AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders

     

Broncos

  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio said he likes what he sees from sixth-round WR Juwann Winfree but wants to see him keep up the momentum: “Like any rookie hits plateaus then drops a little bit, comes back up. Hopefully, he’s past too many drop downs in his play. I think he’s been good. He’s shown some ability, albeit inconsistently, but I like him.” (Mike Klis)

Chargers

  • According to the Athletic’s Daniel Popper, the Chargers plan to start Denzel Perryman at middle linebacker, Thomas Davis at weakside linebacker and Kyzir White at strongside linebacker in their base defense. 
  • Once the team shifts to nickel, Perryman will come off the field and White will shift to middle linebacker. 
  • The Chargers brought Davis on as much for his off-the-field presence than his ability on the field, and LB coach Richard Smith says that’s been on display in camp: “What he does for our football team, it’s unbelievable. People listen to him. He doesn’t have any agenda. It’s all about winning.”
  • The Chargers have also experienced with LB Uchenna Nwosu at strongside linebacker, also lining him up as a defensive end. 
  • Veteran LB Jatavis Brown and fourth-round LB Drue Tranquill will help round out the depth along with special teamer Nick Dzubnar, per Popper.
  • Popper adds sixth-round LB Emeke Egbule is on the roster bubble as he learns both linebacker and defensive end in a role similar to Nwosu’s. 

Raiders

Raiders WR Antonio Brown‘s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, doesn’t think there was “any legitimacy” to the rumors of Brown potentially retiring due to his helmet dispute with the NFL. 

I don’t think there was ever any legitimacy to the retirement talk, or him leaving the team,” Rosenhaus said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports. “It was about getting healthy. The helmet wasn’t a focal point as much as the feet were. He had a major injury. This is not a typical injury for a football team to deal with, so he was off with an expert to get laser (treatment) for frostbite and a burn like that. It wasn’t his intent to leave the team for the period of time that he did. He has always had a good line of communication with the club. Actually the Raiders and the NFL are working closely to get the helmet issue resolved.

Brown said his recovery from his foot injury, along with his helmet issues, have “been a process” but is glad to return to practice. 

It’s a process. We don’t make excuses,” Brown said. “I’m here today to get things on the up and up. I’m feeling a lot better. It has been a process, through all the adversity, but I’m still here standing so it’s an opportunity for me to do what I desire.”

Raiders DT Johnathan Hankins believes he can still produce like in 2014 when he recorded seven sacks and 51 tackles. 

I can. I can get back to that level,” Hankins said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “We changed schemes with the Colts last year and when they cut me, I signed with the Raiders but had already missed training camp. I really didn’t have my foot in the ground. I do this year, and they have me focused on getting upfield and penetrating.

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