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AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Parker from Boulder: Bill, why all the hate on Mario Henderson? I have read your stuff on the Raider's needs over the past few weeks and you seems to think that a new LT is a must, in your latest grading piece you said upgrades at both tackle positions should be a priority. You do realize the kid, going into his third year, and would therefore be expected to naturally improve with another year under his belt? Also how much more can be asked of him than his 0-sack performance against some very good DEs in the last few games of the season (Also note that Russell only went down 5 times in the last 6 games so our line may not be as bad as people think). Yes, Mario was getting some help and he isn't a pancake blocker in the run game but the idea that he MUST be replaced is overboard IMO. Didn't Cable come out and praise him a few weeks back when he was appointed HC. I do agree that RT is a need, and I think that's what Barnes was going to be until he realized it doesn't pay as well as LT, and yes Henderson may not be a Pro-Bowler any time soon, but with the need for WR, C and RT on offense isn't LT a secondary concern unless a serious steal is out there for the taking? Or if Henderson is replaced how can you claim that RT is a need with him capable of moving over there? Either way I think Henderson deserves some more consideration and a claim that BOTH tackles are a need is incorrect with Henderson, the addition of Pears, and Green, McQ and Marten hanging around. BTW - Thanks for the coverage on my Raiders. I don't always agree with you but either way I eat it up.

BW: Good stuff, Parker. Nothing against Henderson, but from what I hear Oakland is trying to get two tackles. That's the plan. Let's see if it happens. If not, I could see Henderson getting a chance. You are right. He did play decently at the end of the season.


Alex from Anaheim:If both Crabtree and Maclin are still there for the 7th pick in the draft, who do you think the Raiders will pick? Kiper and McShay think it will be Maclin, even though Crabtree is the best receiver in the draft.

BW: I'm not a draft guru but if I'm picking, I'm taking Crabtree. He is just the goods. He looks earmarked for NFL greatness. He's a can't-miss prospect as far as I'm concerned.


Jesus from Fresno CA : Hey Bill love the page first of all. If the Broncos decide to trade Cutler do you think they might go after Jeff Garcia? Garcia still has some in the Tank. I know that most likely they won't trade him but how crazy would it be if they did!

BW: Thanks. If the Cutler situation deteriorates enough and there is not a suitable plan, Garcia could be a good stop-gap plan. But he is no Cutler and the Broncos need to make sure they figure this issue out and keep the 25-year-old Pro Bowler.


Sean from Denver: Bill, I was wondering, coming from New England, did McDaniels destroy last years tapes? I would love for him to watch the film on Hillis. He is a determined winner that carried the team on his back. It's a no-brainer that he should be the starter. Why the heck was all this money wasted on RBs and not spent wisely on the D???

BW: I'm with you, Sean. Hillis is a gamer and he is also versatile. He can help this offense. I expect McDaniels to be pleasantly surprised during training camp.


Aaron from Syracuse: In response to "If Curry is off the board"... How do you think Branden Albert will react to being moved to right tackle for Eugene Monroe?

BW: I think he'd be fine with it if that was the case. He can play both positions, and remember he'd be playing with his former college buddy so I'm sure he'd be good with it.


Miguelio from Phoenix: Can you give me a rating of the Denver Broncos new coaching staff. Looks on paper like a pretty good but how well do these guys teach?

BW: I think McDaniels knows offense very well and I think new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is a very good teacher. I love the fact that Denver kept running game coaches Rick Dennison and Bobby Turner. Those are two good coaches who will keep some continuity.


Steven from Encinitas: Any chance the chargers look for an upgrade at right tackle during free agency, or do you see them addressing o-line depth in the draft?

BW: Kevin Shaffer is out there. He was just cut from Cleveland. Two of his former Browns coaches are in San Diego and it could be a nice fit.