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Around the AFC West: training camp position battles to watch

Training camp also begins this week for the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders.

NFL: AUG 31 Chargers Training Camp Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL training camp is upon us — which means that very soon, the Kansas City Chiefs will be in a race for their sixth straight AFC West crown. In our new weekly update, we’ll catch up on the week that was in Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.


Denver Broncos

NFL: Denver Broncos OTA Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos (arguably) still have one of the top defenses in the NFL. This poses one question — who will be their quarterback?

The Broncos’ quarterback will either be the guy they went with last year in Drew Lock or the guy they recently acquired in Teddy Bridgewater, who, last season, inked a three-year $68 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

If you have to roll with either one, I feel like Bridgewater is the better answer and fit for the Broncos. Lock is entering his third year after a rookie season in which he showed potential and a second season that made fans question if he is a legitimate NFL starter.

Position battle to watch

Again, quarterback.

The Broncos have the wide receivers that are more than capable of turning it on in Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. The question as to who is going to throw to them needs to be answered. Lock and Bridgewater each only had four wins apiece in 2020. Granted, Bridgewater did lose eight games last season by one touchdown, so you at least know he can keep you in the game longer.

The must-see tweet


Las Vegas Raiders

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders have slightly improved every season under head coach Jon Gruden, but will that trend continue in 2021? The Raiders’ most significant acquisition might have been Gus Bradley, who they hired as defensive coordinator. Bradley’s traditional 4-3 Cover 3 defense may prove better than Paul Guenther’s over-the-top schemes.

Position battle to watch

As written on our pages here at Arrowhead Pride, how the offensive line shakes out will be critical to watch for the Raiders.

After trading center Rodney Hudson to the Arizona Cardinals, guard Gabe Jackson to the Seattle Seahawks and tackle Trent Brown to New England Patriots, the center and right side of the line are gone. The Raiders were able to re-sign Richie Incognito and Kolten Miller was still under a contract, so they are the only returning starters.

Can their first-round draft pick, Alex Leatherwood, step up to Chiefs’ old friends Parker Ehinger and Patrick Omameh?

Must-see tweet


Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers come into this training camp with a big question mark as to what to expect when it comes to the performance of Justin Herbert under a new head coach (Brandon Staley) and offensive coordinator (Joe Lombardi). Staley was a questionable hire if you were trying to find the best head coach-quarterback combination. The Chargers hired Lombardi, who just finished his second stint in New Orleans Saints quarterback coach.

When you put the new hires of Staley and Lombardi and pair that with Herbert, what exactly are we going to get?

Herbert went 6-9 his rookie season but was sixth in the NFL in passing yards. He had 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and completed 67% of his passes. There are hopes of a huge sophomore season for Herbert, but can he flourish?

Position battle to watch

The secondary for the Chargers is the one to watch, especially with their second-round draft pick, Asante Samuel Jr.

The Chargers have a history of injuries plaguing their defense, and I want to know whether they will stay healthy for Week 1. Samuel Jr., Chris Harris Jr. and Michael Davis will be a battle to watch because you can only run two of them out there in the base, and anything can help with that secondary.

Must-see tweet

Poll

Which AFC West foe poses the greatest threat to the Chiefs?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Denver Broncos
    (43 votes)
  • 8%
    Las Vegas Raiders
    (53 votes)
  • 83%
    Los Angeles Chargers
    (503 votes)
599 votes total Vote Now