AFC West Notes: Chargers, Raiders, Antonio Brown



New Chargers LB Thomas Davis said he still has “a lot left in the tank” and is one of the most “athletic linebackers” in the NFL. 

I feel like I still have a lot left in the tank,” Davis said, via Eric D. Williams of ESPN. “I am one of the more athletic linebackers in this league. I feel like [with] the wisdom and knowledge of the game that I have been able to learn from a bunch of veteran guys over the years, I can really help some of the younger guys on this defense. Just whatever I can add and whatever I can bring, I am willing to do and just come in and be the ultimate teammate.” 

Chargers LB Denzel Perryman said Davis will be the “Philip Rivers of the defense” and is excited to learn from him.  

He’s going to be the Philip Rivers of the defense,” said Perryman. “I’m excited for him to get in here so I can pick his brain, see what he sees and just get his take on football in general.”


Raiders HC Jon Gruden compared recently signed DB Lamarcus Joyner to former Buccaneers CB Ronde Barber and believes he is a “dynamic” player in the slot. 

When I was in Tampa, I coached a guy named Ronde Barber,” Gruden said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports. “He may have been, perhaps, my favorite player I ever coached. He wasn’t the biggest guy and he wasn’t the fastest guy, but when he put the helmet on, something happened to him. Joyner is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Ronde as a slot corner. I think he’s the best. I think he has a chance to be dynamic in there.”

Gruden also complimented Joyner’s leadership and added that he has “rare” ability as a slot corner. 

His leadership … when you meet Lamarcus Joyner, he’ll be the favorite guy you’ve met in a while,” Gruden said. “You’re going to like him. There’s something about this guy that’s special. I think the Rams would tell you that. That’s why he was franchise tagged. His ability in the slot is rare. That’s a guy who comes in and replaces a linebacker, and Lamarcus will hit you like a linebacker.

Antonio Brown

Regarding Antonio Brown and Derek Carr building a connection, Gruden said it is “hard to do” but they will continue to work on their timing. 

It’s hard to do,” Gruden said. “I remember when we got Jerry Rice, he had a lot of time on task with Steve (Young) and we had to get him on time with Rich Gannon. We had to get Joey Galloway going in Tampa. I remember getting Art Monk in Philadelphia. Transition is tough. It’s tough on Brown and the quarterback, but it’s exciting. We have to work hard. That we will do.”

Gruden went on to say that a lot of Brown’s production came on quarterback scrambles and hopes Carr will be able to “create more on his own.”

When you watch Antonio play, a lot of his production is on scramble plays,” Gruden said. “Hopefully we can get Derek to create more on his own. With a little better protection, maybe he can buy more time to let Antonio make a play or two.”

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