AFC West Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

Chargers

Chargers second-year WR Mike Williams has been more confident and explosive in practice this year and he should see more opportunities following the season-ending knee injury sustained by TE Hunter Henry.

“I see a lot of potential,” Keenan Allen said when asked about Williams, via ESPN.com. “Last year, he had a lot of potential as well, but I could tell he put in a little bit more work this offseason. I think he’s ready to go.

“[Last year] He wasn’t sure about all the plays. This year, he acts like he’s been in the playbook. When he runs routes, he’s on depth. Today (Tuesday), he was more physical when he was getting pressed. He looked good.”

  • According to Eric Williams of ESPN, Chargers CB Jason Verrett has not been cleared to practice fully and he’s still working his way back from knee surgery.
  • If Verrett is healthy, Williams says he’s starting, which means Trevor Williams and Desmond King will battle out for the starting slot corner job.

Chiefs

Chiefs OLB Justin Houston says he’s in “great health” and focused on a big year for Kansas City.

“I’m in great health,” said Houston, via Chiefs.com. “I finished the season with no injuries last year and I was able to just focus on myself and not an injury, so that was a plus.”

Houston dealt with a knee injury a few years ago and Eric Berry is returning from a torn Achilles. Houston mentioned that he’s just praying he and Berry can stay healthy this year.

I just pray we both stay healthy. It has been awhile since we both had a healthy, complete season,” Houston said. “That’s what I would like to see from both of us, for us to be healthy all year.”

Raiders

Raiders HC Jon Gruden said that the decision to sign veteran LB Derrick Johnson will go a long ways toward solidifying the middle of their defense and it never hurts to steal a player from the Chiefs.

“Well, we feel like we have solidified the middle of our defense big time,” Gruden said, via the Kansas City Star. “We added Derrick Johnson, the all-time leading tackler in Kansas City Chief history. He started every game for them last year, they were the division champions.

Last time I was here in Oakland, we stole (quarterback) Rich Gannon from Kansas City, we took (receiver) Andre Rison from the Chiefs, we took (defensive back) Albert Lewis from the Chiefs. We love stealing from the Chiefs. So now we’ve got Derrick Johnson, and I’m on my way to the Raiders store to pick up a Derrick Johnson Raiders jersey. I’m going to wear it home tonight.

“You throw out all the records whenever these teams play. There’s a lot of bad blood in the AFC West. But all we can control is ourselves. We’re not even going to worry about who are the favorites. We’re going to worry about the Oakland Raiders and bringing it every single week.”

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