Ty Warren’s horrible health luck has continued.

The Denver defensive lineman suffered a torn triceps in the first half of the season opener against Pittsburgh on Sunday night, coach John Fox said Monday. Warren, 31, missed the two previous seasons with injuries. He is likely out for this season as well.

He took a pay cut to come back to Denver this year. He was going to be a part of the defensive line rotation. Warren’s injury will hurt some, but Denver has become fairly deep at defensive tackle, so it should be able to withstand his loss. Because of his injury history, Denver wasn’t overly counting on Warren to play a ton of snaps every game.

Meanwhile, Fox said backup quarterback Caleb Hanie will be re-signed. He was cut Saturday in a procedural move. Denver now will not have to guarantee his money for this season.

In other AFC West news:

Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel indicated cornerback Brandon Flowers will be able to practice this week. He was limited all of last week and was inactive because of a lingering foot injury. I’d be surprised if Flowers didn’t play Sunday at Buffalo. Safety Kendrick Lewis, though, will likely miss another game with a shoulder injury.

The Chiefs will face the Bills without standout running back Fred Jackson, who injured his knee in a loss to the Jets on Sunday.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – It appears Denver Broncos fans are over the loss of Tim Tebow.

Manning-mania is bubbling over in the Rockies.

The Denver Broncos opened training camp Thursday morning to a fan reception never seen before in these parts. An estimated 4,000-plus attended the opening day of practice to welcome Peyton Manning to Denver in his first public appearance in a Broncos helmet. The word is that late-arriving fans were having a difficult time getting into the practice.

The main parking lot adjacent to the practice field was full well before practice begin and people were forced to park a mile away from the facility.

The previous record for training camp at the team’s facility was just more than 3,000. Yes, even Tebow-mania couldn’t attract this type of crowd.

Manning received a huge reception when he hit the practice field, and his every completion spurred wild applause. Several fans were wearing Manning Denver jerseys; some were wearing Manning Indianapolis jerseys.

Meanwhile, in other Denver camp news, second-year safety Rahim Moore opened with the first-team defense. He will compete with fellow second-team safety Quinton Carter. Also, veteran defensive tackle Ty Warren was working with the first-team defense. Prior to Warren recommitting to the team in June, Sealver Siliga worked with the first team.
Here are some highlights of our AFC West chat, which was held earlier Thursday:

Denver

Chad from Denver: Hey Bill, looking forward to seeing you at Broncos camp again. The Broncos have been criticized by some for not addressing their DT position, even Derek Wolfe is projected more as a power end. Is this an indication they feel good about a player like Sealver Siliga, who they have developed on their practice squad?

Bill Williamson: I think Wolfe will bounce back and forth. I think the unit is going to be OK, It's not great, but it's OK. There is some depth there. Bannan and Warren will help. As for Siliga, I hate relying on unproven players, but he has looked good so far. But he has to show it in the preseason. Ben Garland is someone to watch. Again, there are no great anchors here, but there are enough capable bodies.

Kansas City

Tae from Dallas: With everyone bashing Cassel, what will he need to do in order to have a "successful" season?

BW: He has to work with what he has, not turn the ball over and rely on his running game ... and get to the playoffs.

Oakland

Johnny from RI: Bill, do you think the Raiders change to the WCO is less about Palmer and more about surrounding cast, including Pryor? Do you think Palmer's knee will hold up to the needed mobility to run this offense effectively?

BW: It all starts with the starting quarterback and Allen's decision to hire Knapp is no different. Allen told me in an interview that he thought Knapp and Palmer would be a perfect pair and that's one of the reasons why he hired Knapp.

San Diego

Charger boy from San Diego: What’s the news on safety Brandon Taylor is he going to contribute and how does he look in practice?

BW: He is a player to watch. I think he has a chance to be a stand out. Right now, though, the Chargers like free-agent pickup Atari Bigby as a starter. Taylor should get some playing time and he should play on special teams. But I expect Bigby to start this year. He has impressed the team this spring.

Mailbag: Marcel Reece's role

June, 20, 2012
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Mid-week mail call:

Nollskie from Oklahoma City wants to know what we should expect from Kansas City's sixth-round pick, running back Cyrus Gray.

Bill Williamson: He is a long-term prospect. But he is a pretty highly-rated player. With Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis both expected to get a lot of carries, there may not be much room for Gray. But if he earns some carries, they will give him a look and he should get some special-teams playing time. I’m interested in seeing what he can do.

Gabe Spiegel from South Florida wants to know what kind of impact Oakland fullback Marcel Reece will have this year.

BW: They are going to use this guy. He is not your typical fullback. He can do so many things. I see him being a big part of this offense. He can help as a runner and as a receiver. Also, he can play tight end in some situations. Reece is an under-the-radar player who makes his team better.

Tyler from Hamilton, Ont., wants to know what kind of impact Denver defensive tackle Ty Warren can have this season.

BW: He will be part of the rotation on the defensive line. He has missed the past two seasons and he is 31. So, I think the Broncos will play it safe and be grateful for anything they can get from him at this point.

Ranking the defensive linemen

June, 11, 2012
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We continue our AFC West positional rankings with a very young and overly unproven group of defensive linemen:

1. Richard Seymour, Oakland: Seymour is aging, his play is slipping some and this may be his last year in Oakland. But he is still at the top of this list.

2. Elvis Dumervil, Denver: A dynamic pass-rusher who is a game changer.

3. Tommy Kelly, Oakland: Underrated player. He may play nose tackle in 3-4 looks.

4. Lamarr Houston, Oakland: A potential star has ability to take over.

5. Glenn Dorsey, Kansas City: He was supposed to be great. He’s not, but he’s solid.

6. Matt Shaughnessy, Oakland: The Raiders missed this pass-rusher when he was injured last year.

7. Tyson Jackson, Kansas City: See Dorsey.

8. Robert Ayers, Denver: He became a solid player against the run last season.

9. Corey Liuget, San Diego: The Chargers expect big things from him in his second season.

10. Dontari Poe, Kansas City: Let’s see what this immensely talented rookie can do.

11. Cam Thomas, San Diego: An underrated player. He has a real future.

12. Antonio Garay, San Diego: It was important that the Chargers re-signed this rotational standout.

13. Vaughn Martin, San Diego: The Chargers think he has a chance to flourish soon.

14. Derek Wolfe, Denver: The second-round pick will be given the chance to make an instant impact.

15. Justin Bannan, Denver: A valuable rotational piece.

16. Luis Castillo, San Diego: The Chargers think he can still help.

17. Dave Tollefson, Oakland: A valuable backup on a strong line.

18. Jacques Cesaire, San Diego: The veteran is heady and he can make plays.

19. Desmond Bryant, Oakland: A solid part of the Raiders’ line.

20. Ty Warren, Denver: The Broncos hope he can make an impact after missing the past two seasons.

21. Kevin Vickerson, Denver: He gained weight to help in the middle.

22. Jason Hunter, Denver: A limited player, who has some play-making ability.

23. Allen Bailey, Kansas City: The Chiefs think he can develop quickly.

24. Kendall Reyes, San Diego: I wouldn’t be surprised if this second-round pick makes some plays right away.
The restructured contract upon which the Denver Broncos and Ty Warren agreed Wednesday was a mutually beneficial one.

Warren
Warren, who signed with Denver last summer, has missed the past two seasons due to injury. He had long considered the proposed reduction.

Warren will be in the rotation at the defensive tackle position if he can stay healthy -- giving Denver much-needed depth. The 31-year-old knows this new deal is a win for everyone involved.

“I thought my job is to always look out for the well-being of my family, and the team’s job is to look out for the well-being of the team,” Warren told reporters in Denver. “Ultimately, we were able to find out what was most important to each side.”

AFC West notes

May, 13, 2012
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Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson has accepted a pay cut, but fellow lineman Ty Warren is balking at a similar offer from the team, according to the Denver Post.

Warren will likely be cut from the team if he doesn't accept the offer. He has not played a down for Denver and was hurt all of last season. He will be a rotational player if he is kept.

The Kansas City Chiefs hope to sit their rookie offensive linemen in 2012. It would continue a recent trend by the team.

The Oakland Raiders tried out several players during the weekend’s rookie minicamp.
I gave Denver Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy with the No. 25 pick of our live bloggers mock draft earlier Monday.

At about the same time, Denver football czar John Elway was telling reporters that the Broncos are not necessarily going to take a defensive tackle. It has been widely considered that it will be the team’s first target area. Not so fast, says Elway.

“We don’t feel as bad about our tackles as everybody else does,” Elway said in a pre-daft news conference. “I think that we feel OK there and Ty Warren will be back coming off an injury and (Kevin) Vickerson is coming back and then we have some young guys in there where we feel like we’ll be OK. It’s not nearly the need in our minds that people think it is.”

Still, at some point early in the draft I think Denver will, at least, consider talking a player at the spot. Elway said Denver will take the best player available when they chose and they are wide open at this point.

“We’re going to go in and continue as we get closer if we hear some things about going up or down, we’ll look at everything” Elway said. “We’ll continue to work on our board, set our board, do our mock drafts, see how things might fall. Again, we don’t have a mindset of exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to have to wait and see until we get close to that pick at No. 25 and see how the board falls, we’ll never know. It’s a mindset that we want to find the guy that is going to come in and have an impact when it is offensively or defensively.”
Midweek mail call:

Brandon from Kansas wants to know if I think the Chiefs really plan to make a run at Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the first round of the draft.

Bill Williamson: I’d be surprised. The Chiefs’ first-round pick is at No.11. I think the latest Tannehill will last is No. 8 at Miami. Thus, the Chiefs will have to get up to No. 7. I’m not sure the Chiefs need a quarterback that badly. I think we could see the Chiefs take someone such as Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden or Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler in the second round at No. 44.


Lee from Denver wants to know if Denver defensive tackle Ty Warren will be back in 2012.

BW: He certainly is an option. The problem is he has missed the past two NFL seasons. He had a hip injury in 2010 with New England and he missed his first season in Denver with a triceps injury. At 31, he is certainly fresh and if he is healthy, he can help the Broncos at their biggest need position. But Denver better not count on a player who has missed the past two seasons. Whatever they can get from him will be a bonus.


David from Redlands wants to know if the Raiders could use the No. 95 pick on Utah State running back Robert Turbin.

BW: I think No. 95 may be a little high for Turbin, and the Raiders have other more immediate needs. But he could be an intriguing prospect at the end of the fourth or fifth rounds for Oakland. The East Bay native is a sleeper who has good size, speed and college game film. He’d be a fine addition in Oakland at the right spot.

Denver Broncos: Moving on

January, 16, 2012
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With the Denver Broncos' season over after a 9-9 season, let’s look at five keys for the Broncos as they move forward:

The quarterback: It is expected to be Tim Tebow’s job next season. He will need to improve in the offseason. The Broncos will want to see his footwork improve and they will want to see him become a more consistent passer. Tebow’s improvement will be a key in the offseason.

Secondary help: Denver could be looking for a lot of help in this area. Right cornerback Andre Goodman had a tough night at New England and he was picked on at times. I could see Denver looking to draft a cornerback early. Also, safety Brian Dawkins may retire and the Broncos have some unproven youth at safety. I could see that position being an area in which Denver adds a veteran.

Running back help: The Broncos ran the ball great in 2011. They were the NFL’s top-ranked running team. But Willis McGahee, 30, got nicked up a lot and he will need some help. Knowshon Moreno is coming off an ACL injury and he may be best suited as a third-down back next season. Watch for Denver to pursue a running back either in free agency or early in the draft.

Defensive line: Every year Denver is expected to add a stout defensive tackle in the draft and they don’t. Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas played well this season. They are both free agents and Denver will want to bring them back, especially Bunkley. Ty Warren will also be back next season after missing all of this season. Still, Denver may add some reinforcements.

Receiver help: Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are a nice starting point, but Denver will need another reliable option, perhaps a veteran possession player. It may be a long shot that free agent Eddie Royal comes back.

Broncos could miss top players

September, 16, 2011
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The Denver Broncos are in danger of playing Sunday against visiting Cincinnati without four of their key players.

Cornerback Champ Bailey (hamstring), defensive end Elvis Dumervil (shoulder), receiver Brandon Lloyd (groin) and running back Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) are all listed as questionable. Lloyd worked on a limited basis Friday. However, Bailey, Dumervil and Moreno didn’t practice all week. When players miss an entire week of practice, it often means they will not play in the game.

Playing without both Bailey and Dumervil (arguably their best two defenders) would be crippling for a defense that is still very much a work in progress. Add in the fact that three fellow starters, linebacker D.J. Williams (elbow) and defensive tackles Ty Warren (triceps) and Marcus Thomas (shoulder), are still out and Denver is in danger of dropping to 0-2 in two home games to start the season.

If Moreno can’t play, Willis McGahee would start and Lance Ball would get some carries. Denver ran the ball just 13 times in a loss to Oakland on Monday night. Losing Moreno wouldn’t help Denver increase that total against the Bengals.

Times are tough in Denver and they might get even tougher Sunday.

No stunners on MNF injury report

September, 10, 2011
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There are no surprises on the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos injury reports.

As expected, Oakland will be without receiver Louis Murphy (groin), tight end Kevin Boss (knee) and safety Mike Mitchell (knee). These players have all be out for an extended period and none of them have been expected to play Monday. Boss was brought in to replace Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller, who bolted to Seattle as a free agent. But we’ll have to wait to see how Boss impacts Oakland’s offense. He will be replaced by Brandon Myers in the starting lineup.

Cornerback Chris Johnson, receivers Chaz Schilens and Derek Hagan and rookie running back Taiwan Joins are among the probable players for Oakland. Expected to see them all play Monday night barring a setback.

Denver didn’t have any surprises, either. Defensive starters Ty Warren (triceps), D.J. Williams (elbow) and Marcus Thomas (shoulder) all will not play. They’ve all been out awhile. Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley and guard Chris Kuper are among the players Denver listed as probable. They both should play. One interesting note is receiver Demaryius Thomas had a finger injury kept him out of practice Friday. That, in the long term, is good news. Thomas started practicing this week after a suffering ruptured Achilles in February.

Meanwhile, Kansas City cut seventh-round pick Shane Bannon from the practice squad. The Chiefs replaced him with offensive lineman Lucas Patterson.

Late-summer AFC West checkpoint

August, 26, 2011
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This unusual NFL season is about to start in two weeks. A lot has happened in the month since the lockout has been lifted. With the signing period and training camps over, let’s take a checkpoint look at each AFC West team:

Denver

Key pickups: Running back Willis McGahee, defensive tackle Ty Warren (he could be out for the year with a triceps injury), defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, defensive end Derrick Harvey, tight end Daniel Fells.

Key losses: Offensive tackle Ryan Harris.

Story of camp: There has been quarterback news nearly at a daily clip. The fallout is this: Kyle Orton is the starter, Brady Quinn looks like he has the edge to be the backup and second-year quarterback Tim Tebow is currently the third-stringer after a less-than-spectacular training camp. Don’t expect Denver to trade or cut Tebow. He should be in Denver this year, but perhaps being nothing more than a special-package player. Give credit to both Orton (who was nearly dealt to Miami in the days right after the lockout ended) and to Quinn. Both have played well during the tumultuous time at the position.

Keep an eye on: Denver’s defense. The Broncos took a hit with Warren’s injury. He was the team’s big-ticket pickup and he was signed to give stability at the team’s weakest area. But the Broncos seem to have made some strides on defense this summer. The unit, which was No. 32 in the NFL last year, seems more aggressive and it has some playmakers. Pass-rushers Elvis Dumervil (back from missing all of last season with a pectoral injury) and No. 2 overall pick Von Miller look like they could give this unit life. It's clear new head coach John Fox has already positively impacted this unit.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: "Denver may be better than people realize. I don’t love the offense, but it will be OK. Defensively, I think they will be much better. I think the front office had a promising offseason as they rebuild.”

Kansas City

Key pickups: Receiver Steve Breaston, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg, fullback Le'Ron McClain, offensive tackle Jared Gaither, linebacker Brandon Siler (he is out for season with a torn Achilles).

Key losses: Defensive linemen Ron Edwards and Shaun Smith

Story of camp: The defending AFC West champions had a nice, quiet, productive camp -- until the final days of it. The Chiefs built great momentum after adding several key veterans to an already-impressive roster. The only controversy was whether or not coach Todd Haley was taking a chance by taking camp slowly as a precaution because of missed time during the offseason due to the lockout. Then, the bombshell hit. It was reported that first-round pick Jon Baldwin and veteran running Thomas Jones had a locker room fight. Baldwin hurt his hand as a result and he is expected to miss the rest of the preseason. The Chiefs aren’t talking about it, but it is a strike against Baldwin, who had character concerns at Pitt. The Chiefs took Baldwin to help them win right away. This event isn’t a devastating blow, but it has to raise concerns.

Keep an eye on: Of all of the Chiefs’ moves, the signing of Gaither may be the most intriguing -- and the most promising if he can stay healthy. Before he missed all of last season with a back injury, Gaither was considered one of the better young left tackles in the NFL. Assuming he can play, Gaither could play either left tackle or right tackle. If he plays left tackle, Branden Albert would move to right tackle. He could further solidify a good line.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: “I think Kansas City is the second-best team in the division. Give the Chiefs credit. They have surrounded Matt Cassel with every possible weapon to help make him successful. They are also solid on defense. I just don’t think they are as good as the Chargers.”

Oakland

Key pickups: Tight end Kevin Boss, quarterback Trent Edwards, quarterback Terrelle Pryor

Key losses: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, tight end Zach Miller, guard Robert Gallery

Story of camp: The Raiders lost some big names and they added some big names as they began the Hue Jackson era. However, a late-round pick from Tennessee stole the show in camp. It has been all about receiver Denarius Moore. He made headlines virtually every day in camp with one spectacular catch after another. Most importantly, he has played well in preseason games and he looks polished. Expect the Raiders to give this kid a chance to contribute right away once the regular season starts.

Keep an eye on: The Raiders’ health has been an issue all camp. Several players have missed serious time. Thus far, though, it doesn’t look like many key players will miss time in the regular season other than receiver Louis Murphy, who had surgery on an undisclosed injury, and young linebacker Travis Goethel is likely out for the year with a knee injury. The team said he won’t play at Denver on Sept. 12, but it hasn’t said how long he will be out. Other players such as Boss, receiver Chaz Schilens and cornerback Chris Johnson all could be back for the opener, which is part of an ESPN “Monday Night Football” doubleheader. Thus far, most of the injuries have been nagging and fairly minor. But sometimes the injury bug hits a team and doesn’t stop all season. For now, this is mostly a preseason nuisance.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: "There are things I like. I love the front seven. I love Darren McFadden. But Jason Campbell is an average quarterback on a good day and the offensive line is in flux. Overall, inconsistencies make this the third best team in the division.”

San Diego

Key pickups: Linebacker Takeo Spikes, safety Bob Sanders, pass-rusher Travis LaBoy

Key losses: Running back Darren Sproles, linebacker Kevin Burnett, receiver Legedu Naanee.

Story of camp: I didn't sense this team scrambling to make up for lost time following the lockout. For the most part, the key components of this team are in place and several players worked out together locally during the length of the lockout. The Chargers had seemingly a zillion free agents and they kept the players they wanted. So, it has been a smooth camp in San Diego as continuity has been the key.

Keep an eye on: A lot has been made of the arrival of Spikes and Sanders to the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL. But don’t discount impact of No. 18 overall pick Corey Liuget. The Illinois product has been outstanding. He has taken over the preseason games at times. He is an explosive defensive end who quickly gets into the backfield. The game doesn’t seem too big for Liuget. Expect him to be an instant starter and have a chance to be a premier player early in his career.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: “I think San Diego is clearly the class of the division. I don’t think people are paying enough attention to this team. I love the offense. Philip Rivers is good as it gets. He has great weapons. Defensively, this team has added playmakers at every level. If the special teams can improve even marginally, they are going to win a lot more games. This could be the year. I think they are a sleeper team that could win it all.”

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