AFC West Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders



New Chargers QBs coach Pep Hamilton said first-round QB Justin Herbert is eager to learn more about football and maximize his knowledge about the game. 

I know that he’s really smart, physically off the charts, and football is very important to him,” Hamilton said, via Jim Trotter of “He wants more. He wants to know the why in everything you ask him to do. He wants to really understand and digest the conceptual reasoning behind different plays and what the defense is doing.

Regarding his time working with Andrew Luck as the Colts’ offensive coordinator from 2013-2015, Hamilton said he learned it was important to “protect young quarterbacks from themselves.” 

“One of the things I learned from that experience was, sometimes you have to protect young quarterbacks from themselves,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton mentioned that he teaches younger quarterbacks to always keep their eyes “scanning the defense” during snaps instead of looking down for the ball. 

“The layman can tell you that when you’re looking at the back of the center, you’re not looking up at the defense and the picture could change,” Hamilton said. “So that’s the obvious reason to have your eyes up. But truly, when you’re going through your cadence and scanning the defense, when you look down, you’re telling the defense that the ball is about to be snapped, and that could give defenders a split-second advantage at get-off.”

Hamilton added that he is “looking forward to getting more feedback” from Herbert but the rookie is proving capable of memorizing the information he’s receiving. 

“At this point, I’m looking forward to getting more feedback from Justin. Right now, we’re in lecture mode. Our sessions are interactive, but it’s more so testing him on the things that we’ve introduced and seeing, Does he have a recall? The answer is: Yes, he does. He’s a guy who can memorize a lot of information in the short term and in the long term. We already know he can really throw the football. I haven’t coached a quarterback that just had the natural release and spin on the ball that Justin has since Vinny Testaverde — a tall, linear guy, a long-levered guy who really just has a great release and can make all the throws.


  • Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill admitted that he didn’t know about rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire when the team selected him. However, after looking at the tape, Hill raved about his skill set and how will fit into HC Andy Reid‘s offense. (Herbie Teope)
  • Hill said he hasn’t worked out with anyone else, but said teammates are planning to get together and throw. Hill is anxious, noting that he hasn’t run a route since the Super Bowl. (James Palmer)
  • Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens said he immediately texted new LB Willie Gay Jr. after he was drafted: “I’m here to help people. I got help when I was young.”(BJ Kissel)


Raiders HC Jon Gruden talked about overcoming challenges this offseason and believes that the team has to do their best as they experience the relocation of the franchise.

“You’ve got to remember, we’re in transition,” Gruden told Jerry McDonald in an exclusive interview. “We’re the only team that’s changing locations. We’ve got to find new homes, new doctors, new places to shop. We’ve got to get acclimated to a completely different environment. Players are starting to find homes, and the more players that move to Las Vegas are slowly but surely getting to know each other and creatively keeping their distance and trying to get in some workouts.”

Gruden also says that while he has been meeting with quarterbacks Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, and Nathan Peterman, the team is still missing physical reps. They are also unable to evaluate some of their players who were injured during the previous season.

“You’re not able to see the injured players. We’ve got a lot of guys that didn’t finish the season. Foster Moreau and Jon Abram, Josh Jacobs, Isaiah Johnson. They didn’t play. We had a lot of guys that are coming off injuries. Trent Brown, for crying out loud. We have our training staff interact with them. We have our strength and conditioning staff interact with them. We try to monitor their weight. We try to challenge them physically to get the best possible workouts and remain safe.”

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