AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN .com's Bill Williamson

Weekend mail call:

Chris from Blacksburg writes: How do you think Brandon Flowers is doing so far? He had an excellent game against the Jets this past weekend! Do you see him panning out into a great CB?

Bill Williamson: Chris, it is too early to project Flowers as anything. But the early returns are positive. He has been very good. Flowers has stepped right in and played like a pro. He is very confident, competent and he has excellent instincts. His two interceptions of Brett Favre on Sunday could be the start of something big. The Chiefs are very happy with him.

Mike writes: Hey Bill, huge fan. I read your stuff every day and have never been disappointed. But, I'm a diehard Raiders fan and don't get to read many positive thoughts from you about the Raiders. This I cant possibly blame you for. This season was supposed to be a big improvement from last year with the many additions to the team and JMac having a full offseason to prepare. So I have to ask, Where did we go wrong? Is there hope for the future? What moves in this upcoming offseason are going to be essential for a good season next year? Thanks in advance Bill. Keep up the good work.

BW: Thanks for the kind words, Mike. I believe my not-so positive comments about the Raiders stem from the teamm being 2-5 this season and 21-65 over the past five-plus seasons. But I do often write that I don't think all is lost in Oakland and there are some decent pieces there. Don't give up. The Raiders will continue to take their lumps but perhaps there is some hope down the line.

Chase from Brookfield: Mr. Williamson is it time for the Oakland Raiders to shut down Darren Mcfadden for the season? He is been hindered all season by it and thus, ineffective for the running game. Why risk perimant damage to the rookie they invested so much on?

BW: It looks like McFadden will miss his second straight game Sunday against Atlanta unless he makes significant improvement. With eight more games to go in the season after the Falcons game, McFadden may never be fully recovered this season. But I think it is too early to shut him down. McFadden is a big part of the present as well as the future for Oakland. He shouldn't be shut down until the team is sure he can't help in 2008.

Nick from San Diego writes: do u think anthony waters should be starting over matt wilhelm waters is faster stronger bigger better tackler and more physical

BW: I think we could see it. There have been hints that the Chargers will make some personnel changes after the bye. Waters is well regarded by the team's coaches. I wouldn't be shocked by this change.

Jedd writes: Bill If you're the Broncos and you're going to bring Chad Jackson (and others) on to the roster, why do you wait til this week? Why not bring them on at the beginning of the bye last week and have more time to get them up to speed. Thanks! Jedd

BW: Jedd, the Broncos didn't decide to sign Jackson until last Tuesday. The Broncos had one day of practice during their bye week and it was on Wednesday. Jackson wouldn't have even made it to practice on time. The team then had four days off. That's the reason why the Broncos waited to officially sign him.

Ross from Chicago: Hi Bill, With all of the troubles the Broncos have had this year, one of them hasn't been the offense line. Ryan Clady is having the same kind of year that Joe Thomas did last year. Can he be the best LT in the game?

BW: You're right, Ross. The Broncos' offensive line looked like a weak spot prior to the season but it has been outstanding so far. Clady has been a big reason for it. He is a Rookie of the Year candidate. Clady, who hasn't allowed a sack this season, is quickly emerging as one of the better left tackles in the NFL. He will get a good test Sunday when he faces sack leader Joey Porter of the Dolphins.