Home Chargers AFC West Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

AFC West Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Chargers

Chargers HC Anthony Lynn acknowledged the Chargers considered adding QB Cam Newton, who was released by the Panthers and would have probably been available via trade before that. But ultimately Lynn said they had a good feeling about their current roster, including No. 6 overall QB Justin Herbert. While Herbert wasn’t on the team until the draft a few weeks ago, Lynn confirmed the Chargers had a pretty good feeling they’d be taking a rookie quarterback and liked the mix they already had. 

“Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick — those are guys that a lot of people don’t talk about,” Lynn said in the interview, via CBS Sports. “[Stick] was a Division I-AA [star] — he won like three national championships. … He’s a hell of a leader, hell of a professional and I think he has a bright future in this league one day.

“But with him, Tyrod Taylor and knowing that we had an opportunity to get one picking sixth in the draft — all those decisions came into play when talking about Cam.

Regarding Newton, Lynn said he’s a “tremendous” quarterback who will be on a team at some point. 

“Cam’s a tremendous quarterback,” Lynn said. “He’s been an MVP of this league, he’s led his team to a Super Bowl and he’s healthy now, from what I hear.

“Cam’s going to be on somebody’s roster. He’s going to help somebody win a few games.”

Chiefs

As the Chiefs look at what they can do to improve collectively and individually in their quest to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, WR Tyreek Hill is focusing on getting even faster. Hill might be the fastest player in the NFL but he’s worked on his flexibility this offseason to help him break in and out of routes even quicker. 

“I’m kind of taking a different approach this year. I’m doing yoga two times a week, so I’m getting into yoga a lot. I’ve been trying to open up my hips a little more and open up my glutes — things like that,” Hill said via Matt McMullen of the team’s website. “I’ve been feeling amazing and been getting out of routes even better. It’s going to be crazy. I feel like this is going to be a crazy year for me, so I’m excited.”

Raiders

The Raiders surprised much of the draft world again when they used a first-round pick on former Ohio State CB Damon Arnette. Most public rankings had Arnette as more of a second or third-round pick, and while those can differ from how the NFL views players, even some other NFL evaluators for other teams thought Las Vegas reached for Arnette. Raiders HC Jon Gruden defended taking the corner where they did. 

“I just look at his tape,” Gruden said via Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ve heard people say, ‘he’s not a first-round pick on our board.’ Well, whose board are we talking about? Then if you’re into analytics, according to Profootballfocus.com he had the best QB rating against him of any corner in the draft. I mean, he’s a hell of a player. That’s why I like him. He played at Ohio State. He played big in big games. He’s an excellent tackler, a confident corner. He’s comfortable in bump and run. When we watched him play against good receivers he played good. And he just gives us something we need, something we cherish here. A physical, press confident corner that’s not afraid to hit you.”

As for Las Vegas’ other first-round pick, WR Henry Ruggs III, Gruden says that of course the team was impressed by his speed. Ruggs ran a blistering 4.27 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and that was actually something of a disappointment, as he’d hoped to challenge for the record of 4.22 seconds. But what impressed Gruden and the Raiders even more was how quick mentally Ruggs was. 

“We even asked him to memorize formations and asked him to regurgitate it to us, and I don’t think we had a receiver or anybody at any position perform better in terms of football intelligence than Henry Ruggs,” Gruden said. “A lot of it has to do with Alabama, playing the pro-style system. A lot of it really had to do with this guy has the “it” factor. He loves it. He learns it quick. Comes easy to him. And we all know he’s fast physically. But when you find out he’s fast mentally, he can handle a lot of stuff. We think we’ve got someone with a chance to be great. You remember Cliff Branch. You remember the speed factor with the Raiders. It’s something we have to get back in our organization and we think Ruggs will be a big part of it.”

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